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

The Fellows Tour Three Private Gardens in Santa Barbara

On July 14, 2021, the Fellows of the Virginia Robinson Gardens visited stunning gardens in Santa Barbara. The first garden belonged to George Schoellkopf. (The Fellows toured George’s Connecticut garden, Hollister House, in June 2019.) George’s Summerland garden is perched on the brow of a high hill and was begun a little over twenty years ago; it is laid out in several distinct sections, ranging from formal areas near the house to more naturalistic areas further afield. The garden is Mediterranean in spirit with mostly drought-tolerant plants and no lawn. A new guest house and swimming pool are nearing completion and will define an important new garden area.

The Fellows Visit the Kamins Gardens

In a stunning amalgam of old and new, the Kamins Gardens represents the best of both worlds: the preservation of the landmarked Helms Estate and the creation of entirely original gardens & buildings that blend seamlessly. Angel Members Dorothy and Phil Kamins opened their masterpiece to the VRG Fellows on Father’s Day weekend, a magnificent gift on a spectacular day. From the colorful begonia beds that greeted guests at the entrance, to the rose garden in full bloom, through the formal fountains and parterres to the newest woodland area with its airstream and lodge, it was a treat for the senses. And the inventive canapes by Kais (European Caterers) allowed guests to taste the season, from delightful figs to strawberry shortcake bites. Photos at wonderful settings – the Chinese Pavilion, the birdcage orchid house, the Malibu Tiled Courtyard – enhanced the memories, as well as Kais’ incredible cookies to go. A June treat to remember

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

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