French Festival

French Games on the Ellipse

French Games on the Ellipse

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Transport yourself to an era when ladies curtsied, men bowed, and courtship came alive in outdoor garden settings. This festival, timed to Bastille Day, celebrates Marjorie Post’s first collecting passion: eighteenth-century French decorative arts.

Performers in the French Drawing Room

Happenstance Theater Performers in the French Drawing Room

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French games on the Ellipse

Traditional French games on the Ellipse

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Classic Citroëns on the Motor Court

Classic Citroëns displayed on the Motor Court

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Traditional French games on the Ellipse

Traditional French games on the Ellipse

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New York City Baroque Dancers at the French Festival

New York City Baroque Dancers performing on the Lunar Lawn

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The ultimate summer get-away—18th-century France—in the heart of Washington, D.C.

Every summer, music, pantomime, lively theatrics, games, hands-on art activities and more bring the life of the French court to the lush gardens at Hillwood.

Hillwood and 18th-Century France

Soon after she inherited the Post cereal fortune in 1914, and following the tradition of many American collectors in the first half of the 20th century, Marjorie Merriweather Post began collecting magnificent examples of 18th-century French furniture, porcelain, tapestries, and gold boxes. Their intrinsic beauty and elegance perfectly suited Post’s taste for the classical and beautifully-crafted. Today, the French holdings of Hillwood include furniture by such masters as Jean-Henri Riesener and David Roentgen, numerous pieces of famed Sèvres porcelain spanning the early years of manufacture at Vincennes to the time of the French Revolution, and spectacular Beauvais tapestries designed by François Boucher. One stroll through the Entrance Hall, to the French Drawing Room, and up to her Louis XVI style bedroom with its view of the French Parterre, and visitors are embraced by Post’s lifelong passion for 18th-century France and its culmination at Hillwood.

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