Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens,
Photo Credit: Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, photographed by Erik Kvalsvik

Discover this superb collection of French art, antiques and jewelry at Marjorie Merriweather Post’s gracious estate in Washington D.C.

Marjorie Merriweather Post (1887-1973) was passionate about French art and culture, and her personal collection demonstrates her pursuit of beauty, craftsmanship and quality. Hillwood is set on 25 beautifully landscaped acres, and Post had intended to share it with future generations. “I want young Americans to see how someone lived in the twentieth century and how this person could collect works of art the way I have … I want to share this with the rest of the world,” Post said.

Hillwood Estate
Photo Credit: Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens. Photograph by Erik Kvalsvik

Post’s sumptuous French drawing room features Sèvres porcelain, Gobelin tapestry, fine woodwork and upholstery, all inspired by the era of Louis XV and Louis XVI. As a special touch, 18th century carved paneling was installed to enhance the ambiance of this stunning space.

Hillwood Estate
Photo Credit: Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens. Photograph by Erik Kvalsvik

Post loved to display her many sets of fine dinnerware at the estate, representing a range of colours and patterns. One fine example is this Soup Tureen from the Vincennes Porcelain Manufactory, dating to 1754. This vibrant blue was highly valued, a signature colour of the factory at the time.

Hillwood Estate
Photo credit: Chest of Drawers with Floral Marquetry, Jean-Henri Riesener, Paris, France, ca. 1775 – 1780
Oak, wood marquetry, gilt bronze, marble. Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, acc. no. 31.10. Photographed by Edward Owen

This elegant chest of drawers is attributed to Jean-Henri Riesener, furniture maker of the royal court in France, circa 1775 – 1780. The gleaming gilt bronze and detailed marquetry are stunning, displaying detailed floral panels on the front panels.

Hillwood Estate
Photo credit: Portrait of the Duchess of Parma and her daughter Isabelle. Jean-Marc Nattier, Paris, France, 1750. Oil on canvas. Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, acc. no. 51.4. Photographed by Edward Owen

Louis XV’s daughter, the Duchess of Parma, and granddaughter are featured in this painting by Jean-Marc Nattier. Painted during their visit to Fontainebleau, it commemorates the first meeting of Louis XV and little Isabelle.

Hillwood Estate
Photo credit: Necklace, Cartier, New York, USA, 1936-37. Sapphires, diamond, platinum, Hillwood Estate, Museum, & Gardens, acc. no. 17.68.

Post was a major collector of Cartier, and she commissioned several pieces from the French jeweler. This sapphire and diamond fringe necklace is a stunning example.

Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens offers visitors a view into the magnificent home of Marjorie Merriweather Post — it’s a must-see for anyone spending time in the Washington D.C. area.

If you go:

The Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens
4155 Linnean Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Closed Monday

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Phil Tremo is the France Today Ambassador for Washington DC. Phil has been charmed by France ever since a school trip to the popular Festival d’Avignon. Over the years, he has explored many regions of l’Hexagone, including a recent vacation to Champagne to pick grapes during harvest season - Santé! Back at home in Washington, D.C., he enjoys a variety of French cultural events, including films, concerts, and language classes. He is excited to be representing France Today in the D.C. area.