On April 26, 2023, at The Virginia Robinson Gardens, researcher and lecturer Carolyn Bennett gave an enthralling and fascinating presentation titled, “Artists in the Shadows: Women Who Turned Gardens into Art.” Past President Kerstin Royce, standing in for Education Chair Adrienne Horwitch, warmly welcomed the guests at this sold-out lecture. Jeanne Anderson introduced Carolyn who speaks on a variety of garden and other landscape-related issues, including garden conservation. She received her master’s degree in the Conservation of Historic Landscapes, Parks and Gardens from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. In Los Angeles, she ran the Barn Studio Lecture Series for landscape designer Nancy Goslee Power & Associates in Santa Monica
On Friday, March 17, 2023, the tables, the guests, and Worthy’s McCartney’s resplendent images in her slide lecture on Cartier all sparkled brightly in the Pool Pavilion at The Virginia Robinson Gardens. In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day and the lecture, many guests were festively bedecked in green and adorned with Cartier jewelry. Thanks to Education Chair Adrienne Horwitch, it was an elegant and fabulous affair. Adrienne introduced Worthy, the Regional High Jewelry Sales Director for Cartier, and a longtime Patron Member of the Friends of Robinson Gardens. She has traveled extensively to Europe and throughout the United States and has managed their stores in the US. Adrienne added that Worthy is a mentor to newer team members for Cartier’s high end collection pieces
On March 2, 2023, the Fellows of the Friends of Robinson Gardens were treated to a brilliant and gorgeous lecture by the much-in-demand speaker Dr. Eric Haskell on Claude Monet’s luminous paintings and gardens at Giverny. Thanks to Fellows Chair Jeanne Anderson, who organized the event, and Shiva Moshtael, who graciously opened her elegant home to the group, the Fellows could have been in a Parisian salon. Fluent in French, and a distinguished and prolific speaker, Dr. Haskell is Professor Emeritus of French studies and Interdisciplinary Studies, Scripps College and Director Emeritus of the Clark Humanities Museum, Scripps College. Ellen Levitt introduced Dr. Haskell, saying that in 2013, two of France’s highest honors were bestowed upon him
After a brief hiatus, the Education lectures resumed on February 16, 2023 at the Virginia Robinson Gardens with a terrific lecture on the making of the Lee Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2022. Thanks to Education Chair Adrienne Horwitch, it was a glamorous and exquisite event from the beautiful tables to the lavish lunch and the exciting lecture in the historic Pool Pavilion. Several attendees came dressed in McQueen’s fashions, adding to the festiveness of the occasion
Just as spring was preparing to blossom throughout the region and the seasonal changes were once again repainting Virginia Robinson Gardens’ glorious landscape, the Friends and guests gathered to celebrate the end of their most recent educational lecture series, co-chaired by Clare Wagner, Suz Landay, and Ann Petersen on April 14, 2022. Featuring Tim Street-Porter and Annie Kelly discussing their new book, Los Angeles Today - City of Dreams: Architecture and Design, the 45-minute talk inside the Pool Pavilion highlighted the dynamic changes that continue to engulf Los Angeles. “Tim was really focused on getting the icons of Los Angeles,” Annie told the Friends
On March 15, 2022, Wendy Sue Knecht regaled the audience at the Virginia Robinson Gardens with fascinating tales from her years as a Pan Am flight attendant from 1979 to 1991. Education co-chair Clare Wagner introduced Wendy and said she is multi-talented. Since her Pan Am career, she successfully ran an import-export business, designs travel bags and accessories, and is a health care advocate. Elegantly attired in her Adolfo-designed uniform and pearls, Wendy charmed and delighted the guests sitting on the Tennis Court Observation Deck near the beautiful Display Rose Garden. Her first uniform was designed by famed Hollywood designer Edith Head. Wendy enthused, “This is the prettiest setting I’ve ever given a talk in and with the prettiest ladies!”
The Virginia Robinson Gardens played host this past month to an intimate salon featuring guest speaker Mumsey Nemiroff. An experienced lecturer, having taught at UCLA for two decades on the subject of art connoisseurship, Mumsey recently spent a particularly gorgeous November morning illuminating just over two dozen Friends and their friends about the art of collecting. “Understand what you’re buying,” she advises. “Buyer beware, always.” In spotting a fake, Mumsey has identified six criteria to help collectors successfully procure genuine art: age, condition, rarity, aesthetic, provenance, and price. “Always beware of the words unique and rare,” she cautions.
“When you are in Love’s, the whole world’s delicious!” This famous slogan brought back decades-old memories of my favorite barbecue sauce and wonderful family dinners at the old Pico Boulevard restaurant. It was a full house as George Geary spoke to members of the Friends about his latest book Made in California: The California-Born Diners, Burger Joints, Restaurants & Fast Food that Changed America. Eloquent and dapper as ever, Geary, the former pastry chef and best-selling author, charmed us during his second engagement at the Gardens by helping us to remember those restaurants that formed our first experiences as children and the ones that became our favorite haunts in our adult years.
On March 11, 2021, Sunday Taylor, a longtime Friends of Robinson Gardens member, gave a fascinating virtual presentation on Zoom about her new novel, The Anglophile’s Notebook. She was interviewed by our lovely past President Patti Reinstein who said, “Her wonderful book is part history, part mystery, part love story and character study. It is also about the love of the Brontës that comes through in her writing.”
“What a fantastic class!” “Such stunning arrangements,” said many of the attendees at the Friends of Robinson Gardens’ first Education lecture of the season on November 19, 2020 at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. The group was delighted by the lovely Katie Marsano’s inspirational lecture/demonstration of “The Art of Ikebana Floral Arrangement.” The lecture was sold out at the socially-distanced event at the Gardens, but fortunately, it was also shown virtually on Zoom to many members. Education co-chair and past President Ellisa Bregman introduced Katie, a new Friend member. Katie said that her journey started five years ago when she was spending long periods of time in Tokyo and was introduced to an English-speaking Sogetsu Ikebana Master. Originally trained in Western floral arranging, Katie said that she was drawn to the minimalistic style and understated elegance of the Japanese aesthetic of ikebana.