VRG Fellows Trip to Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

On March 2-5, 2020, the Fellows members of Robinson Gardens explored the architecture and gardens of Scottsdale and Phoenix.  The Arizona Biltmore Hotel was our base for the duration of our stay. The architect of record is Arthur Chase McArthur, who with his brother Charles McArthur, opened the hotel in 1929.

Arthur had been a draftsman under Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW), and FLW was the design consultant on the project. We met in the hotel lobby. The in-house historian led us on an architectural tour of the hotel, which ended in the “Mystery Room.” We learned that this room previously … Read More

‘Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again’

We kicked off the new decade with a Robinson Gardens Fellows special program at The Broad museum.  It was a great beginning. On January 8, we took a guided tour of the special exhibition: ‘Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again.’ We learned about the background and remarkable work of Shirin Neshat. Unlike many other contemporary artists on display at The Broad and elsewhere, many of us didn’t know much about Neshat. Her work focuses on what it’s like to be an Iranian woman, and she expresses her views with her amazing photographs and videos.

Neshat was born in … Read More

A Spellbinding Account of Our Fascinating Area by Jeff Hyland, Cultural and Architectural Historian

As expected from the accomplished Jeanne Anderson, the Fellows had another brilliant event. On December 7th, 2019, in the afternoon, the Fellows mingled with each other and tasted an excellent selection of appetizers and sweets, in addition to having the honor of attending a fabulous presentation on Legendary Estates of Bel Air by Jeff Hyland. Jeff has been a long-time supporter not only of the Virginia Robinson Gardens, but also of the history of the many great estates throughout Bel Air, Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills. His books are filled with wonderful stories from the many amazing people who have … Read More

Fellows Visit to “Nineteen Nineteen,” the Centennial Exhibition at the Huntington Library

Curator James Glisson gave a very informative and fascinating lecture to the Fellows of Robinson Gardens on the exhibition, also curated by Jennifer A. Watts, “Nineteen Nineteen” at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens on October 29, 2019. This major exhibition of more than 250 objects celebrates the Huntington Centennial, as the museum was founded in 1919. James said, “The Huntington houses 11 million items. With a few exceptions, the show exhibits items that were acquired, exhibited, made, copyrighted, or altered in 1919.”

Loosely organized into five sections depicting themes of Fight, Return, Map, Move, and Build, … Read More

Exploring Extraordinary Private Gardens of Northwest Connecticut

Discovering great gardens is an adventure. Touring a garden with like-minded friends brings a pleasure to the mind and five senses that is comparable to very few of life’s other experiences. This was the case as a group of Fellows members of the Virginia Robinson Gardens spent three days touring nine world class private gardens in the general vicinity of Litchfield, Connecticut.

The house and garden of renowned interior designer Bunny Williams was the start of our journey of learning.  It  was here  that  we truly  viewed  the garden as a highly individualized artistic expression. This very New England white … Read More

A Magical Evening at the Fellows Thank You Dinner

Over 75 guests attended the annual Fellows Thank You Dinner at the Virginia Robinson Gardens on June 8, 2019. Lush from the winter rains, the Gardens provided for a romantic and resplendent setting. It was such a magical evening that the party ended one hour later than scheduled. This celebration is held in appreciation of the Fellows’ generous support of the restoration and preservation of Robinson Gardens and the Children’s Program. It is also an occasion to honor our most generous donors. Their contributions are memorialized on the Donor Tree, a wrought iron ornamental tree whose leaves are etched with … Read More

Enchanted Visit to Huguette Clark’s Bellosguardo

For so long, in fact, long after childhood for many, 1407 East Cabrillo Blvd was secretive. A sedately designed entrance gate – not redolent of the overly ornate wrought iron gate of the period announcing wealth – blocked public access to a driveway carved into a fast rising edge of the cliff of a Continent, where 3 Elements meet: Land, Air and Water. This magical point overlooks the wide Santa Barbara sandy beach, yet bore mystery in quiet elegance. Was it a home? An Institution? What was up there? Whatever and whomever, it was beautifully sited, and Lucky were those … Read More

Fellows Event at the Skirball – Ruth Bader Ginsburg Exhibition

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg offers the viewer a visually rich, entertaining, and comprehensive look at Justice Ginsburg’s life and career. On Wednesday, January 9, 2019, a sold-out Fellows group from Virginia Robinson Gardens attended this exhibition at the Skirball Cultural Center.

The highly interactive exhibition was quite engaging. The moment we entered with Associate Curator Cate Thurston, the contents of the exhibition came to life and provided an elevated review. Several nearby museum guests wanted to join our tour – it was a true exploration showcasing archival photographs, documents, contemporary art and media relating … Read More

Firooz Zahedi and City of Angels: Houses and Gardens of Los Angeles

Thanks to Fellows Chair Jeanne Anderson, the Fellows were invited to a wonderful lecture and panel discussion on Firooz Zahedi’s new book, City of Angels: Houses and Gardens of Los Angeles on December 6, 2018. In this publication by author Jennifer Ash Rudick and photographer Firooz, homes of renowned architects, interior designers, garden designers and others are featured. The Fellows were very fortunate to have three of the talented individuals – Richard Shapiro, Art Luna and Hope Warschaw — give a slide presentation using Firooz’s extraordinarily beautiful photographs of their gardens.

Founder and past President of the Friends Joan Selwyn … Read More

Ron Fleming and the Gardens at Bellevue House in Newport, Rhode Island

The Fellows and Friends of the Virginia Robinson Gardens were treated to a wonderfully informative and entertaining lecture by Ron Fleming at the Beverly Hills Hotel on November 2, 2018. Fellows Chair Jeanne Anderson introduced Fleming as “A recognized authority in the role of creating vibrant, livable places, adding luster to Newport’s worldwide reputation as a showcase of art and architecture.” Almost 20 years ago, Ron purchased Bellevue House, a 1910 Federal Revival mansion, designed by architect Ogden Codman, Jr. for his cousin Martha Codman, a Boston heiress.

A fourth-generation Californian, Ron told the attendees, “As a native son, I … Read More

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