French drawing room at Hillwood


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A Mineralogist’s Delight: Hardstone in Hillwood’s Collection

As a young collector in the 1920s, Marjorie Merriweather Post was particularly attracted to hardstones and gems. In the late 1930s, while married to Joseph E. Davies, the Ambassador to the Soviet Union, she fell in love with imperial Russia. The Russian art collection subsequently built by Post includes hardstone seals, objets d’art, inlaid furniture, and chandeliers. They demonstrate Russians’ appreciation for and skills with turning hardstone into works of art. These pieces adorned her various homes, one of which even featured a malachite room, the predecessor of Hillwood’s fabulous chamber of treasures, the icon room.


Event Timeline

5:30-6:30 p.m.: Mansion and Friends and Fashion open for self-guided touring

6:30-7:30 p.m.: Lecture


About the Speaker

Dr. Wilfried Zeisler is Hillwood’s curator of Russian and 19th-century art, having previously served as the associate curator of 19th-century art and Hillwood's first curatorial fellow in early 2013. He is a graduate of Sorbonne University and the Ecole du Louvre, Paris. Wilfried has written extensively on the decorative arts in France and Russia, including a 2010 book on ceramics and several articles. Wilfried’s dissertation, L’Objet d’art et de luxe français en Russie (1881-1917) [French Objets d’art and Luxury Goods in Russia], was published in 2014. He has participated in and curated exhibitions in Paris and Monaco. At Hillwood, he has curated Splendor and Surprise: Elegant Containers, Antique to Modern (2015) and Konstantin Makovsky: The Tsar's Painter (2016). Wilfried co-authored the latter exhibition’s accompanying book: Konstantin Makovsky: The Tsar's Painter in America and Paris (2015).