Our Gene Kelly: Lecture by Patricia Ward Kelly

Patricia Ward Kelly gave a very moving and heartfelt presentation of her life with her husband, famed dancer, actor, choreographer and director Gene Kelly at the Virginia Robinson Gardens on November 17, 2017. Charming, delightful and very engaging, Patricia captivated the audience at this sold-out lecture with her life story.

Patricia grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado. At Colorado College, she majored in English, and her specialty was Herman Melville. After graduate work at the University of Virginia, she was hired by PBS to do a documentary on Melville. She was then brought on as a writer for a 90 … Read More

Gottlieb Native Garden Lecture

Dedicated environmentalist and philanthropist Susan Gottlieb gave a riveting and beautiful lecture on her renowned garden, the Gottlieb Native Garden, at the Virginia Robinson Gardens.  Susan’s garden in Beverly Hills is a National Wildlife Federation-certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat.  Originally from Canada, she is currently on the President’s Council of National Wildlife Federation, the Boards of Directors of the Friends of Ballona Wetlands and Audubon California, and is a supporter of many environmental organizations. Susan took the photographs in her stunning book The Gottlieb Native Garden: A California Love Story, written by Mallory Smith, which she generously gave as a … Read More

How They Decorated by P. Gaye Tapp

Noted interior designer and author P. Gaye Tapp gave a fascinating lecture to a rapt audience at the Virginia Robinson Gardens based on her beautifully illustrated book How They Decorated: Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth Century. Hailing from North Carolina, Gaye related in her lovely Southern accent the trendsetting style of the extraordinary women in her book who were intensely passionate about beauty. “These inspiring women shape the way we look at our rooms today… They had great style that came from self-confidence, study and from cultivating their eye. As one of my personal icons Gloria Vanderbilt … Read More

Gardens of Eternity lecture by Dr. Linda Komaroff

Gardens of Eternity: Visualizing Paradise in Islamic Art

Founder of Friends of Virginia Robinson Gardens Joan Selwyn introduced our speaker Dr. Linda Komaroff as “a very impressive lady.” A curator of Islamic art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for over 20 years, Linda has written many books, with an emphasis on the art of Iran. Under her direction, not only has the historic Islamic art collection doubled in size, but she has started the acquisition of a “world-class” collection of contemporary Middle Eastern art that is larger and more diverse than that of the Metropolitan Museum of … Read More

A Glimpse of Fred Astaire

A Glimpse into the Life of Fred Astaire by Victoria Kastner

A delightful luncheon and lecture took place at the Virginia Robinson Gardens on Friday, March 10th. It was a perfect day at the Gardens.  And the Friends of Robinson Gardens took advantage of the weather by hosting luncheon outside in the Display Rose Garden on thematically decorated tables celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and the subject of the lecture, Fred Astaire.

Victoria Kastner, the official historian at Hearst Castle, presented a fascinating lecture on “Fred Astaire in Beverly Hills” on March 10. She focused on The Gay Divorcée, Astaire’s … Read More

BIG FLOWER Photography by David Leaser

BIG FLOWER Photography by David Leaser

“Wow!” “Fantastic!” “Awesome!” – exclaimed the excited attendees of an event at Virginia Robinson Gardens. Award-winning fine art photographer David Leaser gave a spectacular lecture on his highly detailed, large-scale botanical images of exotic flowers. His work is in the permanent collection of the Huntington Library in San Marino, and he is the only artist to have won the Gold and Silver medals in the same category at the International Photography Awards. His work, Tiger’s Eye, was the only photograph accepted to be exhibited at the prestigious London Art Biennale.

Accompanied by his … Read More

Hutton Wilkinson and Manfred Flynn Kuhnert Lecture

Hutton Wilkinson and Manfred Flynn Kuhnert on the Fabulous Lives of Elsie de Wolfe and Tony Duquette

The fall education lectures got off to a fabulous start with a very exciting conversation by Hutton Wilkinson and Manfred Flynn Kuhnert on Elsie de Wolfe and Tony Duquette. Sitting in the Pool Pavilion at Virginia Robinson Gardens, Flynn exclaimed, “It’s so wonderful being here today in this gorgeous house and this intimate room. I love house-museums!” The effervescent duo were such fascinating speakers that they held their audience spellbound.

Wilkinson and Kuhnert have just written a book of historical fiction based on … Read More

Kelly Comras Lecture on Ruth Shellshorn

Kelly Comras Lecture on Ruth Shellhorn: Mid-Century Landscape Architecture

Landscape architect, lawyer and author Kelly Comras gave a very inspiring lecture on Ruth Shellhorn, one of the most well respected mid-century landscape architects in Southern California. Kelly did extensive research and interviews with Shellhorn, before she passed away in 2006, for her book Ruth Shellhorn. “A woman of grit and determination, Ruth faced a number of gender based hurdles which she handled with much grace, in a field dominated by men,” Kelly explained. During her 57 year career, from 1933-1990, Ruth created close to 400 landscape designs, ranging from private … Read More

Interior Designer Suzanne Rheinstein

Lecture at Virginia Robinson Gardens by Interior Designer Suzanne Rheinstein

The Friends of Robinson Gardens were honored to have internationally renowned interior designer Suzanne Rheinstein give a delightful lecture on beautiful homes she has decorated. A longtime supporter of Virginia Robinson Gardens, Suzanne will be our Grand Marshal at the upcoming Garden Tour on Saturday, May 14th. She has written a new book entitled Rooms for Living: A Style for Today with Things from the Past.

Although the homes she has designed reflect different styles, Suzanne said, “They all have a respect for the outdoors, and a love of … Read More

John Stubbs Lecture on Architectural Preservation

The Cause of Architectural Preservation 

The Friends of Robinson Gardens and their guests were very honored to have Professor John H. Stubbs present a marvelous lecture on architectural preservation. Professor Stubbs is considered one of the top people in his field. Among his many accomplishments, he served as Vice President for Field Programs at the World Monuments Fund where he was instrumental in establishing the Watch List of endangered sites world-wide.

Focusing on historic preservation in America, Dr. John Stubbs explained that the first real traceable effort occurred in Philadelphia at Independence Hall. Due to the “stupendous” event that occurred … Read More

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