Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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PAUL closes in Western Market
By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

Best off-the-beaten-path museum: Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens


Best off-the-beaten-path museum
Location: 4155 Linnean Ave. NW
Readers’ pick: The Phillips Collection

Located in a peaceful residential area, the Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens features a Georgian-style estate, lush gardens and an extensive collection of French and Russian art.

The museum was originally built as an expansive mansion in 1926, but Marjorie Post, the heiress to the Post Cereal fortune, purchased the manor in 1955 and later opened it to the public as the Hillwood Museum. Now, the museum is known by art history buffs as one of the most comprehensive collections of Russian imperial-era art outside Russia and still manages to impress those that slept through art class with pristine gardens to lounge in.

The manor itself contains a number of fascinating pieces collected by Post throughout her life. Alongside the intricate Faberge eggs, which were Easter gifts from Tsar Nicholas II to his wife Alexandra, and numerous portraits of Catherine the Great, there are exhibits dedicated to the antiquities of the Russian Orthodox Church and the 1917 Revolution. Many paintings of Post, often pictured with at least one of her three daughters, adorn the estate’s walls.

Because the renovated mansion serves as the museum, many of the artifacts are intricately decorated home decor items, like tea sets, music boxes and furniture.

The mansion is hardly the only place worth a look. Surrounding the home are Japanese and French-style gardens with peaceful fountains and waterfalls. The 13-acre outdoor space allows for plenty of room to relax in the sun, explore the many unique gardens around every corner or practice your golf swings on Post’s old putting green.

After some time exploring this unexpectedly large museum, you’ll need to refuel with a visit to the European-themed cafe. The cafe offers afternoon tea complete with finger sandwiches and pastries on Sundays and various sandwiches, salads and sweet treats the rest of the week.

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