Entry Hall

Enter this grand two-story entry hall and receive the impressive welcome designed for friends, diplomats, socialites, politicians, and other worldly guests of Marjorie Merriweather Post.

View of the Grand Staircase in the Entry Hall, Hillwood, Washington DC

View of the Grand Staircase in the Entry Hall

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Marjorie Post and guests, Hillwood, Washington DC

Marjorie Merriweather Post and guests

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View of the library from the entry hall, Hillwood, Washington DC

A view of the First Floor Library from the Entry Hall

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A mix of Russian and French decorative arts, Hillwood, Washington DC

The Entry Hall contains a mix of Russian and French arts.

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Marjorie Post, Dina Merrill, and Cliff Robertson, Hillwood, Washington DC

Marjorie Merriweather Post poses with daughter Dina Merrill and new son-in-law Cliff Robertson.

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Detail of Entry Hall Chandelier, Hillwood, Washington DC

A detail of the magnificent chandelier hanging in the Entry Hall.

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A Grand Entrance

Here, exquisite furnishings and objects introduce the dual interests that guided Post’s passion for collecting: the decorative and fine arts of 18th-century France and imperial Russia

Climb the regal staircase with its French wrought-iron and gilt-bronze railing and encounter the Russian monarchy as tsars and tsarinas gaze from the many portraits that line the way, revealing Post’s interest in royalty.


Marjorie Merriweather Post

Founder

My two major interests have been the art of eighteenth-century France and that of imperial Russia… It seems quite natural that these two artistic expressions should be brought together [in the entrance hall].


Catherine the Great fascinated Marjorie Merriweather Post. Catherine was seen as a self-declared “defender of the arts and sciences” and credited with modernizing Russia. A powerful full-length portrait of her presides over the Entry Hall stairway. 

Along the faux-stone walls flanking the Library, Post’s discerning taste for the superbly-crafted furnishings of 18th-century France are introduced in two commodes, or chests of drawers, by German-born Jean-Henri Riesener, official cabinetmaker to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Atop these commodes are vases made the by Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory featuring African Birds. Further down the hall, toward the Russian Porcelain Room, sit two Imperial Russian Porcelain vases, gifts to Post from Madame Molotov during her stay in the USSR. 

Above it all hangs a dazzling and rare French rock crystal chandelier believed once to have hung in Russia’s Gatchina Palace, illustrating Post’s two-fold passions while it illuminates the space.

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