Friday, August 8, 2014
Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC
Dumbarton Oaks. (The stroll itself is a treat - what a gorgeous neighborhood.) There are two parts to this property, which is owned by Harvard: the house, now a museum and research library, and the garden. The museum is free, but the gardens have an admission fee (except in the off season) - I'd say it's well worth the price.
The museum first: there are collections of Byzantine and pre-Colombian artifacts collected by the family that once owned the house. What I love about the collection is that they collected what was under appreciated at the time, so it's things you don't always see featured at your typical museums. You can also see a few rooms decked out as they were with the family's possessions at the turn of the last century.
The museum opens a little earlier than the gardens, so we finished up in there just in time to head outside. The gardens are an amazing little oasis in the city. The house is on a hillside, so the grounds are a series of little garden rooms, some formal, some productive. It was so lovely to be in such a quiet little spot. We found a shady area in the back and just stretched out on the grass for a while.
I do think I'd like to go back here in the winter. There's enough going on architecturally, I'd love to see the bones of the place.