Tim Lindsay and the History of the Virginia Robinson Gardens

On January 16, 2020, our amazing Superintendent Timothy Lindsay gave a presentation on the rich history of Virginia Robinson Gardens.  Before the talk, the guests mingled with each other while enjoying scrumptious tea sandwiches and desserts in the Pool Pavilion. Betty Goldstein, Chair of the Membership Committee who organized this special event, pointed out that the miniature chocolate muffins are from one of the recipes Virginia used for entertaining. The recipe came from the Ideal Cookery Book by M.A. Fairclough, published in 1911.  (Betty added that the muffins need a little more flavor. Elaine Stein, who is also on the … Read More

Spotlight on Wendy Wintrob

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 Wendy Wintrob, a dedicated Friend of Robinson Gardens Board Member. Wendy along with Janice Jerde is in charge of Premier Events for the Fellows, helping Fellows Chair Jeanne Anderson. Wendy has organized terrific outings to museums … Read More

Dr. Toni Bowers on Charlie Chaplin in Beverly Hills

Dr. Toni Bowers gave a wonderfully enlightening talk on Charlie Chaplin, focusing on his years in Beverly Hills, that fascinated and delighted the attendees at the Virginia Robinson Gardens on January 14, 2020. Education co-chair Cindy Fields introduced Dr. Bowers. A Professor of English literature at the University of Pennsylvania, she studied at the University of Southern California and Houghton College and received her doctorate from Stanford University. She publishes on and teaches about 17th and 18th century British writings by and about women.

Dr. Bowers related that when Charlie Chaplin came to live in Beverly Hills in 1922 at … 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

Virginia and Harry Robinson’s Birdcage Automaton

A unique toy in Virginia and Harry Robinson’s home is a gilt-metal 19th century birdcage which contains four taxidermied iridescent hummingbirds who sit on branches and move their heads while they sing. Virginia and Harry must have thought that the automaton was sufficiently entertaining as it still occupies a place of honor in their home. This toy for the well-appointed home reflects the Robinsons’ elevated social placement in Los Angeles’ cultural hierarchy. Harry and Virginia’s pedigrees show that both came from important families who moved to Los Angeles and left their mark on their nascent community.

The automaton reflects Virginia … Read More

Harper’s Bazaar: The Luxury Guide to Beverly Hills

Take a breather by visiting one of LA’s hidden gems – the beautiful Virginia Robinson Gardens. Built in 1911, the Robinson mansion (home to Virginia and Harry Robinson of the Robinson department stores) was one of the first ever luxury homes in Beverly Hills, playing host to legendary parties regularly frequented by the Hollywood elite – from Charlie Chaplin and Elvis Presley to Fred Astaire and Sophia Loren. Today, the unique estate hosts private events, weddings, photoshoots and tours of the spectacular grounds; featuring a breathtaking array of flora and fauna. Following the passing of Virginia Robinson, the estate was … Read More

The New York Times: Fives Places to Visit in Beverly Hills


By Alex Schechter, January 4, 2019

Beverly Hills is an expensive place with a village-like charm, but it pays to know where to go. Cash Black, a bartender at one of its hot spots, shares his favorites. Beverly Hills is more approachable than you might expect for a ZIP code typically associated with Lamborghinis and reality stars. It has a surprising number of sidewalk cafes and swaths of greenery. That village-like charm, coupled with residents’ famously refined palates, is what attracted Cash Black to the area seven years ago. “Jewelry. Cars. Wine. Beverly … Read More