Making Spirits Bright at Hillwood draws inspiration from the special exhibition Glass: Art. Beauty. Design. with resplendent Christmas trees and holiday decorations throughout the estate.
Festive décor, workshops, and holiday shopping add to the holiday splendor.
Christmas Trees on Display
Beginning Tuesday, November 21, the beauty of the astounding historical and contemporary works of glass on view permeates the holiday décor that adorns the entire estate. Transparent or opaque, fragile yet impervious, glass has inspired artists and designers, stimulated scientists and engineers, and captivated collectors with its beauty and practicality. Hillwood founder Marjorie Merriweather Post was no exception, and she amassed over 1,600 pieces of glass, many of which are now placed in dialogue with contemporary artworks. As the exhibition celebrates the incredible achievements, styles, and techniques within the world of glass, so too do the Christmas trees, each inspired by a particular piece on view.
The mansion entry hall bursts into colorful bloom, with a tree inspired Debora Moore’s magnificent glass orchids, which Moore has said are “both a personal meditation on the glorious wonder of nature, as well as a celebration of its power and mastery.” This is reflected in Hillwood’s gardens, which also applaud nature and offer respite to visitors. The orchid was Marjorie Post’s favorite flower, making this an appropriate greeting for visitors. The tree will abound with blue ornaments and a mix of pink and white permanent botanicals and live orchids in glass vases.
Dramatic blacks and whites decorate the dining room, with a tree that takes its cue from contemporary pieces by artists Fred Wilson and Beth Lipman, who both use their work to ask questions about history, culture, race, and society. The glass chandeliers and sculpture will come to life in the tree through graphic black and white ornaments with gold accents and glittering miniature chandeliers to add pops of color and sparkle.
An elegant tree, drawing from the astounding Baccarat Glassworks candelabras in the exhibition, enhances the French drawing room. These are the perfect pieces to inspire this tree, calling to the French decorative arts theme of the room. Glittering crystal ornaments and an opulent draped crystal garland will shimmer and shine.
The pavilion features a vibrant tree representing a piece by artist Tim Tate. Post often held square dances in this room, making it the perfect place for a tree inspired by Tate’s piece, which features dancers on video. Blue and green baubles and orange and yellow roses are taken directly from the work and brighten the room with color. Framed images, drawn from both the art piece and from Marjorie Post’s life, add dimension to the tree.
In the visitor center, a tree explores the themes of clothing, culture, and identity, inspired by the works of Karen LaMonte and Joyce Scott. Gauzy grey fabric wrapped around the tree will represent the incredible drapery of LaMonte’s glass figures, complemented by grey, white, and silver ornaments. Bold yellow orbs harken to Scott’s colorful vase on view in the exhibition.
The Holidays at Hillwood
As always, the gardens at Hillwood reveal the beauty of the holiday season. Conifers such as the blue atlas cedar and false cypress show off their evergreen boughs, while holly and witch hazel provide bright spots of color. Pine trees adjacent to the mansion are lighted to lead the way into the holiday splendor. Wreath workshops brings the holidays from Hillwood to you, inviting participants to craft a one-of-a-kind holiday decoration.
Throughout the season, the museum shop is a favorite destination for holiday shopping. With dozens of unique items inspired by the life of Marjorie Merriweather Post, in addition to clothing, books, ornaments, and home décor, Hillwood’s shop offers distinct gifts for everyone.
The delightful Merriweather Café is the perfect complement to a day celebrating the holidays at Hillwood. Warm up with seasonal specials and hand-crafted food and beverages served in the gracious manner of Post.