The Fabulous Fellows Thank You Dinner

“It was a night of happiness and friendship,” in the words of Bernice Balson as the Fellows gathered at the very well attended Annual Appreciation Dinner on August 12, 2023, at The Virginia Robinson Gardens. The evening was a spectacular success and is held each year in appreciation of the Fellows’ generous support of the restoration and preservation of Robinson Gardens and the very popular Childrens Science Program. It is also an occasion to honor our most generous donors, including the Santa Monica Westside Legacy Fund for Women and Girls, represented by Carol Bennett and Anne-Marie Spataru, who gave an extremely generous donation to the Childrens Science Program this year

Fabulous Fellows Visit to Suzanne Rheinstein’s Home

On June 2, 2023, thanks to our incomparable Fellows Chair Jeanne Anderson who imbues each event with her special brand of magic, the Fellows were treated to a very special tour of world renowned interior designer Suzanne Rheinstein‘s residence in Hancock Park. Suzanne recently passed away on March 20, 2023, and was a great supporter of The Virginia Robinson Gardens. Over the years, she designed several exquisite rooms at our annual Garden Tour. The Friends were thrilled to honor her as our Grand Marshal in 2016, and she gave lectures and book signings at VRG

Trip to the Gamble House and the Wrigley Mansion Enthralls the Fellows

The sun was shining brightly at 8:15 am on April 15, 2023, when the Fellows met the County van at the Virginia Robinson Gardens to take them to the Gamble House in Pasadena. The Gamble House sits on top of a hill, its handsome wood exterior reflecting its natural surroundings and the Gambles’ love of nature. The home is architecturally significant as the finest example of the work created by the builders Greene and Greene in the Los Angeles area

Visit to Ojai Enchants the Fellows

Jeanne contacted her friend, Carolyn Bennett, who moved from the mid-Wilshire neighborhood of Los Angeles to a farm in Ojai 12 years ago, to help her find special private gardens in this popular town. Carolyn has been active in the Garden Club of America, worked for Nancy Goslee Power, served on the Boards of the LA County Arboretum, California Garden and Landscape History Society, the Garden School Foundation and the Cultural Landscape Foundation. She currently lectures on garden related subjects and knows some great folks in her new hometown, so she was the perfect "booker.” A few days before our Ojai adventure, torrential rains were predicted, so we moved our Tuesday events indoors. Our first visit was to the most charming home covered by Boston ivy. Stonehouse was designed and built by Austin Pierpont as his honeymoon cottage between 1918-1920. The property was bordered by his family home designed by Julia Morgan which is still owned by the Pierponts

Oh, What a Night!

It was a warm and beautiful Saturday when the Fellows of the Friends celebrated with a dinner under the stars on August 13, 2022, at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. Friends who had not seen each other for many years reconnected, and many new friendships were made. Beautiful women in pretty dresses and handsome gentlemen mingled and marveled about the lovely setting of our event in this hidden paradise

Fellows Revel in Visit to a Stunning Garden

On June 14th, 2022, Friends of Robinson Gardens Fellows members were treated to a morning in the sensational garden of one of our Patron members. Upon entering this oasis (through an elegant, white archway), members were greeted with a lush landscape. Color fills the entrance — from the pink hydrangeas to the multicolored dahlias to forest green trees, it is as if you are in a jewelry store gazing at rows of glittering sapphires. The visual delight only begins there, for the entrance leads directly to a bridge where, on one side, you are treated to the sound of running water from a rock-hewn waterfall and on the other rests a koi pond. If a zen escape from the city is what you’re after, then this bridge is certainly the place to relax. Beyond the bridge is a charming greenhouse replete with colorful potted plants

Victoria Kastner Enthralls the Fellows with Her Lecture on Julia Morgan

To a mesmerized audience, noted author and former historian of the Hearst Castle, Victoria Kastner, gave a fascinating speech on her latest book, Julia Morgan: An Intimate Biography of the Trailblazing Architect on May 6, 2022, in the Main  House at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. A fabulous speaker, Victoria was so knowledgeable and passionate about her subject that the Fellows could have listened to her all day! Victoria highly recommended the review written on her book by Hannah Fish on April 6, 2022, for the Christian Science Monitor. Victoria said, “It is an excellent summary of my talk for VRG.”

Fellows Visit Wondrous McQueen Exhibit at LACMA

On April 28, 2022, twenty Fellows of Robinson Gardens had the pleasure of viewing the recently installed exhibit: “Lee Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  The exhibit is currently on view through October 9, 2022, in the Resnick Pavillon.  Costume and Textiles Curators of the exhibit, Clarissa Esquerra and Michaela Hansen, gave us a private tour of the exhibit, which featured a costume collection donated by Friends of Robinson Gardens Patron member Regina J. Drucker. Donated in 2016, the collection includes objects Fortuny to Charles James to Balenciaga, along with the largest collection of Alexander McQueen ensembles in a North American public institution outside of the London Studio Archive. 69 ensembles were donated which turned out to be McQueen’s personal magical number

Fellows Trip to the “Borderlands” Art Exhibition at the Huntington Library

On a beautiful day in the first week of spring, the Fellows of Robinson Gardens traveled to the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino for an enriching cultural experience. With the backdrop of the magnificent gardens at the Huntington, the group was treated to an erudite lecture and tour of Borderlands, a new permanent collections installation at the Huntington Art Museum, curated by Dennis Carr. Carr began the tour in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art, stopping in the loggia to discuss Enrique Martinez Celaya’s magnificent There-Bound. Painted on the massive glass façade of the Scott Gallery’s north entrance, it depicts migratory birds winging across the building’s front windows. Visitors can sit on seats that are bird sculptures and gaze up in awe at the bird paintings on glass that blend in with the outside landscape

The Fellows Enjoy an August Moon Dinner Party

On August 21, 2021, the Robinson Fellows dined under the moon and stars, reminiscent of Virginia’s annual August Moon parties, on the Great Lawn at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. Guests wandered the gardens sipping Cartier champagne and a signature cocktail, the Virginia. The tables were dripping with dahlias of every color from our very own cutting garden. Sean Murphy, son of the famed owner of Jimmy’s restaurant, catered a splendid dinner
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