Spotlight on Regina Drucker

Each month we spotlight a volunteer, staff member, docent, donor, or sponsor of Virginia Robinson Gardens (VRG) — those that have made an impact on the organization. We want to let you know about these wonderful people and corporations that give so much to the Virginia Robinson Gardens and to the community, and what they do that is so impactful.
This month, we spotlight Regina Drucker, a dedicated Friend of Robinson Gardens Board Member and VRG Historian.

We asked her these three questions:

1. How did you first learn about VRG, and what inspired you to become a Friend?

Oh my, where to begin, let me put my Hobo Kelly Glasses on and take a trip down Memory Lane. My first visit was in 1986, when VRG hosted their Black Tie dinner dance: The Party of The August Moon. It was a glorious evening, arriving with a fellow Catholic friend, who was the head usher at Good Shepherd and former CEO of Finance at NBC, his other guests being Don Grady of My Three Sons fame and his then girlfriend, now his wife. I shimmered in a butterfly wing pattern sequin top from The Staircase on Sunset Plaza with a long tapered black skirt. Upon walking under the Wisteria at the Front Door, I was mesmerized by the enchanted nature of the home and then whisked into the gardens which just went on and on so gracefully. We played Chinese Checkers in the Library while sipping cocktails and dinner by the pool which had Swans floating. Then, it was a small affair, intimate in nature, and yet I recall one monkey in the cage.

A few years later, I met Jeanne Anderson at a Bridal Shower she gave at the Four Seasons for a mutual friend who I fixed up, who is still married. In 1997, she asked if I would open our former garden on San Rafael in Pasadena for The Garden Conservancy which was then in its infancy here on the West Coast, or at least in Southern California. In those days, it was an honor system to sell tickets and to take funds at the gate, not like today where tickets are prepaid and garden addresses are private until purchase; so there I was with my niece Carla, sitting at a little table taking cash and then sending it back to the Garden Conservancy. A favorite memory of Jeanne from years past, was the day we each bought Wisteria plants at San Gabriel Nursery; mine is still in my collection in a Chinois Blue and White pot with plate…so beautiful. I remember that day each year the flowers bloom.

In the early 2000s, Jeanne invited me to join VRG, and though reluctant at first, for I can either be a recluse or is it a loose wreck – still figuring that one out – well the rest is history. It is a tranquil, historic setting…and speaking of History, it is my honor to work with Marcella as a Historian at VRG, though no one can replace her prowess on recollection of detail…she wrote the book as they say, and did she ever!

2. What’s your role – How do you contribute to VRG?

I have helped out when needed and possible in whatever is asked, and though from a distance of late due to our present world, it is with History and Hope that others will continue to do the same, for when darkness falls around us, WE should all seek the Light, and none has burned brighter in The City of Angels than Virginia’s Garden of Earthly Delights. As I write articles at times and am Historian with Marcella, it would help others to note how long members can be attached to this enchanted place by reading the attached clipping from 1986, as saved by Joan Selwyn, our First President.

1986 ‘Beverly Hills 213’ magazine article of the August Moon Gala at VRG that I attended

On a side note, my husband Bruce and I hosted the Fellows in 2017, a day memorialized with the haunting piano melody of Alexandre Desplat as played by Lang Lang from the film, The Painted Veil to set the mood while touring the Pavilion San Rafael. Cocktails of Aperol Spritz and L’Orientale flowed in homage to the Chinois Pagoda by the Pool, and Little Flower Candy Company did the catering…it was such a Magical evening with gobs of people lingering in the garden with Crowns upon their heads of flowers…it was named Floralia, after The Goddess of Flora.

3. Can you share a favorite VRG memory with us?

One special gift of VRG which brings a ‘Miracle’ to mind, is how it reaches out to Inner City children who may never get to travel out of Los Angeles in their lifetime, let alone to Europe. VRG brings The Old World of Europe to a Modern City in America. It is with a hope of sparking just one child’s imagination to pursue a Dream of Enlightening the World, for HOPE is all WE have, but for many of these children, it is extinguished or diminished by life’s daily vicissitudes.

I love the gals that I have met at VRG, my Sisters of the Garden, for are we not all acolytes of Beauty? What better Altar to worship Beauty but in a Garden that whisks one away to a world within a world, without the tick tock of time or the dramas of the outside world.

Jeanne, Ann, Linda, Krista, Kerstin & Marcella and so many other Souls who bear REAL smiling faces and PURE hearts have made my life all the more anchored in serenity especially during these turbulent times of a pandemic and political unrest. WE are all children of America, which is an Idea, not a place that can be owned or controlled, with Lady Liberty as the beacon, and though she has been reviled, defiled and denigrated of late, she still bears her Torch welcoming ALL to her safe harbors, and one of those harbors for me is Virginia’s Vision on Elden.

2019 LACMA Art + Film Gala

Another place in my heart is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the inspirational and fantastical Zumthor designed Museum which will span across Wilshire. I donated my Costume Collection from Fortuny to Charles James to Balenciaga, which includes the largest collection of Alexander McQueen ensembles outside of the McQueen Studios Archive.

It was gifted to Los Angeles in perpetuity with the thought of those who never saw either of the McQueen exhibitions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City or The Victoria & Albert Museum in London years ago. One can hope of inspiring minds of those lucky to dwell within our fabled City of The Angels in the generations to come. An exhibition at LACMA featuring this collection of Alexander McQueen will open in Spring of 2022, having been postponed from Fall 2021 due to COVID-19. With the new LACMA Museum to be completed in 2024, this exhibition will be held in 2022 in the Resnick Pavilion designed by Renzo Piano. It is my HOPE, that this exhibition will be a shining moment and a joyous event in the City of Angels, when we have all emerged from this current Age of Darkness.

God Bless America and ALL who believe in Virginia Robinson’s Vision on Elden and LACMA, the Treasury of Beauty that belongs to Los Angeles.

17 Responses

  1. Kerstin Royce
    | Reply

    Sending love to you for a wonderful article. Soon we will, as you say, emerge from the darkness and see each other again in friendship at VRG. I am also eager to hear more about the Alexander McQueen
    exhibition.

    • Regina Drucker
      | Reply

      Lotusland to Bellosguardo, your smile and laughter are wrapped neatly ala tres chic. Shall never forget your joy when shown Greta Garbo’s PJs, and hope your brother is ok in Sweden…thank you for the reaching out when I lost my brother in May 2020 to complications from Covid. Your words meant much to me…Love & LIght in 2021

  2. Marcella Ruble
    | Reply

    You are absolutely amazing. Reading this makes me want to know so much more about you and your collecting history.

    • Regina Drucker
      | Reply

      Marcella, what can I say…from San Simeon to my garden, like the birds in the trees singing, we always lead each other down the Path of Knowledge. To be born with an inquisitive nature is one of the greatest gifts the universe can bestow upon one, and you have it in spades. Be Safe, say hello to Victoria and see you soon in the Gardens of Virginia. Love

  3. Barbara Sayre Casey
    | Reply

    Such an inspiring commentary by Ms. Drucker. Thank you for your light in the world.

    • Regina Drucker
      | Reply

      From Santa Barbara to the Getty, we have seen much with VRG, and your inquisitive nature is always a delight to share conversation with…stay safe and see you soon Barbara.

  4. Peter McClafferty
    | Reply

    Thank you to Ms. Drucker and the VRG team for offering up such a refreshingly positive article as we launch into 2021!

    • Regina Drucker
      | Reply

      Thank you Peter, I am only too happy to offer HOPE for 2021…and glad you found it here.

  5. Krista Everage
    | Reply

    As always, Regina, your insights to our culture and history here in Los Angeles, through your beautiful eyes, bring tears to mine! How wonderful for you to share all of your enlightened thoughts of beauty to uplift us. Thank you!!

    • Regina Drucker
      | Reply

      Your so talented and of course, Virginia brought you to share your gifts with VRG…thank heaven for that. Love & Light to you and yours.

  6. Clare Wagner
    | Reply

    Regina – I clearly remember the 2017 Fellows visit to that magical land you call home. Thank you so much for sharing your charming and beautiful home and gardens with us. Your incredible knowledge of the history of its exquisite contents made this journey as memorable as any trip to any place in the world.

    • Regina Drucker
      | Reply

      Clare, your a delight for sure in my garden or at Virginia’s, your presence only makes everything brighter. I hope your well and look forward to seeing your smile again soon…you have been a guiding force at VRG and an inspiration to many. Love!

  7. Ann Petersen
    | Reply

    Ahh, Regina, what an inspiring article you have written for all of us to enjoy. It will carry us joyfully into the New Year and beyond. How generous of you to have gifted your Costume Collection to LACMA. I wait with bated breath to see your Alexander McQueen exhibition in 2022. You have filled me with hope for much better times ahead. Thank you for being you!!!

    • Regina Drucker
      | Reply

      Miss you so much, and know that one day we will all be together again amidst the scents and sights of VRG…stay safe and hugs to Leslie

  8. Regina Drucker
    | Reply

    On this eve of Georgia’s elections that will steer the Biden/Harris Agenda to Reality – I hope that all are transfixed upon the common goal, America The Beautiful for ALL. Light a Candle of Hope that a Miracle takes place. Thank you for all the kindness you have shown over the years. Love & Light 2021

  9. TiM Lindsay
    | Reply

    Dear Regina, Your thoughts and words so eloquently capture the “Sense of Place” that I have shared the privilege of deeply experiencing over the culmination of several decades. For everything there is a season and in the garden it becomes more evident than ever, following darkness there will be light! And your thoughts here express that exceptionally well! So very pleased you and Bruce are part of the LIFE that sustains the garden!

    • Regina Drucker
      | Reply

      Dear Tim, your BEAMING smile is much missed by all. What has transpired in our Nation since this post was published, can be overwhelming at times, yet when I look to my memories of you and my VRG Friends to get me through the darkness, HOPE is all I see. When all again is safe to wander through the garden, to have lunch after a special lecture while laughing with others who feel the same…these I know await us all soon, with your beaming smile guiding us back. Love & Light to you and yours.

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