Metro Weekly

Spotlight on July at Hillwood Museum

One of the special exhibits is "Grace of Monaco: Princess in Dior," which showcases the connection between Grace Kelly and Dior's Marc Bohan.

Grace of Monaco at Hillwood -- Photo: Erik Kvalsvik
Grace of Monaco at Hillwood — Photo: Erik Kvalsvik

There’s never a bad time to visit the estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the 25 acres of gardens and surrounding woodlands in the hilly and leafy Van Ness area of Upper Northwest D.C.

Hillwood has been preserved essentially as it appeared during Post’s lifetime in the mid- to late-20th century, with her many notable French furnishings and objects, collections of haute couture and fashion fineries, and also what is billed as the foremost collection of Russian imperial art in the U.S. — plus an enchanting Japanese-style formal garden, a rose garden, a French parterre, and a greenhouse full of exotic orchids.

Right now, Hillwood also plays host to the special exhibition Grace of Monaco: Princess in Dior.

Having originated at France’s Musée Dior, the exhibition showcases the longstanding collaboration between Grace Kelly, the mid-century Hollywood actress who became Princess of Monaco, and Marc Bohan, the artistic director at Christian Dior, and features clothing, accessories, photos, and more on loan from the Palace of Monaco. Through January 2024.

Grace of Monaco: Novella

Other programming scheduled in July includes Tanabata: The Japanese Star Festival, an outdoor celebration featuring a musical performance, art project, and more, starting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 7, and two dance programs taking place outdoors in Hillwood’s gardens.

First comes performances by noted choreographer and dancer Gesel Mason, presented with Dance Place, of Yes, And, described as offering “an unapologetic celebration of Black sisterhood” as well as “a complex investigation of issues that impact Black women and our communities” (7/14-7/16, performances beginning at 7 p.m.).

That’s followed by an immersive dance experience with SOLE Defined, a company specializing in percussive dance and exploring themes of self-fashioning, visual communication, and glamour (7/28-7/30, at 7 p.m.).

Also in July are four iterations of a “Gardener’s Focus Tour: Summer Designs,” through which Jessica Bonilla, director of horticulture at Hillwood, will lead an exploration of summer garden displays as well as sharing practical gardening lessons (7/12, 7/15, 7/19, 7/22, at 12:30 p.m.), and an “Asian-Inspired Virtual Floral Design” during which Ami Wilber, Hillwood’s floral and event décor designer, will create a floral arrangement inspired by the Japanese minimal aesthetic (7/22, at 1:30 p.m.)

The Hillwood Museum is at 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $18, with discounts available for weekday visits and for online reservations.

Call 202-686-5807 or visit


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