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•Wildlife Center • Oceana’s “Striking Power” • Burke’s Garden •


Summer the restoration of a beach landmark

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Cordially Invites You to Celebrate

Wine, Women and Song AT THE CHRYSLER MUSEUM of A RT i n No r fo l k

F ROM 6PM TO 9:30 P M ON F R I DAY, J U N E 18, 2010

Join Virginia Living in the Chrysler Museum’s magnificent galleries for an experience to remember. Sample food from recipes by some of the best women chefs. Sip wine from women-owned wineries. The evening begins with appetizers and a wine pairing in the Chrysler’s Tiffany Gallery, while Kelly Conway, glass curator, offers insights into the Tiffany women's work. Then, in the Norfolk Southern Gallery, comes an informal tour of “Women of the Chrysler: A 400-Year Celebration of the Arts,” part of Minds Wide Open, the statewide initiative celebrating women in the arts. The main event follows in the dramatic Huber Court, with food stations, wine bars and open seating for all. In an entertaining “Battle of the Sexes,” audience members will guess works of art completed by men or women, and winners take home floral displays from the tables. All against the sultry backdrop of a torch singer and pianist performing live. By yourself, with a date or with a group of friends, this evening will be truly memorable. The cost is $135 per person, and reservations are required by June 11—space is limited. To make your reservation or for more information, please call Carolyn Birney at (804) 622-2606, or e-mail

At left The Family, ca. 1892 Mary Cassatt (American, 1844–1926), oil on canvas, Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. Images courtesy Chrysler Museum of Art.

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Contributors VOLUME 8, NUMBER 4 June 2010 PUBLISHED BY

Cape Fear Publishing Company 109 East Cary Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219 Telephone (804) 343-7539, Facsimile (804) 649-0306 PUBLISHER

John-Lawrence Smith EDITORIAL STAFF EDITOR Richard Ernsberger Jr. ART DIRECTOR Tyler Darden ASSOCIATE EDITOR Christine Ennulat CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Lisa Antonelli Bacon, Christina Ball, Paula Steers Brown, Bland Crowder, Neely Barnwell Dykshorn, Bill Glose, Mary Miley Theobald CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Suzanne Gannon, Sara Jackson, Caroline Kettlewell, Jane Joel Knox, Ned Oldham, Ben Swenson, Joe Tennis, Ann Wright CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Mark Atkinson, Michael J.N. Bowles, Kip Dawkins, Roger Foley, Cade Martin, Robb Scharetg CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATORS Sam Wolfe Connelly, Sterling Hundley, Robert Meganck, Bob Scott, Rob Ullman EDITORIAL INTERN Christine Stoddard ART INTERNS Liz Lukens, Catey Owen, Molly Sugar ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES SALES MANAGER Torrey Munford (804) 343-0782, Christiana Roberts (804) 622-2602, WILLIAMSBURG AND PENINSULAS Beverly Montsinger (804) 622-2603, SOUTHSIDE HAMPTON ROADS Kerry Harrington (757) 450-1335, D.C. & NORTHERN VIRGINIA Evelyn Keyes (202) 390-2323, OFFICE STAFF OFFICE MANAGER Carolyn Birney ASSISTANT OFFICE MANAGER Chenoa Braucher CREATIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR Frank Engler CIRCULATION MANAGER Jamilya Brown DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Chenoa Braucher CORPORATE SPONSORSHIPS Beverly Montsinger GROUNDSKEEPER Melwood Whitlock ACTIVITIES & MORALE DIRECTOR Cutty

Brave Men and Wet Plates It takes an intrepid man to cover southwestern Virginia, what with the mountain lions and foggy, winding mountain roads leading to nowhere. I’m kidding about the lions and roads, but it does take an intrepid sort to get around the hills and hollows in that region, and certainly Bristol-based Joe Tennis has that quality. Tennis, a veteran feature writer for the Bristol Herald Courier, has been a daring outdoorsmen/reporter for Virginia Living for the last two years. He doesn’t mind exerting himself in some of the state’s more remote areas. Tennis went rafting on the New River as part of his reporting for a piece on Giles County (August 2009 issue), and a few weeks later he was hiking and camping on the Appalachian Trail for our October 2009 piece on that venerable north-south route. That he neglected to make a fire on what turned out to be a cold night does not in any way diminish his mountain-man credibility. Most recently, Tennis braved the elements to visit remote Burke’s Garden, in Tazewell County, a beautiful and isolated enclave that’s the subject of a feature story in this issue beginning on page 94. “I JOE TENNIS had seen Burke’s Garden in spring, summer and fall,” he says, “but I was not prepared for the massive snowfall that had smothered the community when I arrived in early March, and neither was my tiny car. I drove it down a narrow lane and got stuck in a snowdrift. Stranded, I walked back to a neighboring house—maybe half-a-mile—and was kindly yanked out of the snow by two locals. One told me, laughing, ‘Your car may be good in Bristol, but not in Burke’s Garden.’” Though he grew up in Virginia Beach, Tennis graduated from Radford University and then landed a job with the Bristol newspaper. He also married a Bristol native, Mary, and they have two children. In addition to his newspaper and magazine work, he has written a few books about the state, including one about U.S. Route 58, the state’s longest road. He is currently writing a ghost story collection on Virginia’s Blue Ridge

Highlands for The History Press. While Burke’s Garden is well worth writing about, we actually chose it as a feature story in this issue for another reason. A Charlottesville- and Sydney-based photographer named Michael Bowles, who had taken the pictures for our “Eastern Shore Adventure” cover story that ran in June of 2009, showed us some amazing “wet-plate” photos he’d taken recently in Burke’s Garden. After that, the only question was how many pages we would devote to the evocative images. (The answer was eight.) Wet-plate photography originated in the early 19th century, and it creates images that have an antique quality. For that reason, Bowles thinks that it is “the perfect medium” for Burke’s Garden, which seems not to have changed much in 200 years. Says Bowles, “The pouring, sensitizing, shooting and developing of the photographic plates is all done on location, using an 8 x 10 camera, a portable darkroom and chemicals made from scratch. One has a small window of time to pour the plate, shoot and get it developed, keeping MICHAEL J.N. BOWLES the plate wet throughout the process. The result is an image on a tin or glass plate.” Bowles adds, “The process is not perfect; the mistakes and flaws create much of the aesthetic and feel of the imagery. It gives me great delight to create images that speak the truth, especially in today’s world of overretouched imagery.” We take delight in publishing Bowles’ images, and hope you enjoy them, along with Tennis’ story and the rest of this early-summer issue of Virginia Living.


ASSISTANT ACTIVITIES & MORALE DIRECTOR Rex CALENDAR ADVICE We welcome calendar items; to ensure consideration, printed copies of information must be sent four months before publication via U.S. Mail to our Editor at the above address. POSTMASTER Send address changes to VIRGINIA LIVING 109 East Cary St., Richmond, VA 23219 SUBSCRIPTIONS One year - $22, two years - $38. Send to 109 East Cary St., Richmond, VA 23219 or BACK ISSUES Back issues are available for most editions and are $9.95 plus $5 shipping and handling. Please call for availability. REPRINTS & REPRODUCTION PERMISSION Contact John-Lawrence Smith, Publisher, at (804) 343-7539 or LEGALISMS Virginia Living is a registered trademark of Cape Fear Publishing Company, Inc. Copyright 2008, all rights reserved. Reproduction without written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. IDENTIFICATION STATEMENT VIRGINIA LIVING (USPS) ISSN 1534-9984 Virginia Living is published bimonthly by Cape Fear Publishing Company, 109 East Cary St., Richmond, VA 23219. Periodical postage permit 021-875 at Richmond, VA.

Dear Sir: My sister-in-law just gave me a copy of the April 2010 issue of Virginia Living, which had an illustration about my father, Francis Gary Powers. On behalf of the Powers family, I would like to thank you for helping to educate readers of Virginia Living about my father and the U-2 Incident. I do need to point out that my father is not a recipient of the Silver Star, as you wrote. He was awarded the POW Medal, the DFC [Distinguished Flying Cross] and the CIA’s “Director’s Medal” posthumously on May 1, 2000. He was awarded the CIA’s Intelligence Star and a VFW [Veterans of Foreign Wars] Medal in 1962 after his return from prison. Currently, I have the U-2 Incident exhibit on display at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, which includes these medals and other artifacts associated with the U-2

incident and my father’s life. In 1996 I founded The Cold War Museum ( to honor Cold War veterans and preserve Cold War history. Francis Gary Powers Jr. Fairfax Dear Sir: Nice coverage by Mac Carey of the town of Clifton in your April 2010 magazine. However, I am deeply chagrined that [my inn] was mentioned

as the “only B&B in Fairfax”—and not identified by name: The Canary Cottage B&B has been a vital presence in Clifton for the past 10 years. There was also no mention of my book Clifton (Arcadia Publishers), which explains some of the history of this area and the town. You did mention Nan Netherton’s book. She and I were extremely good friends, and, in fact, I dedicated my book to her memory. Lynne Garvey-Hodge Clifton WRITE

TO US! LETTERS TO THE EDITOR We love receiving letters from our readers. Please e-mail us at or write to us at Letters to the Editor, Cape Fear Publishing, 109 E. Cary St., Richmond, Va. 23219. Please include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. For subscriptions, see our website, Kindly address all other editorial queries to V I R G I N I A


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contents JUNE 2010

Virginia Living

FEAt u r e s

HOME & G a r d e n



By jane joel knox

By ann wright



a thrilling obsession How does one become a serious art collector? It takes a passion for the beauty produced by the human hand, of course—and maybe also a good night at a craps table.

Lost world Burke’s Garden is an isolated, beautiful, high-altitude enclave almost totally off the modern grid. And that’s fine with its 300 residents.

grand, with sand Virginia Beach’s Cooke-Royster “cottage” has been a North End landmark for nearly 100 years. Now, after a renovation, the Craftsman-style home is ready for another century.

cast-iron beauty New “everblooming” varieties are boosting the appeal of durable daylilies.

By paula steers brown

By joe tennis


“striking power” With half of the U.S. Navy’s tactical fighter jets, NAS Oceana is one of the country’s biggest and most important military installations. A top-down look at a base where Hornets swarm. By ben swenson

d e pa r t m e n t s

41 Industry 1A groove 7  Upfront man, croquet primer, Kluge estate sale, Bach fest, Minds Wide Open and more!

33 click Social functions around the state, supporting art, institutions and charities.

39 Sport A midlife dive into the rigors of open water swimming. By caroline kettlewell

New Ravenna Mosaics has carved a name for itself making classical design decorative products. By ann wright

60 virginiana

What to do with an injured owl or ailing falcon? Take it to the Virginia Wildlife Center, a veterinary hospital for wild creatures. By caroline kettlewell

45 profile 112 departure Sandy Lerner made a fortune in With a new book and movie the high-tech industry, but today, at Ayrshire Farm, she is a major promoter of sustainable farming.

on his exploits coming out, Big Red is back in the spotlight.

By suzanne gannon

By sterling hundley

52 food A few sweet twists on the simplest summer fruits, berries. By Christine ennulat

On the cover: Cooke-Royster House at Virginia beach, photograph by Mark Atkinson This page: Burke’s Garden, Aerial Photograph by Michael Bowles

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The pull of ‘humble objects’

Animalier-style sculptures

Saving the shade

On an early winter afternoon,

William “Pooh” Johnston hosts a few friends at his venerable Eastern Shore home at Only Farm in Onancock. We sip rye whiskey old-fashioneds while the fire flickers on the high brick hearth in Johnston’s half-basement kitchen. The host is making paella, slicing squid and stake fish. Basements, even half-basements, aren’t traditional out here because of the lowness of the land; this one was built by governor Henry A. Wise (who sat from 1856-1860) for his first wife, Philadelphia native Anne Jennings. “It’s like it was lifted from the streets of colonial Philadelphia,” Johnston says, pouring stock into the bubbling pan. Though Johnston holds a grande diplome from Le Cordon Bleu school in Paris, where he studied under Elisabeth Brassart (as did Julia Child), he admits to never having actually tasted paella. “So this is only my idea of what paella is,” Johnston laughs. Why not cook full-time? “Life’s too short,” he says. At age 52, Johnston is also a versatile musician—moving easily between playing Bartók on viola for the Orchestra of the Eastern Shore and wielding his red Fender Telecaster alongside Shore soul and bluesman Burley Strand—and composer, having produced and performed scores for films and art installations, notably the electronic Korean rap opera Seoul House. He teaches guitar (and cooking) locally and travels frequently. Here at home, most weekdays, he’s out on the bay farming oysters. Set-aside family money keeps Johnston from the yoke of full-time employment, but he stays busy and enjoys his eclectic jobs. After a good night with Strand, he quips, “I don’t write checks.” The fourth William Allan Johnston, born in Winchester, was educated at the University of Virginia. Only Farm has been in his family since 1947, mostly as a vacation house—hunting, fishing and partying—until 1987, when Johnston returned from Parisian studies and moved in. He didn’t intend to stay, but more than 20 years and many






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renovations later, he’s still here. With help from his younger brother, Richie, Johnston built an addition to the Wise house—an enormous living room with a Rumford fireplace and window-walls on three sides, overlooking Poplar Cove. “Richie did most of the building,” Johnston explains. “If something started to look fishy, we’d take the afternoon off and go fishing.” One sees in the living room a harpsichord, a piano, a Whirlwind pinball machine, a restored vintage Gibson parlor guitar with liquid gold tone, and several couches and chairs surrounding the fire—a perfect place to retire post-paella. For 20 years, Johnston has been collaborating with Y. David Chung, a German-born Korean friend from college. Chung was the writer and other composer of Seoul House, which in the late 1980s used a blend of electronic sequencing and a dadaist-cum-vaudeville narrative style to tell the story of a Korean family that owns a market in a turbulent D.C. neighborhood. After that, Johnston worked on two more live-event soundtracks with Chung and another installation/video artist, Matt Dibble—one performed at the Whitney Museum in New York City (1992) and the other at the Corcoran Museum in D.C. (1994). In 1998, the three traveled to Kazakhstan to create and perform a play titled The Wishing Tree. “We got local musicians to add native instruments to the electronically sequenced work,” says Johnston. A second trip to Kazakhstan, on a grant to collect native Kazakh and Uighur music, exposed the three artists to a Korean community made up of descendants of Stalinera deportees. With Johnston composing and playing much of the music, Chung and Dibble co-directed the documentary Koryo Sayam, which tells their story. It won “best documentary” from the National Film Board of Canada in 2007. Chung, now a professor at the University of Michigan, describes Johnston as “very multidimensional, which is key for the work we’re doing. He has an appetite for life.” Sitting in front of the Rumford fireplace and sipping Powers Irish whiskey, Johnston contemplates the future. He expects to be working with Chung soon—“It could be tomorrow,” he says, swirling his drink, “it could be in five months.” Meantime, he’ll soon be off to France to visit with his adult son and enjoy varied gastronomic experiences in the city’s arrondissements. i l l u s t r at i o n b y r o b e r t m e g a n c k

n at i v e s

Little Suckers Know your blood-sucking parasites In the hair salon, you relax into the chair, muscles pleasantly sore from the morning’s trail ride through forest and meadow. Your stylist runs her fingers through your hair, gently chiding you about split ends … then, “ACK!” She jumps back, one finger painfully hooking a tangle. “I’m so sorry,” she gasps, nose wrinkled. “You have … a tick.” In spring and summer, the little arachnids appear on humans, dogs, cats, livestock, mice, birds. But how? They don’t jump or fly. They do, however, climb, and they can sense heat and carbon dioxide. When a potential host is at hand, a tick climbs up vegetation in case a host brushes past. Over its three-stage life cycle (up to two years, depending on species), it feeds on three hosts, one to end each stage: larval, nymph and adult. After the last, the tick falls off its host, lays a couple thousand eggs, and dies. Of the 850 or so tick species found worldwide, Virginia has 15, only three of which are seen regularly: the American dog tick, brown with wavy lines; the blacklegged tick; and the lone star tick, named for the white dot on its back. “All are pretty much everywhere in the state,” says David Gaines, the state public health entomologist for the Virginia Department of Health, adding that the lone star is by far the most com-

mon. Overall numbers are declining, he says, thanks to topical tick pesticides used on pets. However, as suburban areas grow increasingly hospitable to hosts such as deer and mice, tick-borne illness is on the rise, including some potentially serious, even life-threatening diseases. For Lyme disease, says Gaines, “the numbers almost tripled in 2007”—from 357 cases in 2006 to 959 in 2007—“and it’s been above the 900 level since that time.” Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) has also increased, as have some other, rarer tick-associated illnesses. All cause flulike symptoms and vary in rash pattern, long-term effects and potential mortality. Treatment is antibiotics, the sooner the better. Gaines estimates that only 5 to 20 percent of ticks are infected, but it’s good to know which carries what. The American dog tick carries RMSF, which in the eastern U.S has doubled in the last few years while its historically 3 to 5 percent fatality rate has nearly disappeared. Gaines and other tick experts speculate that the much more prevalent lone star tick may carry a related but less pathogenic bacteria, which would explain the surprising tilt in the trend. Lone star ticks carry a variety of other bacteria, but not Lyme, which is limited to the blacklegged tick’s arsenal. Known

as the deer tick, this tick does not, as many people assume, get Lyme from deer—which don’t even carry it, says Gaines: “Deer blood destroys the Lyme disease agent.” Rather, the white-footed mouse—the predominant rodent in suburban areas near forests—is “the primary reservoir of Lyme disease.” The larval tick catches and carries it through life. I found myself watching for any number of ailments after my 9-yearold picked up a tick one unseasonably warm March day. At first we thought the red bump with the dark spot in its center was just some weird skin issue. Then, three days later, a little black-beanlike thing hung off the spot—clearly a tick. Thoroughly creeped out, I checked the Internet for how to remove it without leaving mouthparts. Most recommendations touted tweezers, which I couldn’t find, and counseled against using alcohol, matches or other irritants that could cause the tick to regurgitate into the wound (heebie-jeebies!). Finally, one site suggested taking a thread and noosing it around the point of contact, then pulling slowly and steadily until the critter released the skin. As I did, my son and I chorused in unison, “Eeuuuwwww!” I stashed the hitchhiker in a Ziploc in the fridge, pending the appearance of any odd symptoms. Weeks later, all is well. Which reminds me—I guess I can get rid of the tick now. —CHRISTINE ENNULAT Search “ticks” at V i r g i n i a

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Take the scenic route in life. Spring is in the air, and a new perspective on life could be in your future. Don’t miss Tidewater Builders Association’s first-ever Spring Homearama at Founders Pointe in Isle of Wight County. This waterfront community offers 8 homes from the region’s finest home builders, breathtaking views of Batten Bay and the James River, wooded areas and resort-style amenities. From the $500’s, this unspoiled slice of Tidewater is just 10 minutes from the Peninsula and 25 minutes from Downtown Norfolk.

It’s a great time to buy a new home.

Founders Pointe, Isle of Wight County May 8-23 Sunday–Thursday, noon to 9 p.m. Friday & Saturday, noon to 10 p.m. 757-420-2434

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International Festival of Music

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June 21–July 3, 2010 | Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA in cooperation with the International Vocal Arts Institute

Join music lovers from around the world in beautiful southwest Virginia for

Concerts ✦ Lectures ✦ Master Classes International, stellar faculty include

Sherrill Milnes ✦ Ruth Falcon ✦ Mignon Dunn ✦ Joan Dornemann ✦ Maria Zouves ✦ Shmuel Ashkenasi Gerald Martin Moore ✦ David Paul ✦ Diana Soviero ✦ Alexander Fiterstein ✦ Marc Johnson Giora Schmidt ✦ Rami Solomonow ✦ Sheila Browne ✦ David Ehrlich ✦ Paul Nadler David Rosenmeyer ✦ Claude Webster ✦ Alan Weinstein For schedule and ticket information visit: Plan today to be a part of this inaugural festival!

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Creative Explosion MINDS WIDE OPEN IS A STATEWIDE EXTRAVAGANZA AIMED AT PROMOTING THE ARTS. WITH MORE THAN 550 SEPARATE EVENTS, THERE IS PLENTY TO SEE. At the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, two plays by women writers will keep the footlights burning in June. The Suffolk Museum and the Suffolk Art League have assembled a show called “Vibrant Spirits: The Art of Crones and Innocents.” Northern Virginia’s Filene Center at Wolf Trap will bring in big acts such as Sheryl Crow and Pat Benatar. Does anyone detect a theme here? If not, there are another 550 or so events we could point to throughout the commonwealth between early March and the end of June, all attached to a statewide program called Minds Wide Open: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts. Peggy Baggett, executive director of the Virginia Commission for the Arts and steering committee member for Minds Wide Open, was there when the plan hatched. In the fall of 2006, she says, the VCA board “began talking about the need to encourage major arts organizations to take more leadership on behalf of all the arts.” Thus ensued a series of round-table meetings of representatives from the state’s 23 most powerful arts organizations: the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Virginia Opera, the Wolf Trap Foundation and the like. Early on, in spring 2007, conversations turned to how to create more public visibility for the arts industry as a whole. They based their plan on the truth that there’s strength in numbers. “The general thinking

was we’ll pick a time period, we’ll pick a theme, we’ll encourage organizations to put together one event that fits,” says Baggett. “My goal was to have 400 different events. We’ve passed 555. New ones are being added to the calendar every day.” At press time, between multiple performances or days of exhibition, there are more than 7,000 opportunities to see a Minds Wide Open event. The group has exceeded its $375,000 fund-raising goal of both cash and in-kind contributions. All of Virginia’s living fi rst ladies are honorary chairs, from Katherine Godwin to Maureen McDonnell. In addition to raising the visibility of the arts in Virginia, Baggett says an equally important goal was “to build more collaboration within the arts and cultural community.” Indeed, the whole program has become a statewide collaboration among some 250 organizations. “One thing that’s been nice is that we also invited the history museums to join in, libraries, churches. The size and scope of the partnerships have exceeded the expectation of anyone at that fi rst meeting. We all look at one another and say, can you believe this?” To find Minds Wide Open events, or to enter its Ovation Vacation sweepstakes, visit The next celebration, planned for 2012, will be Minds Wide Open: Virginia Celebrates Children and the Arts.

Kenneth Nafziger, artistic director of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, says that the most moving performance he has ever heard was a bluegrass version of a Bach Brandenburg concerto. “There is something unique about Johann Sebastian Bach that finds itself at home in many, many places,” says Nafziger, a music professor at Eastern Mennonite University. The 18th Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival runs June 13-20 at EMU and Harrisonburg’s Asbury United Methodist Church. The event is built on the premise that, as Nafziger says, Bach is “a music that can go anywhere.” Thus, each year, its theme centers around pairing Bach with music from other composers, styles, countries and eras, whether juxtaposing or meshing them. The first festival, in 1993, featured Bach and Mozart; 1994 brought Bach and American music. Then Russian music, Cuban music, Schubert. Mary Kay Adams, executive director and principal flutist, remembers, “The year we had the emphasis on jazz, we actually had a Bach work that was done jazz-style.” She says people enjoy the sometimes odd pairings. With this year’s shtick of first names and anniversaries, the opening concert is called “Johann and John”—featuring internationally renowned folk musician and storyteller John McCutcheon. (“He’s perfectly happy to share billing with Johann Sebastian Bach as long as Bach gets first billing,” quips Nafziger.) This and two more “keystone” concerts are the only ticketed performances throughout the week; the other seven concerts, held at the church, are free. The festival orchestra is made up of professional musicians who return year after year from around Virginia and nationwide and put in 40-some hours of rehearsal time throughout the week. There is also a volunteer festival choir, as well as educational opportunities for the community. Next year? Bach and … barbershop. (We kid.) More at


I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y S A M W O L F E C O N N E L LY; M A R T H A G R A H A M , L E T T E R T O T H E W O R L D ( K I C K ) , © B A R B A R A M O R G A N A R C H I V E S , C O U R T E S Y C H RY S L E R M U S E U M ; O T H E R I M A G E S C O U R T E S Y M I N D S W I D E O P E N



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Bonus Strokes Top-level croquet is civilized, yes? No! Here’s a primer on the quirky game and an interview with world-class player doug grimsley. By sara Jackson

Forget Alice in Wonderland or ladies in white dresses. Today’s croquet is serious business, complete with a national tournament circuit, international rivalries and topranked players pursuing glory with all the enthusiasm of any professional athlete. Croquet players describe their sport as—can this be?— “aggressive” and “cutthroat.” Tournament-level croquet should be familiar to those who’ve played the backyard version of the game, says Jack Chase, president of the Virginia West Virginia district of the United States Croquet Association (USCA). The equipment is the same: a mallet, heavy plastic balls, wickets and, finally, the pin, which is hit on the final stroke. From there, it gets complicated. There are three versions of the game—six-wicket, nine-wicket and “golf” croquet. Six-wicket is the most sophisticated and is the version played by most leagues and clubs and in most tournaments. Two players must pass their balls through six wickets in a prescribed order. Each player has two turns to hit his two balls (black and blue or red and yellow); “running,” or putting a ball through a wicket, earns another shot during the same turn. Good players can monopolize the field for up to a half-hour, Chase explains. The sixwicket game is played with either International or American rules. International play is considered more of a “striker’s” game, while the U.S. version favors the strategist. Errors include hitting a ball out of bounds and hitting a ball twice without running a wicket. The granddaddy of goofs: “stuffing a wicket,” when you glance your ball off the wicket, usually producing a loud clang. Golf croquet is the fastest-growing version of the game, according to the USCA. In golf croquet, each player has a single shot per turn. Nine universities in the U.S. have golf croquet programs, and a number of Virginia croquet clubs have built golf croquet programs to reach out to their local middle and high schools.

Nine-wicket is the backyard version most people know. USCA has no official rules for nine-wicket play, and it can be a bit of a free-for-all. Croquet dates back to the mid1800s in Europe, and it only gained popularity in the U.S. in the 1920s, according to the USCA. Unlike the refined game most think of today, croquet at the turn of the century was opposed by public officials and clergy for the gambling, drinking and generally bad behavior that accompanied its play. Through most of the 20th century, nine-wicket was the game of choice. USCA’s official history of the game says it wasn’t until the 1970s that U.S. players discovered the six-wicket version and organized amateur clubs and tournaments. For more insight into this quirky sport, we turned to Doug Grimsley of Fairfax, one of the top five six-wicket players in the U.S. Last December, Grimsley was the top scorer in the U.S.’s firstever win over longtime rival England in the Solomon Cup, which Chase says is croquet’s version of golf’s Ryder Cup. Grimsley also earned a spot on the prestigious MacRobertson-Shield team and will be one of only six U.S. players to play in a marathon three-week tournament in England this summer against top teams from the U.K., New Zealand and Australia. Grimsley’s father is a longtime top-level player in Virginia, and Grimsley met Stephanie Paduano, now his wife, at New York City’s Osborn Cup tournament in 2003.

wicket. The ball becomes “dead,” or off-limits, until you put another ball through a wicket. In Americanrules play, “deadness” follows you through multiple turns. That can make multiple balls off-limits and requires careful strategy to continue. In International rules, deadness is forgiven at the end of each turn, allowing players to target more balls and play a faster game.

Why isn’t croquet more popular?

Are there big rivalries in croquet?

There’s a major rivalry between the U.K. and the U.S. The U.K. has always been the power in croquet, and we’re kind of the new kids on the block. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that the U.S. was invited to participate in international matches. What makes a top croquet player?

I have to ask: What is “deadness”?

Deadness happens if you hit a ball but don’t run it through a

Good croquet players have pretty competitive, aggressive personalities. If we weren’t playing

Where to Play >>>>> College of William & Mary Williamsburg: George Barnes, 757-253-2227 • Confederate Hills Croquet Club Highland Springs: Urchie Ellis, 804-272-5923 • Country Club of Virginia Richmond: Tom Williams, 804-282-6851 • Crest Ridge Croquet Club Mt. Jackson: Robert Lanham, 540-856-8156 • Fieldcrest Croquet Club Williamsburg: George Barnes, 757-253-2227 Middle Peninsula Croquet Club Gloucester: John Lee, 804-693-4228 • Riverview Croquet Club Suffolk: 757-923-0095 

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croquet, we’d be gambling on our golf games. You have to be a strategic thinker, too, figuring out which ball to hit, where, in what order, and how to leave your opponent with no good shots. Chess, golf and pool players often make good croquet players. Precision is important, too. A long shot can be 80 feet or more, through a wicket that’s only 1/32nd of an inch larger than the ball. The rewards of being a top player are just getting to play—there’s no money in croquet. I was one of the top earners in the sport in 2009, and I made $5,500. The purses just pay for your travel expenses. For me, it’s about being able to play and beat the best people in the game. What else can you do at my age [60], in sport, and be the best?

It used to be. It was a medal sport at the first Olympic games in 1920. The U.S. actually holds the only Olympic gold medal ever given in croquet. For a sport to be nationally popular, though, it has to fit a television format. Croquet, unfortunately, is virtually untelevisable. You’ve got a single player making small strokes around a flat court for up to a half-hour. It’s just hard to watch. In 1994, I played in our national championship, which ESPN televised. I was onscreen for 20 minutes, but when I watched it later, even I didn’t know what was going on! The other problem is a lack of courts. We’ve got fewer than 10 courts in the state, and only one of those is public. The closest court for me is an hour and a half from my home. In big golf states like North Carolina and Florida, croquet is far more popular, with courts often built alongside major golf courses. Editor’s note: That could change, though: Virginia’s Confederate Hills Croquet Club in Henrico County just was named the 2009 Regional Club of the Year by the USCA, and John Lee of the Middle Peninsula Croquet Club in Mathews was named the 2009 Best Club President in the U.S. All this attention could drive more public interest in—and funding for—the game. V i r g i n i a

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Package includes two nights lodging and one full day of unlimited activities on the full day of your stay. Activities to choose from are trail rides, golf on the Cobb Course, fitness classes, bike rentals, hiking, scavenger hunts, tennis, bowling, and the indoor pool. Package also includes breakfast each morning of your stay.

Call 866-636-0531 or visit *Based on double occupancy and requires a minimum stay of 2 nights. Additional person rates apply. Based on availability March 15 - December 3, 2010. Recreational activities must be booked in advance and are subject to availability. Not valid for groups. Package rates do not include state and local taxes and nightly resort service fee.

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Vintner and luminary Patricia Kluge has opted to trim a little of the grande from her life. Last October, the 61-year-old Kluge, who nearly 20 years ago got a reported $1 billion divorce settlement from the late Metromedia billionaire John Kluge, put her 45-room English country manor, Albemarle House, on the market for $100 million. But it’s been a blisteringly bad time for real estate, and two months ago Kluge cut the asking price by half, to $48 million. For that amount, a buyer would get the palatial, 25,000-square-foot neo-Georgian-style mansion designed by architect David Easton (and completed in 1985) and more than 300 acres of lush property outside of Charlottesville. Albemarle House features a library, English gardens, an orchard, a conservatory, stables, guest cottages and an Islamic art gallery with antique Syrian fountain. Kluge is also selling everything in Albemarle House, and we’re not talking suburban yard sale. Sotheby’s, the New York auction house, will be at the estate on June 8 and 9—the first time that firm has held an on-site auction in 20 years. The pieces on offer are, as one might expect, impressive. They include Chinese paintings and works of art, designer gowns and a collection of English furniture that the auction house says “represents the pantheon of English craftsmen and includes such names as Thomas Chippendale, Henry Hill, John Linnell and John McLean.” Estimated

Revenge of the Charming Brown Plaid! The Prince of Wales check is back, chaps

Important George III Satinwood-Crossbanded Mahogany Serpentine Brass-Mounted Dressing Commode attributed to Thomas Chippendale, circa 1770 (est. $400/600,000)

Selling the Very Best Sotheby’s will be at Patricia Kluge’s Albemarle House in early June to offer the vintner’s collection of fine and decorative arts. By Richard ernsberger Jr.

value of all the furnishinigs, according to Sotheby’s: $13.5 million. “Each piece [was] sourced from the leading dealers in the United Kingdom and private collections around the world,” says Alistair Clarke, Worldwide Head of French, Continental and English Furniture for Sotheby’s, Leading the furniture on offer, says Sotheby’s, is a “George III SatinwoodCrossbanded Mahogany Serpentine Brass-Mounted Dress Commode attributed to Thomas Chippendale, circa 1770” (you may now take a breath), or what simple folk would say is a very nice antique chest of drawers, with an estimated value of at least $400,000. What might be the most valuable piece is an “Imperial Tribute Gilt-Brass and Paste-Set Quarter-Striking Automaton Table Clock, Guangzhou Workshops, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period,” with an estimated value of $600,000 to $1 million. There is also a “rare George II Mahogany and Walnut Collector’s Cabinet on Chest incorporating 17th- and 18th-century Florentine pietra dure, pietra albarese and pietra paesina panels to the Magnificent Imperial Tribute Gilt-Brass, drawer fronts, Enamel and Paste-Set Quarter Striking circa 1750.” EsAutomaton Table Clock, Guangzhou Workshops, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong timated value: Period, the movement later (est. $200,000. $600,000/1 million) Kluge and her husband, William Moses, are not going far. They’re moving into a 6,500-square-foot house on an adjacent piece of land, called Vineyard Estates, that has been envisioned as an upscale community. And they’re keeping 1,800 acres of property that constitute Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard, which was started 10 years ago and which nowadays occupies a lot of the couple’s attention.

The POW “has not been forgotten,” says Craig Beecroft, co-owner of the Virginia-based men’s clothier Beecroft & Bull. No, he’s not musing about some cryptic military incident. He’s referring to the latest purr in the fashion world—the Prince of Wales check is back. Not that it ever went away, really. After all, this pattern has been a wardrobe mainstay with traditional men and women since the Duke and Duchess of Windsor popularized it in the 1930s. Before Edward VII became King of England in 1901, he designed the Prince of Wales check as part of his shooting uniform at Abergeldie Castle on Scotland’s Deeside. The pattern’s official colors are brick red against a white background, paired with a gray overcheck. (Don’t mistake it for the Glen Urquhart check, whose repeat runs at about half the size.) “Classic patterns are definitely back,” Beecroft says. “It’s nice to have something timeless in your closet.” Franco Ambrogi, of Franco’s Fine Clothier in Richmond, agrees. “We sell the Prince of Wales check all the time, because, basically, we sell suits all the time.” But this charming brown plaid isn’t just about conservative attire. Young women now buy coats (Aquascutum), slacks and jackets with the Prince of Wales pattern, and it can also be found on various accessories—including keepsake pens, Adidas and Fred Perry sneakers and Newurban golf caps. Maybee Cayton, owner of Bygones, a vintage clothing boutique in Richmond’s Carytown district, says she’s been selling all kinds of men’s plaids—and the bulk of her customers are fashion-aware 20-somethings. She cites the Steampunk trend (a loosely Victorian fashion genre), 1970s details (sequins, feathers, velvet), and the check designs featured in such recent movies as Sherlock Holmes and Alice in Wonderland as driving the return of what she calls “the little old man look.” Old, new, conservative or cutting edge: The POW is still getting its respect. —CHRISTINE STODDARD With thanks to Neely Barnwell Dykshorn and Julie Vanden Bosch of, launching in May.

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4/23/10 5:49:06 PM

Join us… June 13-20

for exciting concerts with music of Bach, Barber, Chopin, Mahler, Schumann and more. • Featured artist: John McCutcheon • Festival orchestra and choir, soloists, chamber music Eastern Mennonite University Harrisonburg, Virginia (540) 432-4582

Turning 65 and have questions about Medicare? Humana can help.

We offer a variety of Medicare health plans and the experience to help you find the right one that meets your needs. Humana has been serving people just like you with Medicare for over 20 years, and currently provides Medicare health plans, including prescription drug plans, to more than 3.5 million people across the country. • What are my options? Please Proof the above advertisement. List any • Which plan is right for me? Please proof the above advertisement. List any corrections. Date, s corrections. Date, sign (on appropriate line) • Which company will best meet my needs? (on appropriate line) and fax the proof to us at (804) 649-0306. and fax the proof to us at (804) 649-0306. • How do I choose? SIZE SIZE OK to print AS IS OK to print AS IS COLOR

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In New Market, Edinburg and Strasburg, the State Highway Commission had destroyed trees to widen thoroughfares, but in Woodstock, when the state YEARS AGO went after the mountain greenery, some residents went out on a limb. In June 1935, the Clarke-Lewis Construction Co. arrived under state contract to chop some trees on Main Street in the Shenandoah County town. The official word was that only several trees had to go, but when residents woke up one morning to see a large number of trees marked for destruction, they barked. One of them, Charlotte Francis Stephens, widow of Phineas Stephens, an engineer behind the illumination of Endless Caverns, got an injunction from Judge Philip Williams at Winchester to save her trees. Nevertheless, one of her trees was felled the next day. The contractors, who were not named in the injunction, had proceeded with their task. Tensions then climbed when Lorraine French Brown, daughter of Woodstock fi nancier William French and sister of county Republican leader Warren French, went up a maple in front of her home and dared the cutters to cut. Her audacious gambit succeeded “in saving the shade,” wrote the Shenandoah Valley


Nocturnal cat burglars steal across the roofs of G.A YEARS AGO Vose’s store and the A&A Market in Warrenton to finally break through the ceiling of Braun’s store, perpetrating what the Fauquier Democrat calls a “nylon raid.” Using a key they found in the store, the midnighters vamoosed out the back door with an odd assortment of merchandise. In addition to some automatic pencils and boys’ u-trou, they hauled off at least 500 pair of nylon stockings. A seamless crime, evidently.



High comedy sails back into Tappahannock as the YEARS AGO Original Floating Theatre docks for a week’s run, announces the Northern Neck News. To landlubbers the “Show Boat,” as it is better known, is a welcome sight. Headliners Charlie Hunter and Beulah Adams are a funny act and a real pair: Offstage they’re Mr. and Mrs. Hunter. The troupe includes Pat Gallagher, “who never had a serious thought in his life,” Hunter says. His goal: “to laugh our way out of the depression.”

newspaper. Judge Williams issued an injunction prohibiting the cutting of the Brown trees. The Woodstock tree affair was the top story in Virginia for the fi rst half of ’35, wrote the Valley. Every paper in the country with access to the Associated Press wire carried stories on the “tree war,” and those with Wirephoto service ran images of Brown as she “kept her vigil at the treetop.” Resident Samuel Hepner fi led criminal charges for destruction of a tree in front of his place, and two Clarke-Lewis employees were fi ned $10 apiece for trespassing. In his remarks after fi ning the men, another judge said that he was “out of sympathy with the tendency of officials to arbitrarily assume authority outside of the provisions of the law” and that property owners were entitled to ample notice before their property was to be destroyed or taken. Surprise! Several weeks later, the injunctions were dissolved. The courtroom was packed, mostly with women whom the Valley said were “highly indignant on the tree-cutting question” (Brown more highly than others). In his decision, Judge Williams acknowledged the controversy inherent in any highway construction. “It may be that too much emphasis has been placed upon the highways and too little to the beauty of its borders,” he wrote, adding: “The ugliest distance between two points is often a straight line.”


That Last Great Age Imagery of the Old South harks back to the Victorian age (1837-1901). Queen Victoria I’s cultural influence added a distinctive, romantic air to that era.

The Baughman Stationery Company CAROLYN PACKETT, WARSAW

“Write with Spencerian Pens; they are right.” That’s the pitch on this mid-1800s print ad, from letter writing’s heyday.


Officer W.P. Fisher arrests Floyd YEARS AGO Moore, of Kent’s Ridge, for robbing Timothy Lester, 95, of $300, reports the Tazewell Republican. Fisher next discovers that Moore is a bigamist—he married Elizabeth Gilbert in July 1895 and four months later “took unto himself as a bride” one Sarah Wardy. Fisher also finds that, over the years, Moore has stolen hundreds of chickens and turkeys. The cop’s conclusion: Here was one “bad character.”


Passenger trains were new and exciting during the Victorian age. Gladesboro, established in the late 1800s, was new, too. Send unique postcards, along with an explanatory note and 8 1/2 -inch SASE, to Virginia Living, Postcards, 109 E. Cary St., Richmond, Va., 23219, and get a free one-year subscription if your entry is selected. (Send at your own risk.)



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In these challenging times, the last thing on your mind is your health. But it should be the first. After all, with good health, you can take on just about anything. That’s why you need to visit The Executive Evaluation Center. This full day of comprehensive tests incorporates state-of-the-art technology and education — steps that have saved and improved many lives. True, we can’t say much about the health of the economy. But give us a day, and we’ll tell you a lot about your own.

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Family Furnishings Sorting through her late mother’s possessions, a Writer discovers half-forgotten ancestors and memories hidden in “humble objects”

When her mother died in 1993, Lisa Tracy found it hard to let go of the possessions her mother had left behind. After allowing the stuff to sit in storage bins for 10 years, she finally worked up the courage to sort through it, deciding what to keep, what to give away and what to sell at auction. A journalist for 25 years with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Tracy used her investigative skills to uncover the provenance of each piece—which of her ancestors had acquired it and under what circumstances. Like a sleuth on the trail of a mysterious stranger, Tracy visited archives, pored through family documents and conducted online searches, pulling together seemingly disparate facts to form a complete and sometimes poignant picture of her mother and other forebears. Objects of Our Affection, Tracy’s fifth book, shares the author’s captivating discoveries. They range from a pickle fork monogrammed with strange initials to dueling pistols that once belonged to Aaron Burr (no, not those pistols). Observations on the challenges of sorting through, organizing and auctioning off family heirlooms are sprinkled through the story. Black-and-white photos of various antiques are also included, each item lushly described. Even more compelling than the objects are the memories they evoke. With each heirloom, Tracy delves further into family history and shares a little bit more about the ancestor who owned the piece. Many of her male forebears were military men with impressive stories. A great-grandfather fought alongside Teddy Roosevelt on San Juan Hill, where he was wounded and discovered half-a-day later by orderlies searching for survivors. A grandfather rose to the rank of major general in the Army, earning the Medal of Honor and later becoming superintendent of Virginia Military Institute. Tracy did not know him as an important military figure; she knew him as her kindly grandfather. Whenever she lingered over the sandalwood chest he’d acquired in China, tracing its thinly hammered iron frieze with lucky foo dogs, she would get an image of him wiggling his ears or teaching her to skip at his grand home in Lexington, where the author lives. “When you opened the drawer,” Tracy says, “the linens in it would be infused with the smell of sandalwood, which was so sweet and pungent. It was the smell of my childhood.” Tracy’s grandfather had acquired the chest during the Boxer Rebellion, the violent Chinese uprising (1898 to 1901) against

Christian missionaries and foreign influence. In a chapter titled “The Spoils of War,” the author recounts her grandfather’s memories of the fighting in Peking: “Piled nearly to the height of the wall, and covering many square yards of the courtyard,

were hundreds of corpses … from the pile the blood still came in a sluggish stream, which passed under the feet of the soldiers.” As the personal stories play out, Tracy’s ancestors become as familiar as our own. We can’t help

Resort Fashion: Style in Sun-Drenched Climates by Caroline Rennolds Milbank and Amy Fine Collins Rizzoli, $65.00

For fashion buffs, this lush book might be a collector’s item. It’s full of photographs, going back 100 years, of models and jet-setters lolling in swanky enclaves in seductive resort wear—everything from a 1934 beach suit to contemporary Hermès bikinis. We see celebrities chasing summer—Catherine Deneuve, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn. Many of the photos appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Mademoiselle, so there is lots of high-gloss glamour.

You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up by Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn, Crown, $24.00

After 13 years of being married, Annabelle and Jeff have a startling revelation: “We’re just not that into us.” In this somewhat gimmicky humor book, the couple decides to turn conventional, good-relationship wisdom on its head. They stop being intimate, they treat parenting as a competitive sport, and they drop out of couples therapy—all in the interest of staying together instead of getting a divorce. Gurwitch and Kahn offer her and his views on the marriage in a style that’s more snarky than helpful, but a fun read nevertheless.

The Big Burn by Timothy Egan, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27.00

In 1910, hundreds of small blazes burning across drought-stricken national forests in Washington, Idaho and Montana together became a roaring inferno that leveled forests and towns. In this insightful account, Egan describes the tense effort to fight the fire, and explains how the disaster prompted President Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot, to start the conservation movement. In their view, public land was a national treasure, to be owned by and preserved for every citizen.

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, by Heidi W. Durrow, Algonquin, $22.95

Inspired by the true-life story of a young mother who threw her three children off the rooftop of a 14-story building then jumped after them, Durrow’s novel imagines the life of the 7-year-old girl who survived the tragedy. In the book, Rachel is biracial and taken in by her strict grandmother in a mostly black Chicago community. Rachel is raised to think of herself as white, partly because she has light brown skin and blue eyes. The Girl Who Fell from the Sky is a moving portrait of race and class shown through the eyes of innocent youth.

but chuckle as we read about her father, in a tantrum, hurling his sterling silver West Point napkin ring through the glass in the front door, followed by a nighttime search of the yard to retrieve it before the neighbors found Objects of out what had Our Affection: happened. And Uncovering My Family’s Past, One Chair, Pistol, our stomach and Pickle Fork at a Time tightens as we by Lisa Tracy see the grim $25.00, Bantam Books wedding photo of Grandmother Bessie Egbert, whose hand covers the facial scars she received in a nasty childhood fall. With so much history intertwined with each bauble, knickknack and piece of furniture, it’s no wonder Tracy had such a hard time letting go. But she found solace in sending the items off to new homes. “We knew that we did the right thing because a lot of these possessions were fragile,” she says. “They were very well made, but they were old and each ... deserved to be the object of someone’s individual attention.” Not everything was sold at auction. Her grandfather’s cadet uniform, for example, was donated to VMI, where it is now on display. Whether objects are funneled to auction houses or Goodwill, says Tracy, “there is comfort in finding an appropriate place for things.” For her, the appropriate place for some stuff was in her own kitchen. Many of the stored items she sifted through were precious antiques, some with historical significance. The one that affected her most was something few others would have valued: her mother’s saltshakers. “Even the most humble object can have huge impact,” she says. “My mother put that salt in there. She was the last person to touch it.” Tracy’s historical investigation, she admits, could have been much easier had she taken the time to probe while her parents and grandparents were still alive. “My grandfather had so many stories to tell,” she says, “and he’d tell some of them over and over again the way people do. And we’d stop listening.” She sighs. “If people have an elderly parent, they should get out there and listen and record stories now. Before it’s too late.” V i r g i n i a

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Wild Emotion Sculptor Diana Reuter-Twining specializes in bronze works that reflect the “beauty, mystery and grace” of the animal world

Sculptor Diana Reuter-Twining is puzzled. “I can’t decide what to do with it,” she says, surveying a hefty, seven-foot-long peacock hide she keeps in the barn that is her showroom on Bull Run Farm in rural Aldie, Va. Dressed fashionably in black (save for light brown cowboy boots and brown belt with silver-and-turquoise buckle), the petite, animated brunette seems more amused than perplexed as she fingers the ethereal feathers, which are tufted in five or six pounds of leathery, avian epidermis. However long it takes ReuterTwining to decide how best to transform the peacock hide into a piece of art, the resulting work likely will capture the essence of the animal. Trained as an architect and practiced as a photographer, ReuterTwining in recent years has emerged

as a sculptor distinguished for her acute observations of wildlife, from rabbit and river otter to fox and cheetah. Her bronze representations are sometimes large and, often, lifelike. “I’m inspired by the natural world,” says Reuter-Twining, “its beauty, mystery and grace.” Her work has appeared in numerous exhibitions—including the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the Society of Animal Artists and the National Sculpture Society, and clients on three continents have bought her pieces. Typically, it takes her about six months to complete a sculpture. “She is very innovative,” says Jack Summers, owner of the Lovetts Gallery in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who has several Reuter-Twining

animal pieces on display. “I’ve done quite well with her work.” The average price, he estimates, is $4,500. Summers says that the sculptor’s style can be “somewhat traditional with some pieces and very contemporary with others. You could own several and not know it’s the same artist.” Reuter-Twining has lived most of her 58 years on two adjacent farms that have been in her family for more than a century. Now she and husband Ned Twining (whom she calls an “enlightened philanthropist”) divide their time between their farm, Bull Run (across the road from her family homestead, Glenstone Farm), and their ranch in Savery, Wyoming. Reuter-Twining works primarily in the animalier style, a movement centered on the realistic portrayal of animals and made popular around the turn of the 20th century by Italian artist Rembrandt Bugatti. But realism is not the sole aim. The sculptor seeks to capture a subject at an emblematic moment in time, when it moves or poses in a defining way. Think the first lazy stride of a cheetah descending a plateau, for example, or the final lift of a goose’s wings before touchdown. How does she know when to freeze the subject? “Observation,” she says. “Drawing is the basis for all design. In sculpture, the sketch establishes a gesture, and the gesture evokes an emotion. Integrating those elements is the challenge.” The artist, who also produces figuratives and objets d’art, has had ample opportunity to observe animals. She grew up on a farm and, when young, followed her father to exotic locales. He is a retired surgeon and professional photographer who did freelance work for National Geographic magazine. After graduating from Hollins College (now University) in 1973 with a degree in art history, she landed a job as an interior designer for an architectural firm in Alexandria. In spare time, she took art classes at the Torpedo Factory.

After two years, she enrolled in the graduate architectural program at Catholic University. After earning the degree, she worked for a couple of architectural firms and then, with a partner, opened her own shop in Washington. It wasn’t until the mid90s, while on a trip to Africa, that her joy for photography and drawing took a turn. After sketching a family of baboons, she told Ned that the drawing might lend itself to threedimensional representation, and that, once back in the states, she might commission someone to turn the drawing into a sculpture. “Ned said, ‘Do it yourself,’” she recalls. She did. But not before enrolling in a program at the Corcoran School of Art, where she learned the fundamentals of sculpture, welding and making molds. “It allowed me to get to another level in my art,” she says. Within a year, she entered her first show, in Charleston, S.C. “I was a little surprised I was admitted,” she confesses. But it inspired her to focus on individualizing her style, and it wasn’t long before she’d earned a spot in the award show of the National Sculpture Society, a prestigious group founded by architects. Now 12 years into her sculpture career, Reuter-Twining seems in a good artistic place because she likes working in three-dimensional space. “Space is a medium, and it can be manipulated,” she says. “With painting, you’re dealing with [only] the illusion of space.” Last November, Reuter-Twining started a spin-off business. She introduced a jewelry collection that includes miniature reproductions of some of her animal works, as well as other more whimsical original pieces, cast mostly in silver and gold. Might that mean a peacock brooch is in the offing? Maybe, but first she intends to do something larger with the hide in her barn.

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Studio SerieS An exhilarating line-up

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United Way | Roanoke The United Way of Roanoke Valley’s Toqueville Society dinner, held on November 10 at the home of David and Mary Ann Wine, honored the legacy of the late Frank Batten Sr.

Sally Crockett, George Kegley, Warner Dalhouse, Paul Frantz

Frank Rogan, Dawn and Mike Coppola

Deborah Goglia, Joe Crawford

Bill Hennessey, Carolyn and Dick Barry Joe Dashiell, Jas Ghumman

Vince and Suzanne Mastracco

Tanky Stephenson, Will Stephenson, Gari Stephenson

Trista and William Farrell, David Wine

David and Cydney Willis, Karen and Michael Branch, Betty Branch

Mark Moseley, Ralph and Rene Bollinger, Mike Bragg

Susan Frantz, Hazel Bernard

Williamsburg Symphonia League | Williamsburg At Westover Plantation, Cocktails with the Conductor drew more than 200 guests, raising upwards of $5,000.

Starlight Foundation and CPK | Richmond Recently, the Starlight Children’s Foundation Mid-Atlantic and California Pizza Kitchen together hosted a CPKids Camp Great Escape in Richmond’s Bryan Park, providing wintertime fun for 68 seriously ill children and their families. This was one of 20 similar events nationwide. Volunteers at the event.


Two little girls who made friends over crafts. Sisters.

Janna Hymes, Anne Harrison- Clark, Jean Leavengood

A father and son check out an ice sculpture.

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Woodlawn Foundation | Alexandria On December 3, more than 130 Friends of Woodlawn and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House gathered at the historic mansion to honor outgoing Foundation and advisory board president Cynthia Conner.

Friends of St. Luke’s smithfield

Braxton Moncure, Annie Cleland

On October 10, Friends of Historic St. Luke’s celebrated their successful fund-raising efforts at the historic home of Warren and Penny Birdsong.

Loki Van Roijen, Osborne Mackey

John Quarstein, Bernice Larson, Chiles Larson

Lisa Collis, Mark Warner, Betsy Merritt, James Bird

Cynthia Conner

Vern Edwards, Bob Edwards, Brenda Joyner, Rick Bodson

SPARC | Richmond

Symphony Orchestra League | Alexandria

On March 22, Neil and Sara Belle November presented $300,000 to SPARC (School for the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community) at a special event honoring new Executive Director Ryan T. Ripperton.

The Symphony Orchestra League of Alexandria sponsored a fund-raising ball on March 6 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Arlington. Approximately 250 supporters attended, raising $40,000.

SPARC cast with the Novembers Susan and Dave Cavanaugh

Gil Rosenthal, Sara Belle November, Neil November, Fannie Rosenthal, Rhona Arenstein, Ric Arenstein

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Karen Olson, Adron Krekeler, Rosa Fullerton, Sharon Walker

Margherita Woods, Yolande Frommer, Patricia Schmid, Larry Frommer

Ruth Kupperschlag

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12th Annual Leukemia Cup Regatta SO UTH ER N C H ESAP EAKE SAI L I N G SE R I E S

Extend your passion for sailing to the race for cancer cures by participating in the Leukemia Cup Regatta.

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t a h t s e i r o Mem last a lifetime

As you compete, you’ll raise funds for lifesaving cancer research and services for patients. Join a winning team: Over $1 million raised since 1999!

July 9 – 11, 2010 Stingray Point Marina Deltaville, Virginia

Make memories today. Norton Yachts offers the largest selection of new Hunter and Jeanneau sail boats in the area as well as a wide variety of used boats.We also have an award winning Sevice Yard and offer fully sanctioned ASA Sailing School. Drop by the next time you’re in Deltaville or visit our website to make lasting memories.

Call 800.766.0797 for more information

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Events JUNE 2010

JUNE 19 Tappahannock RivahFest, Downtown Tappahannock, JUNE 19 The Greater Washington

Indie Arts Festival, Arlington Arts Center, Arlington,

Young master MAY 6 – JUNE 7 “Classical

Realism: New Works” by Teresa Oaxaca, The Art League Gallery, Alexandria, 703-683-1780 or

art THROUGH MAY 16 Chesapeake Bay Art Association 47th Annual Spring Art Show, Gallery at East Beach, Norfolk, THROUGH JUNE 20. “Belmont

Through a Lens: Photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnston,” Gari Melchers Home and Studio, Falmouth, (540) 654-1015 or THROUGH AUGUST 6 Class Pictures: Photographs by Dawoud Bey, Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, 757-664-6200 or MAY 6 – JUNE 6 “Lincoln Perry: Past and Present,” Les Yeux du Monde, Charlottesville, 434-9735566 or JUNE 13 World Wide Knit in Public

Day, The d’ART Center, Norfolk, 757-625-4211or

Around the State

food & wine MAY 8 4th Annual AT&T Spring Town Point Virginia Wine Festival, Town Point Park, Norfolk 757-4412345 or MAY 22-23 Williamsburg Wine and Food Festival, Colonial Heritage Club, Williamsburg, JUNE 6 Broad Appétit, 100300 blocks of West Broad Street, Richmond,

garden MAY 7 Spring Plant Sale, the Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk, 757-441-5830 or MAY 15-16 African Violet Society Display, Sale and Consultations, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, 804-262-9887 or

history MAY 15 Monument Avenue

Walking Tour, Virginia Center for Architecture, Richmond, 804-6443041, ext. 100 or MAY 20 Dolley Madison’s Birthday,

Views of Gari Melchers’ Belmont THROUGH JUNE 20 “Belmont Through a Lens: Photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnston,” Gari Melchers Home and Studio, Falmouth, (540) 654-1015 or



Montpelier, 540-672-2728 or

MAY 7-8 Magic in the Moun-

tains, Main Street, Clifton Forge,

Raid at Fort Harrison, Fort Harrison House, Dayton, 540-879-2272 or

Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria, 703-442-9404 or

MAY 15-16 19th Annual Northern

June 5 16th Annual Manassas

JUNE 16 17th Annual Maury River

Virginia Fine Arts Festival, Reston Town Center, Reston, RestonArts. org/festival

MAY 22 Living History: Indian

Railway Heritage Festival, Visitor's Center, Manassas, 703-361-6599 or

MAY 16 Beveridge and Bernstein,

Fiddlers’ Convention, Glen Maury Park, Buena Vista, 540-261-7321 or

JUNE 21 – JULY 3 Viva Virginia: International Festival of Music, Virginia Tech campus, Blacksburg,


May 8 Mother’s Day Tea, Maymont

Mansion, Richmond, 804-3587166 or May 9 Mother’s Day at the

Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, 757.664.6200 or JUNE 19 - 20 Father’s Day

Celebration, Peaks of Otter Winery, 540-586-3707 or

society MAY 15 Hayes Foundation Gala,

Country Club of Virginia, Richmond, JUNE 4 Pets on Parade, Science

Museum of Virginia, Richmond,


All that jazz

MAY 14-15 Dominion Riverrock,

June 15 Harry Connick Jr. & Orchestra: Your Songs in Concert at the Wolf

Trap Foundation's Filene Center, Vienna, 877-965-3872 or

Brown’s Island, Richmond, 804-2859495 or

MAY 22 Alleghany Highlands

Triathlon, Alleghany Highlands YMCA, Low Moor, 540-862-7999 or

MAY 23 Owen Lea Foundation 5K

Run to Benefit Families and Children Living with Neuroblastoma, Flex-Appeal Gym, Fredericksburg,

JUNE 23-27 Deep Run Horse Show, Deep Run Hunt Club, Manakin-Sabot,

theater THROUGH MAY 23 Always …Patsy

Cline, The Barter Theatre, Abingdon, 276-628-3991 or

MAY 6-29 A Doll’s House by Henley Street Theater Company, Pine Camp Arts Center, Richmond, 804-340-0115 or MAY 8 Olympia Dukakis performs Rose, George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, Fairfax, CFA. MAY 14-JULY 4 The Sound of Music,

Theatre IV, Richmond, 804-2822620 or

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4/22/10 6:27:21 PM


Stroke by Stroke A midlife dive into the rigors of distance swimming. By CAROLINE KETTLEWELL I l l u s t r at i o n By S h aw n Y u

After several minutes of fighting off the woman next to me, I started to take it personally. Here we had a whole ocean at our disposal, but this stranger, this indistinct blur by my side, seemed determined to own only the piece of it I was occupying. Over the last few hundred yards she had kicked me, jostled me, slapped me, elbowed and bumped me, even forced me underwater. Parrying her latest blow, I surrendered my line and dodged to the right, stole a glance ahead, and discovered that I was leaving a body brawl only to find myself swimming into a gathering gale. Ten minutes earlier, when the starting gun had sounded on the fifth open water race of my life—which made it also the fifth competitive swim of any sort I’d ever entered—the ocean had been bottlegreen and glassy-smooth, rolling in calm, even undulations to the Virginia Beach shoreline. Now it had turned into a sloppy, wind-driven mess—an entirely different ocean of whitecapped, gunmetal-gray water breaking over my head, with a nasty southbound current apparently determined to deliver me straight to the Outer Banks. I inched north, past the oceanfront hotels and lounging beachgoers, stroke by stroke against the battering sea, finally to win through and stagger across the finish line on the beach, where they would soon raise the red “danger” flags on the lifeguard stands. So it is with competitive open water swimming, a sport now enjoying a surge of popularity worldwide. Typically involving

mass starts with up to hundreds of swimmers, and subject to all the whims of nature, every race is a swim into the unknown. But you take what the day dishes out, from winds and waves to jellyfish stings or a kick in the nose, and you do so happily, because, for reasons nearly impossible to explain to anyone but fellow open water devotees, plunging into murky, wild waters and racing through a crowded melee of thrashing arms and legs is exactly my idea of fun. Open water swimming debuted as an Olympic event with a 10K (yes, that’s 6.2 miles in the water) in Beijing in 2008. In Virginia, however, open water swimming has a deep history, with several long-running races, including the Jim McDonnell Lake Swims in Reston (23 years), the Chris Greene Lake Cable Swim outside Charlottesville (33 years), and the Jack King One Mile Ocean Swim in Virginia Beach (27 years), where I found myself enjoying such a

lively time of it in 2009. According to open water swimming expert Steve Munatones, I represent what is, perhaps surprisingly, the fastest-growing demographic within the sport: women over the age of 40. Why we should be abandoning our minivans in droves and striking out into the world’s watery bodies, I cannot say—maybe it’s our equivalent of a sports car and a 22-year-old blonde—but I swam my first open water race, one mile in the James River, only days after my 45th birthday. I’m not sure, to be honest, what made me think I was up to swimming a one-mile race. Though I’d been putting in a few days a week of desultory lap-swimming for a couple of years, the sum of my formal swim training was junior and senior lifesaving, both now decades in my past. Even I could see that mastery of the hair tow and the dead man’s float were unlikely to come into advantageous play in the race.

Yet for some reason it never occurred to me to worry that I couldn’t swim a mile in a river without stopping. And so I plopped into the water on race day and promptly swam my way into a brand new, midlife obsession. To the casual observer on the shore, open water swimming holds all the breathtaking excitement of watching moss grow, and takes about as long. Under ideal conditions, even the fastest world-class, open water swimmers clock in at no better than 3.5 miles per hour, or about the pace of a power-walking stroller mom. Your results may vary, and mine certainly do, but what looks like a slow-motion proceeding unfolds in the water as a grueling test of strategy, pacing, determination and endurance. In a sport where anything shorter than a 5K (5,000 meters, or 3.1 miles) is generally considered either a warm-up or a sprint, many swimmers train with an eye to hours-long races, and a twomile pool workout is a rest day. The longest organized swim from a Virginia shoreline is the 7.5mile Potomac River Swim for the Environment on June 5, from the Northern Neck across the mouth of the Potomac to Maryland. If that strikes you as insufficiently challenging, you could always have a go at the United States Masters Swimming 25K (15.5 miles), next scheduled for 2011 in Indiana, the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim (24 miles) or the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (28.5 miles). Charlottesville physician John Shrum has taken Manhattan twice. Virginia Tech graduate Ron Collins (now a resident of Florida) has conquered Manhattan, Tampa Bay and the famously grueling English Channel. And then there’s 88-year-old Charlottesville resident Richard Selden, who offers another kind of definition of going the distance. In 2007, Selden set the national age group record in the two-mile Chris Greene Lake Cable Swim. Holding up his award, he declared, “On to 90.” Then he came back in 2008 and set the record again. I’d like to see myself like Richard Selden in another few decades, if not setting any national records then at least still knocking down my own. When I finished the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim in 2008, 4.4 miles across the Bay between the spans of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, I may possibly have been the happiest person ever to nab 304th place.  Last year, I took 292nd.  Nowadays, whenever I come across a wide expanse of water, I eye the distant shore and think, “I wonder if I could swim that?” • V i r g i n i a

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“We never were more merry, nor fed on more plenty of good oysters, fish, flesh, wild fowl and good bread…” Captain John Smith

Rumor has it they came for the hospitality.

When English settlers first dropped in to Hampton, the natives welcomed them with open arms, starting a 400-year tradition of warm hospitality carried on today at Hampton’s unique Bed & Breakfasts. Our 400th Anniversary is a great time to visit one, like Magnolia House, a serene B&B shaded by stately magnolias and nestled on our urban waterfront. Hampton’s B&Bs are known for their gourmet breakfasts and exceptional amenities and, because they’re beautifully restored older dwellings, they all have stories to tell.To learn more, call 800-800-2202 or go to

The American Theatre

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Combining Taylor’s signature blend of athleticism, humor and emotion, Taylor 2 will knock your socks off! sat May 1, 8pM sun May 2, 2:30pM

JUNE 23-27, 2010 Spectators Welcome AA-Rated USEF • A-Rated VHSA, MHSA & NCHJA

A GOOCHLAND COUNTY SIGNATURE EVENT 2009 VHSA HORSE SHOW OF THE YEAR Deep Run Hunt Club • 1540 Manakin Road • Manakin-Sabot, VA 23103

Photo Courtesy of Betsy Tompkins


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Bonnie Rideout fiddleR thuR May 6, 7:30pM the KlezMatics sat May 8, 8pM esta plena pueRto Rican Jazz fusion wed June 2, 7:30pM MaRcia Ball celeBRating the aMeRican theatRe’s 10th anniveRsaRy fRi June 11, 8pM

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A Perfect Fit P h oto g r a p h y by C at e y O w e n

Twenty years ago, Sara McCaleb Baldwin started making classical motif mosaics. Today, New Ravenna Mosaics, based in rural Northampton County, produces a luxury product sought by America’s top architects and interior designers. Success has turned Baldwin into a businesswoman, but it’s still the art that she treasures most. By ANN WRIGHT

Sitting in a light-drenched Eastern Shore warehouse building, with heavy metal music coursing through his headset, Bobby Jones concentrates on the task in front of him: assembling a three-by-three-foot wall mural with an English garden motif. The design is complicated, and bringing it to life requires a painter’s awareness of color and shading and a lapidarist’s touch to fit the small tiles, called tesserae, into place. Jones, a selftaught artist and virtuoso mosaicist for New Ravenna Mosaics, rummages through boxes of stained glass until he finds the perfect hue of blue violet tessera needed for a delphinium. From start to finish, it will take Jones about a week to finish the mosaic, which then will be shipped off to Seattle, there to adorn a client’s bathroom wall. About 20 steps past Jones’ work table, Sara McCaleb Baldwin, the founder and owner of New Ravenna Mosaics, huddles with her design staff. The group is scrutinizing a preliminary drawing for a large mural that a financial center in Dubai wants to install in its office. The potential purchaser’s interior design firm has supplied a rough sketch, and New Ravenna and two competitors, located in Italy and Canada respectively, are competing for the job. Cean Irminger, a nine-year New Ravenna employee, is creating the design, and she wants her colleagues’ input. Baldwin is happy to oblige. Big projects like this one are not as common as they were before the economic downturn, and so she and the designers want to win the contract. Playing the role of both editor and cheerleader at the small conclave, Baldwin makes concrete design suggestions that seem to energize the group. Competing with Italian mosaic factories is just another surprising chapter in the unlikely story of New Ravenna, a company that produces a highly refined luxury product amid the easygoing environs of rural Northampton County. The 20-year-old firm is a few thousand miles and many centuries removed from its artistic antecedents in classical Greece and Rome. However, time and distance haven’t changed the nature of the business. Making mosaics remains a labor-intensive craft that often soars to the level of art—and when that happens consistently, orders follow. Today, New Ravenna mosaics are sold through nearly 200 independent design showrooms across the country, including nine in Virginia, plus a growing number outside North America. The company’s client list is a who’sV i r g i n i a

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who of top architects and interior designers, including Robert A.M. Stern, Bunny Williams and Jamie Drake, and, according to company officials, celebrities such as Tom Hanks, Madonna, John Travolta and Tommy Hilfiger have customdesigned New Ravenna mosaics in their homes. Baldwin, inclusive by nature, emphasizes that success has been a group effort. “Every custom piece represents the shared creativity of the designer, the client, the showroom and us,” she says. “We all have a hand in it.” Baldwin, who grew up on a farm near Craddockville in Accomack County, made her first mosaic when she was in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania. It was her thesis project for a master’s degree in fine art. Although trained as a painter at Penn (where she earned her undergraduate degree), Baldwin discovered an unexpected passion for classical mosaics when, in 1989, she was taken with a Roman floor on exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Long drawn to functional art, Baldwin was inspired to create prototypes for a line of mosaics based on classical designs. She named her company New Ravenna in homage to Ravenna,

Left: Mosaicist Bobby Jones works on a wall mural. Here, a sampling of New Ravenna’s private-label designs. Below, a square foot of tesserae.

square tiles used in mosaics. New Ravenna also imports larger stone tiles to give customers an exact match for the mosaic colors. A neighboring building has a huge stock of stained glass from a couple of premier American manufacturers. Jeride Beach, a former supply specialist in the U.S. Army, manages the inventory, delivering what the mosaicists need to the factory floor. Three years ago, with the company in a growth phase, Baldwin hired Wes LaBlanc, a Philadelphiabased management consultant and longtime friend, as president of the company. He oversees the operation

A good mosaicist needs spatial intelligence, art skills, a good color sense and manual dexterity. the Italian town renowned for the mosaics in its Byzantine era churches. Baldwin lugged heavy sample boards to big-city showrooms and interior design studios. Many of those early contacts immediately recognized the decorative possibilities of an all-butforgotten art form. Although New Ravenna began as a cottage business, it soon outgrew its space. Baldwin then moved to a rented storefront on Highway 13, and outgrew that building, too. Today, the firm is spread among four buildings, including a former shirt factory and an old movie theater, in the little town of Exmore. The warehouse, located in the movie theater, holds a million-dollar inventory of marble and colored stones imported from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America. Much of it comes in 12-by-12inch squares that are cut on-site into tesserae, the small one-half-inch

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and conceives strategic objectives, commuting to Exmore three days a week. His arrival freed Baldwin to concentrate on her first love. “My heart is really in the artistic side of the business,” she explains. “I can manage the business side but find it freeing to be able to concentrate on design and product development.” These days, private-label work is a lucrative and growing part of New Ravenna’s business. The company creates exclusive designs for Walker Zanger, Waterworks, Kohler Surfaces and Ann Sacks. Baldwin and her design team welcome the challenge of custom work. They begin by translating the architect’s or interior designer’s sketch into a line drawing, then into a scale drawing. Two of the team are whizzes at computerassisted design. With client approval of the scale drawing, mosaicists create a fullscale sample. Once that

is approved, the project goes into production. Because of the factory’s layout, Baldwin and the other designers walk through the secondfloor production area daily on their way to and from the design studio. They are readily available to tweak the design, if necessary, and help solve problems. Thomas Hickey, a New York architect and founding partner of GRADE Architecture and Interior Design, first met Baldwin eight years ago when he was at Robert A.M. Stern Architects. “Our clients specifically wanted mosaics from New Ravenna, but Robert Stern was very particular about what gets included in his houses,” says Hickey. “So I visited the factory in Exmore and was thoroughly impressed. Since then, I’ve worked with New Ravenna to develop custom-design mosaics for each of our projects.” Not everyone can make mosaics. Potential hires take a skill test to see if they are good candidates for the work. According to Baldwin, one needs spatial intelligence, good color sense and manual dexterity to master the craft. One also has to have hand strength to nip stone or glass tiles into the right shapes. Some mosaicists are art school graduates, but backgrounds vary considerably. Some New Ravenna employees previously held jobs in health care, agriculture, education and retail. Jodie Sokol, one of New Ravenna’s first mosaicists and now the director of manufacturing and warehouses, puts each new employee under the tutelage of an experienced mosaicist and then observes. “Within the first month, we can tell if new hires are going to develop into mosaicists,” she says. “Those with art ability excel.” Mosaicists are paid for what they produce, according to human resources director Mary Harris. “Workers learn through experience the techniques that enable them to

make good wages plus benefits.” While Bobby Jones and other mosaicists on the second floor work on complicated custom designs, workers on the first floor make the borders and backgrounds shown in New Ravenna catalogs. According to Kendall Harmon, a former restaurant cook who is the mosaic production manager, five quality control people check each piece before it’s shipped out. “We’re looking to see if the colors are consistent, that every piece fits and there are no chipped or cracked tiles,” he says. Baldwin says that her designs have evolved over time, and that lately nature has been an inspiration. Bamboo, feathers, leaves and wave patterns are featured in the Metamorphosis Collection that New Ravenna offers under the name Sara Baldwin Design. “I’ve always been fascinated with pattern,” says the owner, “but now I’m exploring texture to add a three-dimensional quality to a normally flat medium. Whether it involves grinding the polish off the tiles to make them matte or tumbling the tesserae to soften the edges, texture can make mosaics more interesting and enticing.” Tom Savage, director of Winterthur, a premier decorative arts museum based in Henry Francis du Pont’s former estate in Delaware, applauds Baldwin’s commitment and success. “The art of mosaic is just as relevant for today’s living as it was in ancient Pompeii,” he says. “Sara has simultaneously revived an ancient craft and a rural community.” And what are Baldwin’s goals? “I’d like to grow revenues but not the size of the company. When I started this, I had no idea how it would evolve. I just wanted to make a living and create a company where I would like to work.” Over the last couple of years, she’s come to appreciate the power of synergy and artistic collaboration. “Under the best circumstances, two plus two can equal more than four.” •

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Piedmont Maverick Sandy Lerner likes pushing boundaries. She made a fortune in the maledominated high-tech industry, started a grunge cosmetics line, rescued Jane Austen’s brother’s house in England. Now at Ayrshire Farm, this strongwilled entrepreneur promotes sustainable farming. By Suzanne Gannon

P h oto g r a p h y by Ca d e M A rt i n

On a rain-soaked March morning, Sandy Lerner is taking stock at Hunter’s Head Tavern, the 120-seat, English-style pub-with-a-garden that she owns in Upperville. Lerner likes to meet and greet friends at the pub, but its primary purpose is to showcase dishes, including Welsh rarebit and bubble and squeak, made from ingredients raised and produced at Ayrshire Farm—the 800-acre certified organic and humane livestock operation that she started in 1996, when she moved to Virginia. Above the bar where Lerner is seated hang dozens of pewter beer mugs, each inscribed with a number and the name of a regular patron. “It’s become cool to argue about what number you are,” says Lerner, who is sporting a girlish ponytail, blue nail polish and cowboy boots that hint at farm life. According to Lerner, Hunter’s Head is “an extension of my own living room,” meaning, “everybody knows everybody.” A chalkboard advertises the specials of the day—the pot roast is her favorite—and there’s a Dutch door where customers wanting quick service can place their orders. They get a numbered wooden spoon in exchange, which is then laid on the table to signal the server where their fish and chips or bangers and mash should be deposited. “I have attention-surplus disorder,” quips Lerner. “I leave the business to other people and focus on things that interest me and that need to be done from a progress point of view.” Lerner lives in horse country, but she is the antithesis of the traditional, demure estate owner. For one thing, she’s a Californian. She grew up in a place named Clipper Gap, northeast of Sacramento. More to the point, Lerner is an assertive person with an imposing intellect and unconventional interests—qualities that made her an entrepreneurial iconoclast. She likes pushing boundaries. She was a pioneer in the high-tech startup industry, a business dominated by men, and nowadays is intent on changing farming practices. In 1997 she posed

nude, on horseback, for Forbes magazine. She says it “seemed like a good idea at the time. … Everyone else does the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. I thought Forbes was more me.” The Forbes photo session was a product, so to speak, of Lerner’s career. In the early 1980s, after earning a master’s degree in statistics and computer science at Stanford University, Lerner and her then-husband (now ex-husband), Len Bosack, conceived a way to communicate by e-mail from different locations within the labs at Stanford University, where they worked. The technology they developed was called the multi-protocol router, and it led Lerner and Bosack to co-found in 1984 a company named Cisco Systems, which soon became one of America’s most successful technology ventures and is now the worldwide leader in computer networking. Six years later, the CEO fired Lerner—and when Bosack heard of her dismissal, he left the company, too. The two sold their Cisco stock, pocketing $170 million. Lerner wasted little time finding a new—and entirely different—career. In 1995, unable to find any green or purple nail polish on the market, and “tired of looking like a Barbie doll,” she started an irreverent, Laguna Beach-based cosmetics company named Urban Decay. It unveiled its grunge color line with the motto “Does pink make you puke?” Five years later, she sold the company to LVMH, the French luxury products giant, and over the last decade has concentrated her attention on philanthropic and investment activities, animal rights issues, and most especially on Ayrshire Farm, which features a 42-room Edwardian mansion completed circa 1912. Lerner doesn’t live in the manor house, which she calls the “guest house,” preferring to occupy a smaller “cabin” on the property. For a computer scientist, Lerner seems something of an edgy old soul. She doesn’t own a TV—stopped watching it in 1968, she says, when the Addams Family went off the air. She likens television to watching other people’s news, and believes people should go out and make news of their own. She does not Tweet or spend time on social media websites; in fact, she only started reading her e-mail three years ago. She recently began to text, forced to do it after a storm compromised her phone service. A devotee of classic women’s literature, Lerner in 1992 bought and restored an estate once owned by Jane Austen’s brother, called Chawton House, in Hampshire, England. She has transformed it into the Center for the Study of Early English Women’s Writing, and is currently This page, Sandy Lerner, in the Hunter’s Head Tavern. V i r g i n i a

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underwriting the digitization of the works of female authors who lived in England between 1600 and 1830. The 10,000 volumes, not all of them novels, include works by Austen, Mary Shelley, Frances Sheridan and Maria Edgeworth, among many others, as well as a collection of cookbooks by Quakers. Lerner describes her passions as “tantrums.” By that she means that when a new idea or concept captivates her, she tends to immerse herself in it—sometimes for short periods, sometimes longer. Inspired by a her love of Austen, Lerner spent some 25 years dancing in the Regency style and herself made dozens of ball gowns. She helped to found the Piedmont Regency Dancers and has hosted balls at Ayrshire’s manor house. “I’ve danced in five centuries,” she says, adding that the hobby enabled her to imagine herself in one of Austen’s books.

Her latest venture, now nearly 15 years in the making, is altogether different. It has her digging deep into the compost-fertilized clay soil of Upperville, in the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont. Her property straddles the county line between Fauquier and Loudoun, and there Lerner is single-handedly challenging the tradition-bound paradigm of what she calls factory farming.

Decay, from which she still sources copious quantities of blue nail polish. She employs close to 100 people, who work on the farm, in the pub and in the Home Farm store that she owns in downtown Middleburg. It is a gourmet retail shop housed in a stately old stone bank building. Inside, pristine glass butcher cases display pork loin for $19.99 a pound, veal loin chops for $21.99 per pound, boneless beef rib eye for $32, and ground beef in strands the thickness of bucatini noodles for $5.49 a pound. The store also sells ready-toeat meals (made at the farm’s prep kitchen), produce and assorted products like cheeses, jams and honey sourced from local producers. Online and wholesale sales to retailers like the Alexandria-based chain Mom’s Organic Market contribute to the bottom line. Ayrshire Farm also caters events and offers cooking classes.

that there’s still no state infrastructure to promote sustainable farming, no class on sustainable farming at Virginia Tech. Sustainable farming, she says, is the agriculture industry’s “ugly stepsister”—an assertion that Tim Mize, an agricultural extension agent for Fauquier County, does not dispute.

“When I started this, most people thought I was from another planet,” she says. “But look at George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Jethro Tull. They were all agricultural innovators with a deep commitment to developing better methods of farming, but they were terrible businessmen.” Her integrated approach to producing meat, poultry, eggs, fruits and vegetables relies on systematic crop and livestock rotations, extensive composting and animal-friendly husbandry practices. They have earned Ayrshire recognition as Virginia’s first farm to be certified organic and humane. “When I started this, most people thought I was from another planet,” she says. “But look at George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Jethro Tull. They were all agricultural innovators with a deep commitment to developing better methods of farming, but they were terrible businessmen.” Lerner, it seems, has the business side covered. Apart from her Cisco Systems windfall, she earned about $20 million from the sale of Urban

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And now comes a new foray. Lerner has developed a new line of organic and humane food for dogs and cats that will be sold under the brand name Furry Foodie. Lerner says the pet food line should be on the market later this year. Lerner, 54, was a vegetarian for 30 years, but she’s been lured back to pleasures of carnivorous eating by Chef Rob Townsend’s cooking at the Hunter’s Head Tavern. She unabashedly calls his food the best in Virginia, which must explain what she says is a recent 20-pound weight gain (hard to believe). “We don’t serve any structural food,” she says of the pub. “There’s not a tablecloth to be seen—it’s just good food.” While agriculture remains a very big industry in Virginia—number one by dollar value—Lerner laments

Lerner grew to love animals as a youth. She spent considerable time caring for horses on a 108-acre California ranch and pear farm owned by two aunts. That experience fuels her desire to raise livestock in a humane fashion. At Ayrshire, the cows are kept outside, hemmed in by a lightly pulsating electric fence, and dine on high-quality grasses and legumes (including clover), rotating only among pastures where regrowth is sufficient for grazing. The animals are never far from water or shade. Newborn piglets are kept in a partitioned area with a toasty heat lamp, protecting them from their mother’s dangerous rollovers. The chickens are entertained 24-7 with piped-in music from the radio, a punchy mariachi number on the day of my visit. Ayrshire Farm processes and sells about 1,000 chickens

From left: Lerner’s Home Farm store in Middleburg; inside, fine cheeses and an old-fashioned soda fountain.

weekly, mostly broilers, and sells eggs from heirloom breeds like Dominiques and Buckeyes. The chickens are slaughtered before dawn, when they are said to be at their calmest. (The rest of Ayrshire’s livestock is slaughtered and processed at a certified organic and humane plant about an hour away.) Ayrshire produces 125,000 pounds of beef annually, along with 45,000 pounds of pork and 62,000 pounds of poultry. “Sandy is a strong animal welfare promoter,” says Adele Douglass, executive director of Herndon-based Humane Farm Animal Care, a nonprofit group that inspects farms and slaughterhouses and grants certification. “If ever there are changes needed, she makes them and makes sure everybody follows the rules.” Douglass estimates that since 2003, when she founded her organization, the number of farm animals being raised in humane conditions across the country has grown from 143,000 to 25.2 million, out of approximately 10 billion total. As if her organic and humane farming efforts weren’t challenging enough, Lerner is doing her part to rescue several heritage breeds from the threat of extinction. She maintains a stable of 25 rare and endangered Shire horses, between 700 and 800 head of ancient White Park and Scottish Highland cattle, and approx-

imately 250 Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs. Partly as a result of her work, the ancient White Park cattle population has rebounded from 400 worldwide to roughly 1,000, and the Shires have been moved from the “critical” list to the “watch” category. There are also turkeys from several heritage breeds. The only farm animal Lerner does not raise is sheep. To cultivate heirloom fruits, vegetables and micro-greens, Lerner leases 200 acres to Joneve Murphy, an organic farmer who previously worked at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont. According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, organic farming accounts for only about 2 percent of the state’s $55 billion in annual agricultural revenues, but the sector is growing both locally and nationally. Currently, Ayrshire Farm is one of about 180 Virginia-based farms and ranches, in total occupying some 12,000 acres of land, that follow the organic certification standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2008. “The main reason people don’t get into organic farming is because it’s so much more expensive,” says Elaine Lidholm, director of communications for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “If you don’t treat for plant disease or insects, then you experience losses.” Lerner has a different view of loss. She contends that when the human health problems associated with chemical-based pesticides and fertilizers are taken into consideration, “traThis page, top right: Numbered mugs and a window seat at the Hunter’s Head Tavern. Here: Heritage breeds at Ayrshire Farm include White Park cattle, Shire horses and Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs.

ditional farming has to be more expensive ….” The pesticide issue aside, Lidholm calls Lerner “the poster child for the agricultural entrepreneur.” She adds, “Lots of farmers can learn a lot from her.” Having cut back on what used to be frequent trips to England and San Francisco, Lerner now spends most of her time at Ayrshire, living in a hickory log-andplaster house with her four cats. She uses the main house, a sprawling, steel-reinforced fieldstone manse built by Brig. Gen. James A. Buchanan, for fund-raising events on behalf of organizations such as the Virginia League of Conservation Voters and the Piedmont Environmental Council. (The original plantation house was built around 1821 by land speculator Bushrod Rust and purchased in 1847 by George S. Ayre.) “Land is an addiction,” she says. “Living off it is so grounding because there are so many things beyond your control.” That became apparent this past winter when a massive snowstorm, with 50-mile-per-hour winds, pounded northern Virginia. Lerner lost 20 head of cattle and a couple dozen hogs. “It was soul-numbing,” she says. As a result, she no longer calves year-round, opting not to expose still-young stock to winter weather.

Adversity, she says, “keeps you humble and makes you a better farmer in the end, but this is why farmers need a support group.” By all accounts, she has one. The Hunter’s Head, which serves dinner year-round and lunch and brunch several days a week, derives at least a third of its business from locals. Lerner herself dines there almost daily and stocks her refrigerator with leftovers. If a neighbor fails to show as expected on a holiday such as Thanksgiving, Lerner calls to make sure there is no problem. Her relations with Upperville residents weren’t always so cordial. On the wall near the tavern’s Dutch door hangs the cartoonish bust of a man who may or may not have played a role—Lerner won’t say definitively— in a kerfuffle that arose back in the mid1990s. That’s when she refused to allow members of the Piedmont Foxhounds access to her rolling pastures and tree-lined creeks. Prior to her purchase of Ayrshire—which, ironically, she bought from the president of the club—the farm had long been a foxhunting venue. The man whose likeness is portrayed by the bust may even have served as the inspiration for the tavern’s cheeky name. That club president is long gone, and Lerner and Piedmont Foxhounds have over the years discovered their many common interests. “I think her intensive

approach to agriculture made it clear that Ayrshire wouldn’t be as compatible to foxhunting as it had been,” says Tad Zimmerman, one of the four current joint masters of Piedmont Foxhounds. He notes that rotational grazing, which requires the moving of temporary fences, makes it difficult to establish reliable jumps for the horses anyway. “That takes some of the sting out of [the decision], because you realize there’s a reason, and now there’s a better appreciation for the many positive aspects we have in common—working with children, encouraging agriculture, preserving the land.” “I didn’t fit the foxing program,” says Lerner, “but it was never my intention not to get along.” Citing a shared interest in land preservation, she says that the hunters are now “some of my best friends.” In a show of solidarity, she has sponsored trail rides on her property, hosted a silent auction fund-raiser for the club, and underwritten some medical treatments for the hounds. Out in the pasture, the animals seem to possess the same unconventional streak as their owner. The White Parks pose with their dramatic black lips and ears and eyelashes that look as though they’ve been enhanced by a tube of Urban Decay mascara. And the spotted pigs flash forwardthrusting ears that resemble singer Justin Bieber’s hairdo. And, funny thing, the farm doesn’t smell. There is no trace of the nose-wrinkling stench of most hog or chicken farms. The pristine air, combined with the sweeping views of the Blue Ridge, might be among the reasons Sandy Lerner seems content—until her next tantrum. • V i r g i n i a

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Inside (and Outside) the Box Atlantic Corrugated Celebrates Its Silver Anniversary B y G a r ry K r a n t z

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to our success. Our ink supEdward Barlow II has good reapliers, print plate and cutson to celebrate in 2010. This ting die suppliers also play a year marks the 25th anniversary role in the process, as they too of his company, Atlantic Corhave jumped through hoops rugated Box Co. Inc. Reflecting to deliver on demand. Withon the company’s past quarterout our suppliers, we couldn’t century, and in anticipation of do what we do.” the next 25 years, Barlow has Most of all, Barlow pays initiated a corporate re-brandhomage to his father, Edward ing, which includes a new corBarlow Sr., who started the porate website, company out of a warehouse What’s more important, though, in the Manchester district of is what won’t change. Richmond in 1985. The comIn an industry marked by pany now is headquartered at consolidation of larger compa1701 Ruffin Road, near Internies, and amid a pervasive recesstate 95 in Richmond. Edward sion, Barlow’s Richmond-based Barlow II began working for manufacturing firm remains Edward Barlow II and Wayne Vaughan his father at the company as both fiercely independent and a teenager, learning the business from the ground up. He started out by sweeping consistently profitable. The recipe for success blends several key ingredients: dedifloors and transporting cutting dies, gradually learning the blend of art and science cated employees, loyal customers and a conservative approach to cash flow. required to create topflight corrugated products. He joined the company on a fullAs the company marks its milestone, Barlow wants to acknowledge the time basis after graduating from Virginia Tech in 1990. Shortly thereafter, Barlow individuals and organizations that have been instrumental in Atlantic Corrupurchased the firm from his father. gated’s long-term growth and prosperity. Topping the list are his 25 employees, When Ed Barlow Sr. launched Atlantic Corrugated in 1985, he was also the most of whom have been with the company for years and can be found every day owner of another firm named Boxes to Size. It grew rapidly and soon exposed inside the company’s 60,000-square-foot facility, collaborating on customan underserved niche—namely, manufacturing companies that needed shortized packaging jobs. In addition to the high level of skill required for operating run customized packaging products. Ed Barlow Sr. seized the opportunity, and the high-tech machinery that whirrs and buzzes throughout the building, AC thus was born the idea for Atlantic Corrugated, which Barlow co-founded with employees have something more, according to Barlow. “I call it our employee partner Eugene Smithson. The company continues to provide custom products, mojo,” he says. “Every employee plays an important role, from managers right but also has expanded to other market niches including larger-volume orders, on down to people who sweep the shop floor. We have great team players who floor and counter displays, and specialized truly go the extra mile.” packaging with topsheet/offset printing. And they do, in everything they produce. Today, Barlow credits his retired father The company specializes in corrugated packagwith instilling core values that continue to guide ing and display products for various industries, “The recipe for success blends several the company: leadership, accountability, integincluding medical, food and beverage, tobacco, key ingredients: dedicated employees, rity and commitment. “He is my mentor,” says printing and packaging. Its products include loyal customers and a conservative Barlow. “He taught me two key things: to only shipping cartons, displays and top-sheet printed approach to cash flow.” make commitments you can keep, and to deliver products and materials. a quality product with extraordinary service to “It’s amazing, the array of packaging we can every customer, every time.” offer,” says sales manager Wayne Vaughan, who According to Barlow, good companies are also good corporate citizens, and helps Barlow map the firm’s strategic course. “We do so many things for so many Atlantic Corrugated takes pride in its role in the Richmond community. This different industries that it has enabled us to gain a reputation as one of the best sheet year, for example, company employees custom-manufactured and printed a set plants in the area.” of boxes for the Children’s Museum of Richmond for use in its Secondhand BouAlong with producing packaging products, Atlantic Corrugated also provides tique. Atlantic Corrugated also contributes financially to the Valentine Richstorage capabilities for customer inventory, in a warehouse encompassing 25,000 mond History Center, and will help sponsor the museum’s Richmond History square feet. That is especially helpful to companies that use a large volume of the Makers 2010 event this fall. same-sized packaging and need on-demand capacity. They While working for his father, Edward Barlow can avoid the costs of creating new orders from scratch. learned another valuable lesson: the importance of runAtlantic Corrugated’s customer service teams monitor cusning a debt-free business. “If he couldn’t afford to own tomers’ on-hand inventory and ensure that stock is autosomething outright, he didn’t buy it,” Barlow explains. matically replenished once preset minimum quantities are Barlow uses cash flow to reinvest in the business. reached. The company also owns a fleet of trucks to provide The pay-as-you-go philosophy has enabled the just-in-time and same-day local delivery. company to reinvest in the operation, expand its producA reputation for consistent reliability helps attract tion capacity and position itself for future growth. The and retain loyal customers, many of whom have been with company recently took advantage of a surplus market for Atlantic Corrugated since its inception. “We are humbled new equipment by acquiring a flatbed clamshell die cutand grateful that customers continue to place their faith in ter and automatic gluer at favorable prices. It continues to us,” says Barlow. “It is a privilege being able to partner with evaluate market needs as it considers additional equipthem and help them realize their business goals.” ment purchases. “The new machines help us boost effiHe is quick to mention the important suppliers ciency and develop product lines that we previously were and vendors that enable Atlantic Corrugated to quickly unable to produce,” Barlow says. turn around jobs for customers on tight deadlines. “We The company’s “customer-first” principle remains order press-ready corrugated sheets up until 5:00 p.m. firmly in place. It has guided the company during its first on any workday, and on most occasions we can expect quarter-century, says Barlow, and will buttress the firm delivery of those sheets at our facility by 8:00 a.m. or over the next 25 years. 9:00 a.m. the next morning,” says Barlow. “That is key A d ve r ti s i n g S u p p l e m e n t

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– Henry David Thoreau

Hunting. Fishing. Hiking and Running Trails. Rafting. Canoeing. Kayaking. Tubing. Rock Climbing. Golfing. Horseback Riding. SnowFlex Skiing. These are some of the recreational activities near our historic riverfront boutique hotel. Visit our Web site or call and ask about our Outdoor Enthusiast Packages. • 434.455.1500 • Historic Waterfront, Downtown Lynchburg

2010 ADVERTISEMENT FOR VISIT LOUDOUN Publication: VA Living Ad Size: 1/2 page horizontal

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Loudoun County, Virginia oudoun boasts exquisite culinary and heritage experiences including significant historic sites, more than 20 award-winning wineries, farm-to-table dining, golf and hiking, and road trips along scenic byways, all set amidst the backdrop of stunning vistas and charming small towns. Only 25 miles from DC.

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Berry Unlikely Sweet twists on the simplest summer fruits. By CHRISTINE ENNULAT Photog r a p h y by K ip Daw k ins • Food St y ling by J F r a nk • P rop st y ling by Co u rt n e y Spe n c e r

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Ceviche with blueberries

4/23/10 3:08:21 PM

Food Which of the following is a berry? (A) raspberry, (B) blackberry, (C) strawberry, (D) blueberry or (E) banana. If you answered E, congratulations, you get the prize—of those five choices, the banana is the only true berry in the bunch. And what is a “true” berry? Botanically speaking, a berry is the simplest fruit, grown from the ovary of a single flower, as in the grape and the tomato, which are also true berries. The blueberry (and the cranberry, for that matter) are “false” berries, growing from another part of the flower. Raspberries and blackberries are clumps—each little juicy sac is an individual fruit. And the strawberry? It’s technically a vegetable, a spectacular swelling of the stem where the flower parts attach, and the little seedlike things on its surface are actually fruit. But don’t tell that to Barry and Jan Fitzgerald, purveyors of Charles City County-based Barry’s Berries and Jan’s Jams at Rose Tree Hill Farm. They are firmly among the vast majority of the population who simply don’t care about any technically correct definition of “berry.” “We’ll just go with the colloquial one,” says Jan, a smile in her voice. There’s ample reason that the colloquialism “berry” so strongly ties together this group of small fruits (and a vegetable), with their vivid colors and bright flavors and iconic things to be made from them. You bake berries into pies. You douse them with cream. Cook them down to gooey goodness and seal them into jars. Or skip cooking entirely—just pop them into your mouth and let their flavor burst on your tongue, the taste of summer. Maybe you’re even lucky enough to pluck them right off the plant, sun-warm. That’s how Barry Fitzgerald likes berries best. And, for the last handful of years, he’s had more access than most. Up until 2006, Barry and Jan had always grown blueberries in their home garden.

Chicken with raspberry vinegar sauce

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“They did so well,” says Barry, “we decided to become blueberry farmers.” The couple started with two acres. Since then, with some help and encouragement from Virginia State University’s Small Farm Program, the Fitzgeralds have diversified. Six of their 21 acres are now planted with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, mulberries and strasberries. Yes, that’s strasberry, which reputedly falls somewhere between the strawberry and the raspberry, but which, says Barry, is really a wild strawberry native to South America and cultivated in Europe. “They have a lot more old-fashioned strawberry taste,” he adds. “Much better than the ones they’ve bred all the taste out of.” It’s Jan’s favorite. “It has a real sparkle to it,” she says. Jan’s Jams—all five berry types plus a spiced blueberry-honey jam—recently earned the vaunted Virginia’s Finest designation. She also enjoys making pies and describes a “refrigerator-fresh” pie that sounds easy as ... well, pie: Chop up some strawberries and cook them with sugar and corn starch to make a sauce. Arrange some whole berries in a baked pie shell, pour the cooled sauce over, and chill until set. (We don’t see why any of the other berry varieties couldn’t substitute, by the way.) While Jan is just fine with the colloquial usage of “berry,” she’s plenty cosmopolitan in how she uses berries. How could the author of The Foothills Gourmet Cookbook of the Well-Traveled Hillbilly not be? She has been known, for instance, to make chicken with raspberry sauce, similar to the one we present here. In fact, berries pair nicely with any number of unexpected ingredients—they’re not just for dessert anymore. Don’t worry, though: We won’t leave this gathering of berry unlikely bedfellows without a colloquially sweet finish.

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Baked Brie with berry salsa

Ceviche with blueberries


1 2

Wrap a wheel of Brie in two sheets of phyllo dough, brush the closure with beaten egg, and bake smooth-side-up at 350 for 20 - 25 minutes, until brown.

1 2

salsa 1⁄4 cup each of blueberries, strawberries (sliced), raspberries and blackberries 1 tablespoon sugar 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon juice 1⁄2 teaspoon minced jalapeño (adjust amount for desired heat)

Toss the berries with sugar, and let them sit for 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, and serve with baked Brie.

⁄ cup each red, yellow, green and orange peppers, diced ⁄ cup diced red onion 6 grape tomatoes, sliced 1⁄2 jalapeño, seeded, veined and minced 3⁄4 cup fresh lime juice 1⁄2 cup lemon juice 1⁄2 cup chopped cilantro 1⁄2 cup blueberries mango slices for garnish 1 cup Laughing Bird shrimp 1 cup scallops, sliced in half sea salt and pepper to taste 1 cup good olive oil Mix the two juices and marinate the seafood for 20 to 30 minutes in a glass bowl. In a separate bowl, mix all the peppers with the onion and cilantro, and season well with sea salt and pepper. Strain the seafood and add to the pepper mix, reserving juice. Combine the juice with the olive oil, pour over the mixed peppers and seafood, and mix well. Refrigerate for an additional 30 minutes. Before serving, gently mix in blueberries, and garnish with mango.

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Chicken with raspberry vinegar sauce chicken breasts butter olive oil 1 shallot, finely minced 1 cup chicken stock 1⁄4 cup raspberry vinegar* 1 cup cream salt pepper

Salt and pepper breasts and sauté in butter and olive oil. Take chicken out and keep it warm in a 225-degree oven. Add to the pan a tablespoon of butter and the shallot, and sauté until translucent (not brown). Add the chicken stock and cook for 5 to 6 minutes over medium heat, until reduced by half. Then add the raspberry vinegar and reduce for another minute or two. Add the cream and reduce until thickened to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, and strain. When serving, pour a puddle of the sauce into each plate, and arrange sliced chicken breasts on top. *To make your own raspberry vinegar: Combine 2 cups raspberries with 4 cups white wine or champagne vinegar, cover, and infuse at room temperature for three or four days.

Baked Brie with berry salsa

4/23/10 3:08:37 PM


Red Berry Pudding

4 cups currants 2 cups raspberries 2 cups strawberries 1 cup sugar 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 1⁄4 cup water 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla Mix the berries with sugar and marinate 15 minutes to release their juices. Add 1 cup water, bring to a simmer and simmer on low for 8 to 10 minutes. Mix cornstarch with 1⁄4 cup water, add to the simmering fruit mixture and simmer for 2 more minutes. Add lemon juice and vanilla. Once partially cool, fill into appropriate vessels and refrigerate overnight. Serve with heavy cream (preferred), whipped cream, vanilla sauce or plain yogurt.

To pick your own berries at Rose Tree Hill Farm by appointment, call (804) 9667357—or find the Barry’s Berries and Jan’s Jams at the Williamsburg Farmers’ Market in Merchant’s Square, Saturdays May through October. Red berry pudding

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DINING GUIDE Bookbinderʼs Patio offers outdoor dining at its best! Fresh Seafood, Prime Steaks and a wine loverʼs selection. Voted “Best Restaurant in Richmond” by Open Table.

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Smoked “The Ole Virginia Way,” with Hickory and Applewood

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Texas de Brazil invites you to imagine perfection: an elegant atmosphere where a troop of carvers serve up 15 various cuts of masterfully seasoned and flame-grilled meats, accompanied by our 60-item gourmet salad area and specialty sides. All of this paired perfectly with a bottle of wine from our extravagant wine cellar and finished off with a decadent dessert or hand-rolled cigar... Texas de Brazil – just imagine.

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An extraordinary example of early 19th century Virginia architecture. Old Hall exemplifies the elegance and sophistication found in the once bustling town of Scottsville on the James River. Here is a rare opportunity to acquire a landmark eligible home with 11 foot ceilings and stunning detail in every room. Located in southern Albemarle County in the heart of Old Scottsville just 30 minutes from Charlottesville. A remarkable value at just $595,000.

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Tucked away in one of the Piedmont’s prettiest valleys is Froggy Bottom Farm consisting of 35 acres of fields and woods with a large pond and frontage on a stocked trout stream. The c.1870 cabin boasts period details and exudes charm with two stone fireplaces and a wraparound porch. Very private but not isolated and just 30 minutes from Charlottesville. $495,000.

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Monday, June 7 - Sunday, June 13 Daily highlights: *Vendors & Shopping *Good Food *Hunter & Jumper classes starting at 8 a.m. Saturday highlights: *Leadline, WalkTrot & Family Classes *Ladies SideSaddle Classes *Jumper Stakes Classes

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Photo courtesy of Janet Hitchen

4/22/10 6:29:27 PM

HARTFORD TO KALAMAZOO TO BENTONVILLE TO HARTFORD. OTHERWISE KNOWN AS WEDNESDAY. With private aviation there’s so much more you can do in a business day. The Marquis Jet Card


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Pignoli, an eastern screech owl, is missing an eye.

Mr. Dodo and the Rototiller What to do with an ailing peregrine falcon, or an injured white-tailed deer? Since its founding in 1982, the Wildlife Center of Virginia has been the place to take wild animals that need intensive care. The center has treated some 55,000 animals over the years, and is one of the world’s leading research and training hospitals for veterinary medicine. Watch those talons! By Caroline Kettlewell I l l u s t r at i o n s By l e e b a s k e rv i l l e a n d T y l e r Da r d e n

Mr. Dodo was an American toad of no particular distinction. He did not, for example, have madcap adventures in motorcars nor count among his friends a mole and a water rat. Nevertheless, simply by going about his ordinary toad life, Mr. Dodo earned the steadfast affection of the Virginia family in whose yard he made his home; each spring, his reappearance after a winter’s hibernation occasioned general delight and celebration. Respectfully left to his toad habits, he grew contentedly on his steady garden diet of bugs and slugs. All was well. 60 |

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Then one year, catastrophe struck. Dad was rototilling, Mr. Dodo was abiding unseen, and in one brief, terrible moment, their paths converged. Mr. Dodo suffered a grievous wound, a deep laceration to his back. Children weeping, parents distraught, the family tenderly bundled up the toad and rushed him to Waynesboro, where Mr. Dodo was delivered, with much earnest entreaty for his care, into the hands of the staff of the Wildlife Center of Virginia. Founded in 1982, the Wildlife Center is a veterinary hospital for Virginia’s wild creatures, treating an ever-varying cast of fauna large and small, from orphaned black bears to box turtles with broken shells. In 2009 alone, the Center admitted more than 2,500 animals for treatment, including

two rare peregrine falcons, 45 mice, 101 white-tailed deer, 64 red-tailed hawks, and one five-lined skink. The Wildlife Center, which is supported almost entirely by private donations, is also one of the world’s leading teaching and research hospitals for wildlife medicine, focusing on issues from conservation and environmental education to disease surveillance and bioterrorism. The Center’s staff is involved in telemedicine, education and consultation with wildlife centers and veterinary teaching institutions around the world. It also consults with and advises local, national and international government organizations. In 28 years, the Center has trained some 900 veterinarians and 22 postdoctoral interns or residents from the U.S., Canada and 32 other countries; in addition to the three staff veterinarians, there are usually one or more students training at the Center, some only for a few weeks and others for months or longer. Through its outreach and education programs, the Center also reached more than 1.4 million Virginia schoolchildren and adults over its years of operation. “It is not success in our mind to be one of the best or to do well what other people can do as well or better,” says the Center’s president and cofounder, Ed Clark. “Our mission is to blaze new ground, learn new things, and empower other people to do more, and that is something to which we have been loyal and true since the beginning.” Every patient that arrives at the Center offers an opportunity for the staff to expand its knowledge and broaden its expertise. “We want to make the patients here better and get them back to the wild,” says director of veterinary medicine Dave McRuer (known at the Center as “Dr. Dave”). “But they are also training opportunities.” In Mr. Dodo’s case, the question was how to give anesthesia to a toad in need of stitches. Because the skin is part of an amphibian’s respiratory system, explains McRuer, the solution was not a toad-sized breathing mask bur rather mixing the liquid form of the anesthesia isoflurane with a lubricant. “We rubbed it on Mr. Dodo’s belly, and that put him out.” Fifteen stitches later—quite a sum for a toad the size of an orange—Mr. Dodo was settled in a comfortable temporary habitat much to his liking, with a pond for soaking, logs to hide in and his daily portion of earthworms and crickets for food. And after several weeks of careful

attention and monitoring, one fully recovered American toad was picked up by a jubilant family and returned to his garden life. Mr. Dodo is one of the nearly 55,000 animals, large and small, representing more than 200 species, that have passed through the Wildlife Center’s doors over the years. The Center doesn’t give them names (Mr. Dodo arrived with his already given), only a patient number, which serves both as a functional tracking tool and a subtle reminder that although some may spend months at the Center, the patients here are not pets, but wild animals. Whenever possible, the Wildlife Center aims to return them,

time, according to Clark. Now, on a $1 million annual budget that still is raised almost entirely from individual donors, the Center occupies a purpose-built, geothermally heated and cooled facility tucked unobtrusively into a wooded hillside on the flank of the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside Waynesboro. Here, staff members and volunteers meet the daily challenges of caring for patients that often, unlike Mr. Dodo, come liberally equipped with claws, beaks, teeth or talons and may be inclined to regard their human caretakers as dangerous threats to be fended off. If you’ve ever tried to give a pill to a

Great horned owl used for educational presentations.

McRuer has learned the value of wearing thick gloves and a face shield when working with long-beaked wading birds. Skunks, he quips, usually get assigned to the newest veterinary students. like Mr. Dodo, healthy and ready to survive, to the wild environment that is their natural home. In its earliest days, the Center operated out of a horse barn. Founded to meet the need for a veterinary facility that could specifically care for and rehabilitate local wildlife (its first five patients, all raptors, came from the Charlottesville SPCA), the Center, in its first full year, carried out its mission on a $14,000 budget that seemed almost a dauntingly large sum to raise from donors at the

cat, you can imagine the ingenuity it might take, say, to check the wounds on a bald eagle or give a physical to a full-grown snapping turtle. “There is no typical day,” says McRuer, who came to the Center for a residency position in 2006, ended up staying, and today speaks from thoroughly earned experience. He’s a vet who knows his way around stethoscope and syringe but also has learned the value of thick, gauntletlength gloves and the wisdom of wearing a face shield when working with long-beaked wading birds.

Scarlett, red-tailed hawk

As for skunks? “We usually assign our newest student first rights of examination,” he says. He’s kidding. Actually, when treating skunks, the vets typically use mild sedation, a blanket to cover the animal, and the wisdom to “point the business end in the opposite direction,” McRuer says. And by the way, a toilet plunger makes an effective tool for gently stymieing a snapping turtle. Minimizing stress to the animals is a priority, though at the same time the staff members and volunteers at the Center decidedly don’t want to be liked by their patients. The animals need to maintain their natural, healthy wariness of people— the better to integrate back into the wild after treatment—so contact between humans and animals is limited to what’s absolutely necessary for the animals’ care. Because some very young animals, such as birds, can develop an identification with and attachment to humans instead of their own species, the staff employs strategies like feeding young raptor nestlings with hand-puppets that look like adult birds, or dressing in bulky, shapeless costumes and head coverings when bottle-feeding bear cubs. The Center has a female great horned owl in permanent residence that regularly serves as a surrogate mother for young nestlings and “does a wonderful job at making the owlets hate us. Perfect!” says McRuer. One of the vet’s more memorable days involved another great horned owl and what sounded at first like a relatively simple task: returning a nestling to the nest from which it had fallen. Only that nest was 70 feet V i r g i n i a

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up in a skinny pine tree, and by the time Dominion Power company—a longtime supporter of the Center— had brought in one of its biggest bucket trucks to assist, darkness had fallen and the wind had picked up. The parents could also be seen flying by on occasion, and Dr. Dave was not unaware that the great horned owl has some of the most powerful talons in the raptor family and a reputation for being very territorial. Nevertheless, up he went in the bucket, there to discover that at the truck-arm’s full extension he was still four or five feet short of the nest. As the tree swayed in the wind, the intrepid veterinarian (attached by safety harness) climbed on to the bucket’s rim and gently placed his patient, which had been safely held in a pillowcase, back into the nest. “And then,” says Dr. Dave, “we got down as quickly as possible.” Most days at the Center, of course, don’t call for quite so much derringdo. Indeed, for some of the creatures being treated there, “patient” is the operative word. Turtles, for example, have such slow metabolisms that it can take weeks for an infection to show symptoms and months for a broken shell to heal. Turtles that arrive at the Center in late summer or early fall may end up spending the winter there, kept warm through their normal hibernation season so that they might—relatively speaking—heal more quickly. Some orphaned animals simply need time to grow old enough and big enough to survive on their own. A black bear cub that arrived last July hungry and dehydrated and covered with ticks weighed less than five pounds on admission. But on a steady diet that included dog food, peanut butter, strawberries, tuna, birdseed, and crickets, he nearly tripled his weight in a few weeks. Meanwhile, he was gradually introduced to another, slightly larger young cub that had come to the Center in June when its mother and sibling were killed by a car. The two were kept

A turtle recuperates from a shell fracture caused by a lawnmower, a common occurrence.

isolated together, with minimal human contact, in an enclosure on the hillside behind the center, and by the end of July, still wild, they were ready to be released together on National Forest property. Not every patient story ends so well. The Center depends on a statewide network of several hundred skilled volunteers, known as “permitted wildlife rehabilitators,” to care whenever possible for smaller animals and less critical cases. What arrives at the Center, then, is often the most serious cases. Says Ed Clark, “We are the trauma center and the intensive care facility. The animals we get, and the ones we want to see, are the ones most in need of intensive medical care.” Unfortunately, some injuries or illnesses are so severe or debilitating that there is no hope for an animal’s ability to recover. A bird that can’t fly, for example, cannot survive. Still, some 40 percent of the Center’s patients are successfully treated and released, says Clark. “What is more important to us than simple numbers of release is that the animals we release are truly well and able to go back to the wild.” As Virginia’s population continues

to grow, however, “the wild” is increasingly a territory shared with or bordering our streets and cities and shopping malls. There are deer in our backyards, geese on the golf course, coyotes prowling the suburbs. This proximity puts the human population at greater risk for exposure to animal-borne diseases such as West Nile virus, Lyme disease and avian influenza, which is why a major focus of the Wildlife Center’s research activities is wildlife disease surveillance in regard to human health. At the same time, too often it is human activity that directly or inadvertently sends animals to the Center. Free-roaming cats exact a steady toll; in 2009 alone, 222 animals were brought to the Center after being attacked by cats, and many of these could not be saved due to severe infections caused by bacteria carried on the cats’ teeth. Collisions with trucks and cars last year brought 127 cases to the Center. Lawn mowers, pesticides and lead poisoning (typically from lead shot in the remains of animals left in the field during hunting season) cause their share of damage as well. Nineteen patients in 2009,

Left: Dave McRuer, director of veterinary medicine, better known as “Dr. Dave”; right, the front entrance to the Wildlife Center

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including two bald eagles, had been shot. And 324 animals in 2009 were what the Center calls “kidnap victims”—young animals such as deer fawn or fledgling birds that wellmeaning citizens bring to the Center, having mistakenly concluded that the animals have been abandoned by their parents. One focus of the Center’s educational efforts, then, is to help the general public learn how to be good stewards of the natural world, which includes knowing when to leave well enough alone, knowing that the fledgling bird is testing its wings or that the fawn discovered behind your azalea has been hidden there intentionally by its mother, who will return for it later. Still, it is often ordinary citizens who make the effort to get genuinely injured or ailing animals to the Center for care. And it is people who help support the Center with the financial and in-kind contributions without which it could not survive. Every young bear that ambles off into the woods with a second chance at life, every eagle that flies free again, and every toad that hops back into his home healthy and healed does so thanks to the Center’s many donors. “We never forget that the only reason our organization exists is because people support us with their hard-earned money,” says Ed Clark. “We are big enough to literally have an impact worldwide and small enough that every single donation makes a difference.” Mr. Dodo would like to say thanks. • Spring and summer are busy seasons at the Wildlife Center. If you find an animal you think needs help, contact the Center for guidance. Telephone numbers for the Center and for area wildlife rehabilitators, as well as specific advice for some of the more common calls the Center receives, can be found at

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Expansion at VMFA Largest in Museum History The expanded Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is now open, and everything about the museum is bigger, brighter and – with free admission – more welcoming.


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he themes of light, inspiration, and dynamic visual spaces guided the amazing transformation of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Strategically placed windows and skylights, suspended pedestrian bridges that seem to float in air, and the soft glow of natural light place the museum’s visitor in both a dazzling and energizing environment. VMFA’s world-class permanent collections are on view in a top-ten comprehensive art museum. “We’ve doubled our space for major traveling exhibitions and increased total space for our permanent collections and exhibitions to 134,000 square feet,” says VMFA Director Alex Nyerges. “Plus, major expanses of glass allow natural light to pour into the heart of the museum and also welcome visitors with a look at three floors of art and activity inside. “With our new James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Wing, architect Rick Mather gives us a thrilling, glamorous stage from which to welcome visitors and to display more of our global collection and present important special exhibitions,” says Nyerges. The expansion project is the largest in the museum’s history and re-orients VMFA’s main entrance to the Boulevard for the first time in decades. The McGlothlin Wing is the primary feature in the museum’s redevelopment of its 13 1/2-acre site. The master plan knits together new elements – the McGlothlin Wing, the E. Claiborne and Lora Robins Sculpture Garden, the Mary Morton Parsons Entry Plaza, and a new landscaped parking deck – with the original Georgian-style museum and three other historic buildings on the museum’s grounds. Indiana-limestone and glass cover the exterior of the wing, provide spacious new galleries for permanent collections and temporary exhibitions, an art education center, conservation studios, a library, a gift shop, and restaurants. The expansion was designed by London-based Rick Mather Architects in partnership with a Richmond architectural firm, SMBW, which recently completed projects for additions to the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia (with WG Clark and Bill Sherman) and Luck Stone’s new corporate headquarters in Goochland. The project is the first major U.S. commission for Mather, an American who has designed striking modern additions to a number of Great Britain’s most venerable cultural institutions. His most recent project, a new building for the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, opened in November.

The new VMFA wing is named after its principal donors, native Virginians James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin. An exhibition of their promised collection of paintings, sculpture and works on paper from their preeminent American holdings inaugurates the new building, as does a showing of selections from a recent major acquisition of German Expressionist works from the Ludwig and Rosy Fischer Collection. As visitors enter the three-story Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Atrium at the heart of the wing, they step into a soaring interior washed with natural light and paved in dark granite. Described by the architect as a “main street” within “a city in miniature,” the dramatic space allows light to penetrate the interior of the museum, and it connects the new wing to the existing museum. The new Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman Library, gift shop, Best Café and galleries open onto the atrium, and all key circulation paths pass through it. A large-scale commissioned painting by internationally known artist Ryan McGinness, who was born and raised in Virginia Beach, hangs in the entry concourse. The painting is his first museum commission, and its 200 colorful and densely layered images are based on works in the VMFA collection. From the atrium, stairways and glasswalled elevators take visitors either below to the 12,000-square-foot special-exhibitions galleries and lecture hall or above to two levels of new permanent-collection galleries. Aloft, five glass-sided aerial walkways span the atrium and connect the galleries in the new wing to those in the existing building. On the second floor of the new wing is the McGlothlin Galleries of American Art. Two bridges connect these galleries to another devoted exclusively to 21st-century art. Two more bridges connect to the original building’s newly transformed Sydney and Frances Lewis galleries that showcase VMFA’s collection of mid to late 20th-century art. A d v e rt i s i n g s u p p l e m e n t

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Still another bridge on the second level connects holdings in the new wing of Ancient American art, along with a collection of Native American art on loan from Robert and Nancy Nooter, to galleries in the existing museum presenting Greek and Roman art and Chinese art. On the third floor, the James W. and Georgina M. Rawles Galleries of Indian Art feature important works from South Asia. Also on the third floor are conservation studios – now more than doubled in size to nearly 10,000 square feet and washed by northern light – the Claiborne-Robertson Board Room, and a restaurant. The restaurant’s outdoor balcony offers a view of the sculpture garden. A glass-enclosed bar overlooks the atrium interior’s aerial walkways and main street as well as the sculpture garden. Two walkways on the third floor lead to the previously existing museum and the world renowned Sydney and Frances Lewis Collection of Art Nouveau and Art Deco and the Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon collection of French painting and sculpture. Two new period installations add still more drama to the new wing. In the South Asian galleries, an elegant, white-marble pavilion from Rajasthan, India, is on view. The 19th-century pavilion, with central fountain intact, measures approximately 14 by 27 feet and weighs 27 tons. It stands 9 1/2 feet tall. VMFA Director Alex Nyerges says the majestic structure is the only Mughal-inspired architectural space in an American museum. In the American galleries, the recently-acquired Worsham-Rockefeller Room is on view. The bedroom is from the posh 1880s New York City home of native Richmonder Arabella Yarrington Worsham Huntington. (She later sold the house to John D. Rockefeller Sr., who left the interiors largely intact.) The Aesthetic-movement room was a gift from the Museum of the City of New York. Nyerges says VMFA’s charter and its status as a state institution of higher learning drove the expansion of its campus and the design of the new wing. “We have also recently completed a comprehensive assessment of our services in dialogue with our statewide partners and are implementing enhancements to our statewide offerings for Virginians in their own communities.”

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f T f i ay

Explore the life of Louis

Comfort Tiffany with more than 170 examples of his

extraordinary technique and spectacular effects in glass.


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Opposite page above, Mounted Vase with Peacock-Feather Decoration, ca. 1898-99, enameling by Eugène Feuillatre, silver mount by Edward Collonna, blown glass, silver gilt, plique-à-jour enamel, rubies. The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York. Window in Tiffany’s residence (Bella Apartments), ca. 1880. Leaded glass, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Above, Dragonfly lamp, ca. 1906-1920, Clara Driscoll (designer) Tiffany Studios, Leaded glass, bronze, 28 x 22 inches, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Sydney and Frances Lewis.

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Good Shepherd window, left,1897 Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company Leaded glass,155 1/2 x 59 7/8 inches, Erskine and American Church, Montreal Angel of Resurrection window, right, ca. 1904-05, Tiffany Studios, Leaded glass 74 ¾ x 24 ¾ inches, Erskine and American Church, Montreal

Above, Wisteria Lamp, ca. 1902, designed by Clara Driscolland produced by Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company, bronze and leaded glass. Gift of Sydney and Frances Lewis. Punch Bowl, Punch Bowl with Three Ladles, 1900, Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, favrile glass, gilded silver, wood Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, (Punch Bowl is featured in the museum’s permanent collection)

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Tiffany: Color and Light May 29–Aug 15, NewMarket Gallery Tickets: $15, (VMFA members free) Seniors, students with ID, youth 7–17, $12 Children 6 and under free

Tiffany would establish throughout his career. Among the firms’ designs were commissions for Mark Twain, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and a floor-toceiling leaded-glass screen commissioned for the White House entrance hall in 1881.

Tiffany: Color and Light celebrates the work of the renowned designer Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933), whose innovative techniques and artistry achieved original and spectacular effects in glass. Among the exhibition’s more than 170 objects are examples of the leaded-glass windows and lamps for which he is best known, as well as blown glass vessels and decorative objects such as mosaics, jewelry, bronzes, paintings, watercolors, architectural elements, and lighting fixtures. Spectacular newly restored windows from the Erskine and American United Church in Montreal have never before been shown in the United States. The exhibition explores Tiffany’s long and varied career: his early life as a painter studying and traveling in Europe; the links to his father’s firm, Tiffany & Company; his work as an interior designer incorporating glass in the designs he created for some of the notable figures of his day; his relationship with the Parisian art dealer Magnolias Window, ca. 1900, Louis Comfort Siegfrid Bing, who distributed his work in Tiffany, designed by Agnes Northrop, made by Tiffany Glass and Decorating company, Europe; the techniques he used to create leaded glass. State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia. leaded-glass windows for religious buildings and private homes; and his development of Favrile glass, a process he patented and used to make iridescent vases and other decorative arts objects.

The European glass displayed at the Paris World’s Fair of 1889 inspired Tiffany to further investigate innovations in the creation of glass. In 1894 he registered the trademark for Favrile, the name for the handblown iridescent glass he had been developing. This glass was used in an array of vases, decorative tiles for fireplace surrounds, and other interior decorations. His work—including VMFA’s Punch Bowl—was recognized at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris, where he won five gold medals. One of Tiffany’s most notable projects was the country home he designed for himself on New York’s Long Island. He later established a foundation and donated the building and property to be used as a summer retreat for young artists. Known as Laurelton Hall, the house burned down in 1957, but by that time it had been sold, and the funds from the estate were used to establish grants that are still awarded every two years to artists and craftspeople studying painting, sculpture, graphics, and textile design. These grants are a fitting legacy from an artist whose works continue to grace numerous private homes, public buildings, and churches as well as museums throughout the world.

“Visitors to the exhibition will see first-hand evidence of Tiffany’s love of exoticism, rich ornament, fine craftsmanship, and the abstract qualities of color that placed him squarely in many of the artistic movements of his time,” says Barry Shifman, VMFA’s Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Decorative Arts from 1890 to the Present. The exhibition was organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with VMFA and the Musée du Luxembourg, where it debuted last September. VMFA is the only venue in the United States to feature this show. The exhibition is generously supported by the Fabergé Society and the Founders of VMFA and sponsored by Altria Group, Inc. Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) Louis Comfort Tiffany was one of the leaders in America’s Aestheticand Art Nouveau movements and the son of the famous jeweler Charles Lewis Tiffany, who cofounded the celebrated firm Tiffany & Co.

Louis Comfort Tiffany began his career as a painter, studying under the landscapist George Inness here in America and then in Paris in 1868. An established painter by the late 1870s, he also began to experiment with glass. In 1878, he joined with other artists and designers to form an interior decorating company, the first of several companies he

Cobweb Lamp, ca. 1902, designed by Clara Driscoll, Made by Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, leaded glass, bronze,glass mosaic. Gift of Sydney and Frances Lewis.

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Two Virginians Discuss Their Dedication to American Art and VMFA

Private Passion, Public Promise When the museum opens the new James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Wing in May, Virginians will have a multitude of reasons to thank—and celebrate—two people who helped make it possible. In addition to their generous donation to the expansion, the McGlothlins have also made a bequest of 19th-and 20thcentury American art to the museum; a gift that totals more than $200 million. An exhibition of paintings, works on paper, and sculpture from this collection will help inaugurate the museum’s new galleries dedicated to special exhibitions. The exhibition includes works by some of this country’s most renowned artists including Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, and others. James McGlothlin, a native of Grundy, is chairman and chief executive officer of United Co. in Bristol, Virginia, and a member of VMFA’s board of trustees. Frances is from Leesburg and was a trustee from 1998 to 2008. The couple talked to Dr. Sylvia Yount, VMFA’s Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art, about their interest in art and some of the choices they’ve made in assembling their impressive collection.

Sylvia Yount: How did you embark on collecting and what was your initial motivation?

When we married, we wanted to find a mutual interest that we could enjoy well into old age. We’ve always focused on American art as we found it more challenging to collect because of its relative scarcity when compared with other types of cultural production. While we have a broader interest in America’s past (we McGlothlins:

are native Virginians!), our primary focus is on the art’s visual appeal rather than its history.

In the Studio,1884, William Merrit Chase, pastel on paper. Collection of James W. and Frances G McGlothlin

Your collection features paintings, works on paper, and sculpture in that proportional order. Do you find you favor one medium over another?


We like both watercolors and oils, but collect these more for their individual qualities rather than to emphasize any one medium. McGlothlins:

When you first examine a work, do you consider its future home—for example, do you have a certain context, or setting, in mind when you’re exploring an acquisition?


No, not really; that thinking comes later, when we decide on where and how it will be displayed. We believe our objects live happily anywhere—be it urban or rural locations. McGlothlins:

SY: Did you start with a goal to build a museum-worthy collection? When and why did you decide to make the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts a beneficiary? McGlothlins: We began collecting for our own personal pleasure, and we’ve been fortunate to be able to live with these works, yet as our collection grew, we started to feel a responsibility. Since we are Virginians by birth and love the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, ultimately giving them to the Commonwealth was a natural and easy choice.

The interview is excerpted from the exhibition catalogue Private Passion, Public Promise: The James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Collection of American Art, which features reproductions of more than 70 works and will be available for purchase online at www.VMFA .museum and in the new VMFA Shop.

In the Laundry,1884, by Robert Blum, pastel on paper. Collection of James W. and Frances G McGlothlin


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VMFA Joins with Virginia Arts Organizations to Celebrate Women in the Arts This spring, VMFA joins hundreds of arts organizations in the Commonwealth to take part in Minds Wide Open: Women in the Arts. This large-scale program celebrates the contributions of women to all forms of art through a series of performances, displays, lectures, and exhibitions throughout the state. The museum’s collection includes a number of prominent female artists including painters Artemisia Gentileschi, Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Helen Frankenthaler as well as decorative arts designers Eileen Gray and Margaret MacDonald, sculptor Kiki Smith, and photographer Sally Mann. As part of the Minds Wide Open program, the museum will offer an audio tour for visitors that highlights the works of these and other female artists. Beginning in July, a number of special lectures will be available to VMFA Statewide partners that focus on several female artists including Artemesia Gentileschi, the Baroque painter who managed to make a unique mark for herself in the male-dominated world of 17th-century Europe; Queena Stoval, the “Grandma Moses of Virginia;” and Suzanne Valadon, the mother, model, and mistress of several prominent artists in 19th-century France, as well as an artist herself. Other lectures explore the social history of quiltmaking as well as the depiction of women and domestic chores in 19th-century American paintings. Performances by Virginia’s Poet Laureate Claudia Emerson and folk artist and musician Kelly Kennedy are also available. For more information on booking one of these lectures or performances, contact Jeffrey Allison at jeffrey.allison@VMFA. museum or 804.204.2671.

Art History is Not Linear (VMFA), 2009, by Ryan McGuinness acrylic on wood panel, National Endowment for the Arts Fund for American Art

Art History Is Not Linear Ryan McGinness Commission Visitors entering the new James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Wing of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will be greeted with a large, vibrantly colored painting made up of 16 four-by-four-foot panels. When they take a closer look, they may recognize images inspired by some 200 artworks culled from the VMFA collection. The 8-by-32 foot painting is by Ryan McGinness, a New York artist, originally from Virginia Beach, who is internationally known for a graphic style of art that combines icons and symbols in intricately arranged paintings. His work has evolved from his interest in design, illustration, and popular culture. “McGinness favors a dense, layered approach, often piling up his images to achieve an exuberant and decorative result,” says John Ravenal, VMFA’s Sydney and

Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. The multipart work was commissioned by the museum for the new building and marks the first time McGinness has created an installation that is based on one museum’s collection. Titled Art History Is Not Linear (VMFA), the painting more than lives up to its name. Figures as diverse as the multi-armed Shiva, Edgar Degas’ dancer, Otto Mueller’s Adam and Eve, and Larry River’s Daniel Webster, to name just a few, are interspersed with objects such as Roy Lichtenstein’s folded sheets, a Paul Storr honey pot, and a Greek olive wreath. Horses by Herbert Haseltine and Theodore Gericault, hares by Winslow Homer and Barry Flanagan, a pigeon by Pablo Picasso, a peacock from a South Asian ceremonial cloth, and a Greek serpent are among the

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creatures liberated from canvases, pedestals, and ancient vessels to trot, leap, glide, fly, and creep through the painting. Objects loom large on one panel and recede into the background on another. Single images such as Johann Ferdinand Preiss’s girl Breasting the Tape are multiplied and arranged in spiral motifs that spin across the panels. Even some of the artists themselves appear, represented by McGinness’s images based on self-portraits by Chuck Close and Alex Katz. “The various iconographic images he uses represent the VMFA collection—from ancient to modern works—in a lively, contemporary manner,” says Ravenal. “Literally at the front door, visitors will have a preview of what else awaits them as they explore the new galleries of the expanded VMFA.”

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Edward Hopper (American, 1882-1967) House at Dusk, 1935, Oil on canvas, 36¼”H x 50”W, The John Barton Payne Fund.

In Pursuit of Quality The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has built its collections entirely by private patronage since its 1936 opening in the midst of the Great Depression. VMFA continues to position itself successfully for a healthy, vibrant future, through support from the Commonwealth of Virginia and generous private donors.These collections, which now range over a 5,000-year period, have been gathered from almost every corner of the world. Europe is represented by such masters as Peter Paul Rubens, Artemisia Gentileschi, Nicolas Poussin, Francisco Goya, Édouard Manet, and Pablo Picasso. The museum’s collection of French Art Deco is unequalled outside of Paris, while the African art collection is one of the finest in the nation. Other notable collections are those of American art, Ancient art, and art from India, Nepal and Tibet. One of the early visionaries who contributed to the museum’s excellence was Paul Mellon. He believed enough in the idea of a great museum in Virginia to join the VMFA board of trustees in 1938, and he continued to help develop the museum in dramatic ways over the course of more than four decades. In 1968, Mellon made an anonymous gift of funds to purchase 150 Indian and Himalayan paintings, sculptures and decorative objects from the world-famous collection of Nasli Heeramaneck. The acquisition became the foundation of the museum’s South Asian holdings, now one of the museum’s highlights. Later, in the 1980s, Mellon and his wife, Rachel, donated their collections of British, American and French Impressionist art, including original waxes and bronzes by Edgar Degas,


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to the museum and helped make possible VMFA’s 1985 West Wing, in which the collections are housed. In 1969, Mellon and his sister, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, established in their father’s name the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which has helped to endow curatorships in Ancient art and European art at VMFA. Since 2000, Mellon’s multimillion-dollar bequest has made Eileen Gray, Pirogue Chaise Longue, (Canoe Sofa), ca. 1919-1920, Gift of Sydney and Frances Lewis. possible numer-

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ous gifts, exhibitions, publications and programs.In 1970, the estate of Ailsa Mellon Bruce donated 450 European decorative objects, including a dazzling group of 18th- and 19th-century European gold, porcelain and enameled boxes. The donation beautifully complemented one of the museum’s earliest gifts – and even today one of its most popular – the extraordinary collection of jeweled objects by Peter Carl Fabergé, which was donated to the museum by Lillian Thomas Pratt in 1947. Longtime patrons J. Harwood and Louise B. Cochrane of Richmond created an endowed fund in 1988 specifically for the purchase of American art. In recent years, the museum has used this fund to acquire important 19th- and 20th-century American works. In appreciation of their generosArtemisia Gentileschi, Venus and Cupid, ca. 1625-30, The Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund.

Among VMFA’s most memorable benefactors are Frances Lewis and the late Sydney Lewis, Richmond residents who, inspired by their encounters with Andy Warhol in the early 1960s, became interested in Contemporary art and soon befriended many of the artists whose works they acquired. ity, the Cochrane name graces the endowed curatorial chair in American art and the atrium of the new wing. Over the museum’s history, one person’s passion inevitably seemed to inspire another’s. In July 2009, the museum announced the acquisition of the Ludwig and Rosy Fischer Collection, one of the world’s finest remaining refugee collections of German Expressionist art, through a special gift-purchase agreement executed between Anne Rosenberg Fischer (1902-2008) of Richmond, her children and grandchildren, and VMFA. Assembled in Frankfurt, Germany, between 1905 and 1925, the most creative years of German Expressionism, the collection includes major works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Emil Nolde, Wassily Kandinsky and Lyonel Feininger, among others. New Yorkers Jerome and Rita Gans originally visited VMFA to see the Fabergé collection. A meeting with Paul Perrot, then the museum’s direcPaul Storr (British, 1771-1844), Basket, 1813, Silver, 9½”H x 20 / ”W tor, developed into a warm (handle to handle) x 16½”D relationship and ultimately resulted in their donation to the museum of one of the nation’s leading collections of 18th- and 19thcentury English silver. The Gans Collection comprises Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical objects dating from the 1600s to the 1800s. The couple also helped VMFA acquire Russian enamels and donated funds for galleries and for the museum’s expansion. After Jerome’s death in 1996, Rita Gans continued her support for the collection, and her 2006 gift of 16 objects further raised the stature of the museum’s holdings. 5


An extraordinary collection of African art has been assembled by the museum during the last 53 years with funds rooted in another early fortune, one made in 1890s London by Richmond native Arthur Glasgow. Since 1952, the Arthur and Margaret Glasgow

Fund has underwritten thousands of acquisitions, including that of the masterpiece known as the “Mukenga Mask” (1800s-1900s), from the Kuba culture of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). Among VMFA’s most memorable benefactors are Frances Lewis and the late Sydney Lewis, Richmond residents who, inspired by their encounters with Andy Warhol in the early 1960s, became interested in Contemporary art and soon befriended many of the artists whose works they acquired. Through their national company, Best Products, they built a Contemporary collection, often exchanging household appliances and other merchandise for works of art. They also commissioned the architect James Wines to design nine retail stores that, in their originality, greatly influenced architectural discourse in the 1970s. The Lewises gave the museum their extensive collections of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and new painting and sculpture and established an endowment fund for the purchase of Contemporary art. In 2005, native Virginians Frances G. and James W. McGlothlin announced that they would bequeath to the museum their important collection of 19thand 20th-century American art, with its particular Peter Carl Fabergé, Imperial Rock Crystal Easter strengths in the work of John Singer Sargent and Egg, 1896, Bequest of Lillian Thomas Pratt. George Bellows. The McGlothlins have also underwritten the museum’s new American Galleries and the eponymously named wing that houses them. James W. McGlothlin is chairman and CEO of the Virginia-based financial services and industrial supply company United Co., and both he and his wife have served on the museum’s board of directors.

Mukenga Mask, Kuba Culture (Zaire),19th-20th century, The Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Fund.

Still another example of important works of art that came to VMFA through endowments provided by private donors is the Edward Hopper painting “House at Dusk” (1935), purchased in 1953 through VMFA’s John Barton Payne Fund.Two early supporters of VMFA were Mr. and Mrs. Adolph D. Williams. The youngest son of a prominent Richmond tobacco merchant, Adolph Williams devoted his energies largely to art-collecting and philanthropy, bequeathing both his and his wife’s collection and funds for its maintenance and continued acquisitions. Nearly 2,000 works of art have been acquired through the Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund, including “Venus and Cupid” (c. 1625-30) by Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi.

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“Miriam Makeba,” 1955, by Jürgen Schadeberg

“Jessie #34” is a 2004 gelatin silver print by Virginia photographer Sally Mann (born 1951).

“JUN KANEKO” July 17, 2010-February 27, 2011

The first temporary exhibition in the new E. Claiborne and Lora Robins Sculpture Garden will feature colossal sculpture by master ceramicist Jun Kaneko (born 1942). Kaneko is an internationally renowned Japanese-American artist based in Omaha, Neb. He is designing an installation that will include one of his monumental heads - 8.5 feet tall and weighing three tons - reminiscent of figures found on Easter Island, and at least 8 of his dangos, which are slender, 9-foot-tall, totem-like forms. Kaneko’s works have been chosen for the inaugural exhibition in the garden


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for their sensational physical presence and stunning beauty. They also make fascinating connections to the history of monumental public sculpture, to ancient Shinto concepts, to traditional ceramic techniques, and to industrial manufacturing processes. Kaneko was born in Nagoya, Japan, and came to the United States in 1963 to study painting at the Chouinard Institute of Art in Los Angeles, where he became interested in sculptural ceramics. Kaneko has taught at some of the nation’s leading art schools and his work appears in numerous international solo and group exhibitions annually. Kaneko sculptures are included in more than 70 museum collections, and he has realized more than 30 public art commissions in the United States and Japan.

“SALLY MANN” November 13, 2010– January 23, 2011

Focusing on the theme of the body, the exhibition emphasizes Virginia artist Sally Mann’s new photography while selectively incorporating earlier images. Mann’s most recent work represents an intriguing new direction, tackling expansive themes of mortality and vulnerability, while for the first time using herself and her husband as subjects. In addition, she has taken her bold experiments in photography to new heights, pushing the medium to its limits by making painterly and nearly abstract images, many as unique pieces on glass plates. Together, the exhibition and its accompanying publication will present a fresh perspective on the works of one

of today’s preeminent photographers. It also promises to extend the artist’s visibility well beyond the realm of her chosen medium.


“American Quilts” features approximately 50 singular objects from the acclaimed collection of the Winterthur Museum in Winterthur, Del. Dating from the 1700s to 1850, these quilts were selected for their significance as art works and for their resonance as historical artifacts. Winterthur’s quilt collection - one of the museum’s least-known treasures - has never before been showcased in an exhibition that foregrounds their

artistic and historical significance in early American culture. In addition to delineating the quilts’ aesthetic qualities, the exhibition explores the lives of their makers, as well as the political, economic and technological developments that shaped production of the quilts. “America Quilts” includes several rare prototypes of bedcoverings that were imported to this country as luxury goods from Europe and East India. These objects trace the roots of quilt making in America.


The exhibition features the work of 18 South African photographers and

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“Head with Crown,” 14th-early 15th century Wunmonije Compound, Ife copper alloy

This appliqué album quilt was made by members of Old Otterbein Church in Baltimore in 1854. The top and backing are cotton, and it measures 1051/4 by 102 1/4 inches.

Andrew McCallum (American, active 1864-65) executed “Siege of Petersburg: A Night Attack, March 31, 1865” in graphite on wove paper. The work measures 61/2 by 91/2 inches. (The Becker Collection)

Jun Kaneko’s “HEAD from the Mission Clay - Pittsburg Project,” 20042007, is made of glazed ceramic and stands 10 feet 5 inches tall.

video artists from four generations those who primarily lived and worked in South Africa during the apartheid era (1948-1994), as well as younger figures who have gained international prominence since apartheid’s end. The artists include native South Africans and long-term South African residents from Germany, the United States and England. The exhibition is supported in part by a research grant from the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The exhibition will be on view at both VMFA and the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. A complementary exhibition of work by a Richmond-based South African artist, Siemon Allen,

will be presented at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Anderson Gallery.


The privately held Becker Collection, now digitally archived at Boston College, contains approximately 650 previously unexhibited drawings by mid-19th-century American artistreporters Joseph Becker and colleagues. On assignment for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly, the era’s leading illustrated periodical, these so-called Special Artists of the Civil War produced “first-hand” drawings that were sent to New York for translation

into printed engravings. The sketches, many of which were never published, document in lively and specific ways compelling scenes on the battlefield and in camp. Many are set in Virginia. Unlike the period’s laborious photography and other reproductive imagery, the Leslie artists’ eyewitness impressions reveal fresh aspects of America’s divisive trial. VMFA’s exhibition of some 60 drawings, presented in collaboration with the University of Richmond Museums, coincides with the country’s Civil War Sesquicentennial.


Artists of Ife (EE-fay), the ancient Yoruba city-state and homeland,

created a unique sculptural corpus that ranks among Africa’s and the world’s most aesthetically striking and technically sophisticated. Dating from the 12th to 15th centuries A.D., the arts of Ife (in what is today southwestern Nigeria) are noteworthy for their visual power, iconic complexity and variability of form. The objects in “Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria” further reveal the extraordinarily creative range of Ife’s art makers, patrons and viewers. The works include handsome, idealized portrait heads; exquisite miniatures; expressive caricatures of old age; portrayals of horrifying diseases; monstrous figurations; lively animals; and an array of impressive regalia.

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One of the visual high points of the exhibition is a group of awe-inspiring, life-size portrait heads of copper and various alloys. Surprisingly, in light of the unique importance of Ife art and civilization, no broad-based museum exhibition outside of Ife itself has featured these works. The Nigerian government’s exceptional commitment to the project, with loans coming entirely from Nigerian museums, assures the inclusion of approximately 100 of the most famous and beautiful Ife objects in bronze, terra cotta, stone and glass.

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Exhibitions The Fischers are credited with selecting art that was enlightened and daring for their time. When their son Ernst came to America in 1934, he brought with him at least half of the original collection, thereby protecting the works from the Nazi purge when many collections were stolen or destroyed. Since that time, these works were cared for by Ernst and his wife, Anne, and were recently given to VMFA through a gift-purchase arrangement with the Fischer family. Matisse, Picasso, and Modern Art in Paris May 1–Jul 25, Focus Galleries

For the first time in five decades, selections from the T. Catesby Jones Collections at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the University of Virginia have been reunited in an exhibition that has traveled throughout the Commonwealth. (1880–1946), a descendent of a prominent Tidewater family, grew up in Petersburg and built a successful career as a maritime lawyer in New York City. He was also a discerning collector of early 20th-century painting, sculpture, and works on paper.

T. Catesby Jones

Six Dancers, 1911, Ernest Ludwig Kirchner (German, 1880-1938), oil on canvas.

American Art from

German Expressionist Art

the M cGlothlin Collection

from the Fischer Collection

May 1–Jul 18, Altria Group Gallery

May 1–Jul 18, Center Gallery

Drawn from one of the finest private collections of historical American art in the country, American Art from the McGlothlin Collection features more than 70 paintings, works on paper, and sculpture.

This selection of newly acquired works comes from the museum’s Ludwig and Rosy Fischer Collection—assembled by the couple in Frankfurt, Germany, between 1905 and 1925. The exhibition includes works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Emil Nolde, August Macke, Max Pechstein, Conrad Felixmüller, and Otto Mueller.

According to Dr. Sylvia Yount, VMFA’s Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art and the organizer of the exhibition, “Jim and Fran have built a very personal and distinctive collection by not pursuing ‘names,’ per se, but by focusing on the inherent strength of each work—that is, its technical competence, visual power, and aesthetic appeal. Their mid-19th- to early-20thcentury American art holdings beautifully mesh with VMFA’s own, making the simultaneous opening of the forthcoming McGlothlin Wing and American galleries all the more auspicious.” Featured artists include George Bellows, Mary Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Martin Johnson Heade, Robert Henri, Winslow Homer, George Luks, William Rimmer, John Singer Sargent, and James McNeill Whistler.


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“German Expressionism was one of the most powerful movements in all 20th-century art,” says Emily Smith, Curatorial Fellow in Modern and Contemporary Art. “It evolved in Dresden, Munich, and Berlin when a handful of artists, impelled by moral indignation, led a crusade against the Impressionists’ obsession with visual effects in order to focus on more humanistic concerns.” The emphasis in the Fischer Collection is on the artists who belonged to Die Brücke, or the Bridge, one of the movement’s central groups. Their vibrant colors and slashing strokes are the hallmarks of an art that values subjective feelings above objective observations, Smith says.

Jones acquired most of his collection between 1924 and 1939. He purchased works from the best-known figures of the era—Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Masson, and Lipchitz—as well as works by artists who are less widely known today, including André Lhote and Jean Lurçat. Jones began donating works to VMFA in 1941. His bequest of paintings, sculptures, and drawings moved VMFA to the forefront of American museums with collections of contemporary European work, according to John Ravenal, the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. “These works represent the foundation of modern art, from the beginning of the 20th century through World War II,” says Matthew Affron, associate professor of art history at UVA, who organized the exhibition with Ravenal and Emily Smith of VMFA . Among the exhibition’s works are Picasso’s Woman with Kerchief (1906), Matisse’s two portraits of Lorette (both 1917), a Cubist collage by Juan Gris, and a three-part folding screen by Lurçat. The exhibition is supported by VMFA’s Fabergé Ball Endowment and Altria Group, Inc.

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Studio School


Mon–Fri, 9 am–5 pm 804.367.0816

Web Site Gallery Hours

Daily 10 am–5 pm, Thursdays 10 am–9 pm Parking

Parking is available in the Parking Deck (entrance at Stuart Ave. and N. Sheppard St.). Free to VMFA members; nonmembers $3 per day. Families and Children


Membership & Support

Catalogue: www.



Program Updates &



804.340.1535 Daily 10 am–5 pm, Thursdays 10 am–9 pm

804.340.1428 Program updates are also listed on the museum’s Web site.

Visitor Services Desk

804.340.1405 Daily 10 am–5 pm, Thursdays 10 am–9 pm Library

804.340.1495 Tue–Sun, 10 am–5 pm Reference queries by phone or e-mail:

Other Important Numbers

Statewide Educational Resources 804.204.2681 Art resources for schools and other nonprofit organizations in Virginia

Member Travel

804.340.1519 Dine

Best Café and Amuse Restaurant Light refreshments served daily 10 am–5 pm, Thursdays 10 am–9 pm Lunch served daily 11 am–2 pm Dinner served Thursdays 5–9 pm Reservations for Amuse: 804.340.1580

New Museum, New Web site

While the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was renovated and expanded, a new Web site was also under construction. Since late last summer, museum staff members have been working with Ironworks—a management, IT, and Web consulting firm based in Richmond—to completely redesign the site. The oal was to provide a fresh and engaging user experience. Like the newly transformed building, the new Web site enhances the way visitors experience VMFA. The graphics are bolder and bigger with the aim to attract viewers and highlight exhibitions and the museum collection. Navigation through the Web site is easier with a clearer hierarchy of information. A full calendar provides information on every program and event scheduled at the museum in one central location and also provides basic

information—such as museum hours—to help planvisits to the museum. In addition to being easier to use, the site is now better aligned to access information on the collections and engage in social media. With the introduction of a blog in December 2008, staff, members, artists, and others have posted their experiences, observations, and news on art, exhibitions, lectures, and other events at the museum. Likewise, YouTube videos available on the Web site have provided viewers with an inside look at the reinstallation of Sol LeWitt’s Drawing #541 from last year, tours of the expansion under construction, and other topics. Be sure to visit the new VMFA—on site and online. VMFA’s Web site design is generously supported by Altria Group, Inc. A d v e rt i s i n g s u p p l e m e n t

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Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

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Retirement 2010

Ready for the Good Life? Virginia’s retirement and senior living centers are not only in prime locations, but they also offer top recreational, educational and health care services. BY

Retirement living should be good living. It’s that stage in life when we want to be comfortable and independent, healthy and active—and yet we also want outstanding medical care, home care, nursing and other services at our fingertips, if needed. Virginia has an abundance of excellent retirement communities and senior living centers— and what distinguishes many of them, especially the ones in this special section, is their location. They can be found in the most desirable spots in the state. Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury, for example, can be found on a 165-acre wooded campus outside Irvington, on the Northern Neck. Warm Hearth Village is in attractive Blacksburg, near the Blue Ridge Mountains, while two of the three facilities managed by Sunnyside Communities, a not-for-profit organization that’s been serving older adults since 1912, are located in the Shenandoah cities of Harrisonburg and Waynesboro. Covenant Woods is nestled on 75 private acres in Hanover County, with nature trails and a stock pond for fishing. Nearly all these private communities offer the option of independent living, assisted living or nursing care, in homes, apartments or cottages—though some are specialized. Nearly all offer a variety of outstanding facilities ranging from swimming pools and fitness centers to woodworking and gardening shops; nearly all have a variety of exercise, mental health and educational programs, and nearly all offer proximity to shopping, athletic and cultural attractions in nearby cities such as Charlottesville or Williamsburg. Looking for something even more enticing? Verena Luxury Adult Apartments features club services, chef-prepared meals and finely appointed apartments at its two facilities. The ultimate goal, with every community, is to offer the residents comfort, security and peace of mind. As Stuart Bunting, the president and CEO of Rappahannock WestministerCanterbury points out, “We consider it a priority to help you stay fit and healthy …. Our dedicated staff is committed to facilitating our residents’ physical, intellectual and cultural well-being.” His counterparts in the industry would make the same points. Virginians are fortunate to have such an array of outstanding retirement and senior living communities ready to serve those ready for the good life.

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Advertiser Listings COVENANT WOODS is Hanover County’s only continuing care retirement community (CCRC). Located on 75 private acres, Covenant Woods includes independent living apartments and cottages, assisted living, memory support and nursing suites in a beautiful natural setting. Amenities include a fitness center, pool, physical therapy, gardening center, woodworking shop and a nature trail surrounding a stocked pond. 804-569-8716 or RAPPAHANNOCK WESTMINSTER-CANTERBURY The 165-acre wooded campus is located just outside Irvington on Virginia’s historic Northern Neck. RWC offers an appealing, worry-free lifestyle to enjoy today, and the peace of mind of continuing care, if ever needed. 804-438-4000, 800-7921444 or SUNNYSIDE COMMUNITIES is a not-for-profit

organization that has been providing services, amenities, and care to older adults since 1912. Sunnyside Communities is the parent company for its three Virginia campuses: Sunnyside in Harrisonburg, Summit Square in Waynesboro, and King’s Grant in Martinsville. All three campuses offer independent living residences, assisted living, and nursing care. Call to schedule a visit at a Sunnyside community and begin adding life to your years!


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Retirement 2010

What’s the beauty of retiring in Blacksburg?

Discovering the New River Valley’s only community. Please proof thecomprehensive above advertisement. retirement List any corrections. Date, sign The beauty Please of proof the above advertisement. List an retiring in Blacksburg is that here, life is what make it. Enjoy the breathtaking Ridge Mountains. Appreciate the diversity and (on you appropriate line) and fax the proofBlue to us at (804) 649-0306. (on appropriate line) and fax the proof to us excitement of being in a small college town SIZE with big-city appeal. Whatever your interests are, you’ll fit right in on our beautiful 220SIZE OK to print AS IS OK to print AS IS COLOR With Warm Hearth COLOR acre woodland campus in the heart of Blacksburg. OK to print with CHANGES OK to print with CHANGES FONTS FONTS Village retirement community and WoodsEdge active adult community, DATE DATE LOGO LOGO our continuum of living options include an active adult campus, Independent Living, Assisted Living, Long-term Care, and Memory Care. We are a non-profit community that offers home ownership and lifestyle choices you won’t find anywhere else. Call us today to learn why 2603 Warm Hearth Dr. • Blacksburg, VA 2014 Blue Jay Ln. • Blacksburg, VA your retirement will be better in Blacksburg. • (540) 552-9176 • (540) 443-3416 Subject to availability. Prices and plans subject to change without notice. All images of the Village Center are artistic renderings of our vision for the future. This building is not yet constructed. Not a valid offering in any state where registration is required but not yet completed. One resident must be at least 55 years of age and no residents allowed under the age of 19. Condo association agreements apply. A leasehold condominium.

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Three things I need to be happy.

One good, long walk a day The NY Times Sunday Crossword Volunteering for a good cause

E mbrace life on your terms. Living at Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury is about exactly that, “living.” Set on 165 of the most scenic acres of Virginia’s Northern Neck, RWC is an inviting, fullservice retirement community. We offer an appealing worry-free lifestyle for you to enjoy today, and the peace of mind of continuing care, if ever needed. Visit our website to learn more, or call to arrange a personal tour. Equal Housing Opportunity © 2010 RWC

Celebrating 25 Years of Service

804-438-4000 or 800-792-1444 132 Lancaster Drive Irvington, Virginia 22480

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luxurious adult lifestyle with club services, chefprepared meals, housekeeping and more, without a large investment or long-term commitment. Our brand new, finely appointed apartments include full kitchens with granite counters and hardwood cabinetry, full-size washer/dryer, and architectural detail throughout. One reasonable, all-inclusive monthly rent—no entry or community fees!

Verena at the Reserve, age 62+, Williamsburg: or 757-345-2995 Verena at Virginia Center, age 55+, Glen Allen: or 804-261-1100 WARM HEARTH VILLAGE is nestled in the Blue

Ridge Mountains in the heart of Blacksburg , a small college town with big-city appeal. Our continuum of retirement living options offers home ownership and lifestyle choices you won’t find anywhere else. The beautiful 220-acre woodland campus features an active adult neighborhood, independent living, assisted living and long-term care. Call us today to learn more about the beauty of retiring in Blacksburg. 1-800-743-6192. WESTMINSTER CANTERBURY OF THE BLUE RIDGE

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luxurious? Yes! expensive? no! Luxury abounds at Verena’s apartments – club services, chef-prepared dining, housekeeping, fitness center, private transportation and more – all included in one reasonable monthly rent. No entry or community fees. williamsburg charm

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E D U C A T I O N I N V I R G I N I A 2010

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Fishburne Military School will provide your son a family-oriented environment where he’ll have access to a 6:1 Student/Teacher Ratio, 100% College Acceptance Rate and Varsity Sports for all cadets. FMS has rolling admissions and is enrolling NOW for Summer School & Fall 2010. Call 1.800.946.7773 to schedule a campus tour today! Visit our Web site and blog at


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Concord, Virginia. Spectacular 2500+ acre retreat offering complete privacy and enjoyment with 2.5 miles of James River frontage. Expertly restored Georgian Colonial manor house with six bedrooms and a 6000 bottle wine cellar, is complemented by 6 guest homes, a 20 stall barn, indoor & outdoor swimming pools & tennis courts, shooting range & sporting clay course, driving range, bowling alley, softball field, estate clubhouse and planned golf course. Price available upon request. PLEASE CONTACT JAY MILLER FOR MORE INFORMATION 540.675.1675 | © MMX Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Farm Bouffan, used with permission. Sotheby’s International Realty® is a licensed trademark to Soheby’s International Realty Affiliates, Inc. An Equal Opportunity Company. Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated.

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4/22/10 3:24:31 PM


Grand The Cooke-Royster “cottage,� an expansive beachfront home on the North End of Virginia

with Sand

Beach, has been a landmark for strollers and sailors for almost 100 years. Now, after a meticulous renovation, this simple and sophisticated Arts and Crafts-style home is ready for another century.

By Ann Wright

Photography by Mark Atkinson

Styling by Tracey Lee

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The little resort town of Virginia Beach was just 10 years old in 1916 when fertilizer magnate F.S. Royster hired a Norfolk architect to design a summer home roomy enough for his whole family to vacation together. The architect, Finley Ferguson, would later tackle more prominent commissions—the Virginia Museum in Richmond, Phi Beta Kappa Hall in Williamsburg and a number of memorable churches, among them—but his monumental shingled home on the North End, known locally as the Cooke-Royster cottage, has been a landmark to strollers and sailors for 93 years. Now, thanks to a meticulous renovation by owners Macon and Joan Brock, this grande dame has a fresh sparkle and she’s ready for another century. The “cottage,” as the Royster family called its capacious summer home, was completed in 1917 at a cost of $14,000. Its location was on empty beachfront, a mile south of Cape Henry and a couple of miles north of the resort. For the first few years, the Royster family traveled to their beach house by train because there were no paved roads from Norfolk. The three-story, shingled house was inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which emphasized natural beauty and simplicity of form. Deep double porches wrapped around three sides. The overhanging roof provided shelter from the sun and kept the first- and second-floor rooms cool on the hottest days. The house was constructed on concrete pilings so storm tides could wash underneath. The beach level had separate showers for men and women and a room housing the Delco battery system that powered the electric lights. The lobby-sized living room and the spacious dining room were on the first floor, along

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with a bedroom for a bachelor son, a children’s dining room, the kitchen and butler’s pantry. The second floor had six bedrooms with washbasins and two full baths. Above the kitchen wing were bedrooms for the cook and maid. The attic had two large dormitory rooms and plenty of open space, which the family used for impromptu plays and gymnastics exhibitions. The whole family—the Roysters’ two sons and two daughters, spouses and children—moved to the cottage every summer. While life at the beach was more casual than in town, the meal schedule remained firm. Breakfast was at 8, lunch at 1 and dinner at 7. Everyone showered and changed from beach wear for lunch, and the men donned ties for dinner. Children ate in their own dining room off the kitchen until age and deportment earned them a seat with the adults. “My parents spent every summer at the cottage,” says Mimi Cooke Stein, a member of the fourth generation to enjoy the cottage.

“My cousins and I played in the dunes while the adults had cocktails on the porch, which they always referred to as their ‘committee meeting.’ They had lots of parties, and we children always enjoyed spying on the adults.” She remembers getting invited into the grown-ups’ dining room at age 14. While the Roysters’ Norfolk

home was formal and elegant, the furnishings at the cottage were serviceable and simple. Redecorating was as easy as putting a fresh coat of white paint on the bureaus and bedsteads. Long after F. S. and Mary Royster’s time, the family saw no need to change the décor or alter the house in any substantive way. Over the decades, the beach house withstood countless storms and the depredations of many grandchildren, but perhaps its biggest threat was the fall run-up in real estate values a few years ago. Logic dictated that it was time to sell. Stein feared a buyer would tear down the house in order to build mega-duplexes on the three oceanfront lots it occupies. To Stein’s great relief, her friends Macon and Joan Brock expressed an interest in buying and refurbishing the cottage. Macon Brock is the cofounder of Dollar Tree, a discount retail chain, and chairman of the board of directors of Dollar General Stores. The Brocks wanted the house for the same reason Stein’s greatgrandparents had—as a place to be together with their children and grandchildren—and they bought it in 2003. “Macon and I were really excited when we learned the Cooke-Royster cottage was for sale,” says Joan Brock. “The opportunity to restore and preserve a Beach landmark really appealed to us.” Scott Folck, a principal with Folck West architects in Virginia Beach, planned the renovation, his third residential project with the Brocks. While the house was basically sound, Folck says it needed considerable work. For example, fireplaces were the home’s only heat source, and the wiring and plumbing systems were original. This page, top, a view from a porch; below, exterior of the home. Right, the entry hall with a neutral color palette that reflects the natural environment.


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Builder Daniel Bowdoin started the painstaking deconstruction. After removing the heart pine floors and other salvageable components, his construction crew took the house back to its studs and beefed up the structural components. The Brocks photographed every architectural detail and saved pieces of molding so that Folck and Bowdoin could reconstruct the house as it was originally designed. Despite the scope of the three-year renovation, which was centered on modernizing the insulation, heating and air-conditioning, the plan was always to stick as close as possible to Finley Ferguson’s original design. Folck and Bowdoin found companies to replicate the windows, shingles and trim work. The ultimate goal: a lowmaintenance house that would last another century. The emphasis on preseravation even extended to a 60-year-old fig tree planted by Stein’s father, Richard Cooke. A fence was built to protect the tree during construction—and then, later, Suffolk landscape architect Bill Pinkham incorporated the fence into a lovely garden that now flows around the house and creates a handsome, yet low-maintenance, transition from lawn to dunes. F. S. and Mary Royster would have no trouble recognizing their cottage. The exterior is largely unchanged. The first floor looks as it always has with the exception of the kitchen. Walls separating the butler’s pantry, children’s dining room and old kitchen were removed and the wing was expanded, the only alteration of the house’s footprint. The expansive new kitchen has so many period references it could be original. Glass-fronted white cabinets with early-20th-centurystyle hardware maintain the straightlined simplicity of the Royster kitchen but are adapted for modern owners who cook their own meals. The second floor was reconfigured for larger bedrooms with en suite bathrooms. The attic where Stein and her cousins roller-skated on Facing page, clockwise from top: the dining room, kitchen, second-floor family room, and another angle on the kitchen. This page: a view down to one of the deep wrap-around porches.

The interior is pared down and clean. Such restraint makes the ideal backdrop for Joan Brock’s extensive collection of antique textiles, which interior designer Georgette Sturam describes as “an especially fun part of the project.”

rainy days is still a play area but now includes a yoga studio as well. Wine storage and an entertainment center have replaced the basement showers and changing rooms. An important member of the Brocks’ team was interior designer Georgette Sturam, who worked for architect Robert A.M. Stern before setting up her own design studio in Princeton, New Jersey. She applauded the Brocks’ desire to remain true to the spirit and period of the Arts and Crafts/Craftsmanstyle cottage. Arts and Crafts aesthetics are simple, yet refined, with a color palette reflecting the natural environment. Sturam says,

“We went with neutrals—pale celadon and a whole spectrum of whites and creams—that play up the strength of the architecture and keep the interior light and bright.” Apropos of the cottage’s simple style, both the Brocks and Sturam lean toward looks that are classic and timeless. All are averse to clutter. “I really don’t do stuff,” Sturam says. “I like interiors pared down and clean.” Such restraint makes the ideal backdrop for Joan’s extensive collection of antique textiles, which Sturam describes as an especially “fun part of the project.” Fragments of antique bed hangings and other textiles are incorporated into window treatments

and appliquéd on upholstered furniture and decorative pillows. They give the home a subtle visual richness. Joan Brock says that her mother and grandmother were both accomplished seamstresses and stimulated her lifelong attraction to textiles. That interest was sharpened fifteen years ago at a Virginia Beach antiques show. There, she met Pandora de Balthazar, a Pensacola, Florida, dealer who specializes in European textiles. Said to be a master at finding sophisticated new uses to extend the decorative life of fine old fabrics, de Balthazar collaborated with Brock and Sturam on details of the interior. “Pandora’s textiles are just incredible,” says Sturam. “They are so appropriate to the period and to the house. We really had to edit ourselves because it would have been easy to go too far.” De Balthazar found antique damask curtains to make into a tablecloth for the 14foot long dining room table designed by Sturam. And her workroom fabricated all the draperies on the main floor. Perhaps the biggest design challenge was the sheer volume of the living room and dining room. To address that, team Brock selected furniture that was large in scale but simple in style. One piece, original to the house, is an enormous library table that holds the same position it always has, as visual divider between the living and dining rooms. Sturam found a large chandelier to hang above it, further emphasizing the table as a strong axis. Like everyone else involved in the rejuvenation of the Cooke-Royster cottage, Pandora de Balthazar takes outsized pride in the results. “It’s a sophisticated Craftsman-style house built to appreciate its surroundings and be lived in,” she says. “It embraces you with its grace and beauty and charm. It’s a cottage, but a grand one.” • V i r g i n i a

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Cast-Iron Beauty Once spurned by discriminating gardeners for being “too easy,” sturdy daylilies are enjoying a surge of popularity thanks to new “everblooming” varieties, which extend flowering time. By PAULA STEERS BROWN P h oto g r a p h y by Ro g e r F o l e y

The daylily is a cast-iron plant, usually named by horticulturists as the most likely to survive a nuclear explosion. If you forget one in a plastic bag in your garage for a week or longer, you’ll likely find it alive and well. In a former age, daylilies may have been spurned as “too easy” for the discriminating gardener, but it is their very tough dependability that makes them so desirable to homeowners who appreciate a hardy plant. It doesn’t require a lot of fuss. 78 |

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The genus is named Hemerocallis, Greek for “beautiful for a day,” because each flower lasts one day. This ephemeral name, however, belies the plant’s long-blooming nature. Each stalk has several blooms with one to three opening per day, and each plant has several stalks that come up in succession. Planting a range of earliest-blooming varieties (EE) to very late-blooming ones (VL) was and still is a great way to keep the color coming on strong. However, the biggest news in daylilies is that many new cultivars are being hybridized for extended Clockwise from top left: Shenandoah Cabernet, Viette’s Border Gem, Glowing Cherry, Royal Plate, Black Friar, Viette’s Indy.

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flowering time, and, with judiciously timed shearing, some types can be coaxed into summer-long bloom. While there is a great deal of excitement in the industry about reblooming varieties, Mark Viette of Andre Viette Farm & Nursery in Fishersville thinks that the real advancement in daylilies is the longblooming plants. “They are even better,” says Viette, “because you do not have to wait on the second wave of flowers. Whereas a rebloomer might flower one or two more times after its first big show, daylilies are considered everbloomers if they bloom three to four times a year.” A rejuvenation plan can get the most flowering possible from your plants. Everblooming daylilies flower and naturally try to produce seed. Then, one month to six weeks later, they start sending up buds. Right when the plant finishes its first wave of bloom and before its new buds start coming out of the ground, you want to shear the plants much as you shear liriope after its bloom. Gear hedge trimmers three to four inches from the ground and shear off the foliage and stalks. This action shocks the plant into blooming in another prolific wave all at once and also gets rid of the tired-looking foliage. At this time, feed with Plant-tone, an organic fertilizer. Repeat this process after bloom cycles for top flower production. When shopping for daylilies that will enhance your landscape, Viette offers this suggestion: “Look for a plant that produces lots of stems, and for stems that hold their flowers high up on the stem, above the foliage.” Iconic “Stella d’Oro” daylilies are outrageously popular as the everblooming variety, but Viette points out that Stella carries her golden flowers low on the stem, so they are sometimes obscured by the foliage. He prefers “Lemon Lollipop,” a true yellow, to “Stella d’Oro” and adds that it is normal for this variety to produce up to 10 fans per year. When purchasing container-grown daylilies, look for these multiple fans (the bright green start of straplike foliage coming out of the crown) to get the best value, because those can be divided into several plants. Andre Viette, father of Mark and owner of Viette Nurseries, uses a little geometric equation when giving daylily lectures to show how much of a return you can get on a small investment. “If you start with a single daylily and, after one year, divide it into three plants and then divide each of those divisions

Home gardeners will save money if they plant daylilies farther apart. Viette says a common mistake is planting perennials too close. “This chokes out plants, and it’s like burning $20 bills!” into three plants the next year, and keep doing this every year for seven years, you would end up with 2,187 daylilies.” Aesthetically, the nursery gives high marks to daylilies whose flowers face out rather than facing upward. “Color Me Yellow” displays this desirable habit of the outward-facing flower, presenting its full form and color broadly spread across the garden for the biggest splash. Mark Viette further advocates choosing flowers that “hold their substance and don’t melt” in the afternoon sun. “Look at the flowers later in the day,” he says. “Some stay looking better than others.” He favors “Black Friar” (named for Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton) for its staying power.

Viette also likes “Lemon Cap,” which reblooms two to three times, and “Fragrant Light.” Home gardeners will save money if they plant daylilies farther apart. Viette says a common mistake is planting perennials too close. “This chokes out plants, and it’s like burning $20 bills!” Instead, plant daylilies a minimum of 24 inches apart. To facilitate this ample spacing, he advises cutting four or five bamboo sticks, each 24 inches long, and using them as spacers when planting. With this plan, each plant will ultimately take up 3.3 square feet in the garden, so they will have room to reach their full potential. Raised beds containing 25 percent organic matter and roto-tilled deeply to a consistency that Andre calls “chocolate pudding” can hardly fail. Elise Zylstra of Sandy’s Plants in Mechanicsville emphasizes the importance of spreading roots out fully when planting, and not planting too deeply—a common mistake. She agrees that daylilies are adaptable to many soil types and conditions, including heat, wind and cold. Once established, she says, they are drought-tolerant but should be deep-watered the first and second weeks after planting and thereafter every seven to 15 days as necessary. Though you may not think of daylilies as a cut flower, Zylstra points out that

they are actually very long-lasting in arrangements because as soon as each bloom dies, there is another one coming on behind it, totally fresh for the next day. Zylstra says that daylilies are edible (just watch the deer). The buds are used often in Asian cooking, especially in stir-fry where they are cooked like mushrooms and have a slight garlicky flavor. Zylstra explains that the great variety of size (one to four feet tall) and color of daylilies offers opportunities for formal and informal plantings. She likes to combine them with ornamental grasses such as the panicums and muhlenbergia. Her two favorite daylily cultivars are “Eldorado,” a yellow with a purple picotee edge, and “Jersey Spider” because of its long-lasting orange blooms. A more traditional favorite, because of its fragrance, is “Hyperion.” All daylilies are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds—an invitation to nature that brings an added dimension to the garden. If you would like to be dazzled with drifts of flowers that have made a quantum leap over your grandmother’s orange charmers, attend the Daylily Festival at Viette Nurseries in Fishersville July 17-18. Plant them and then enjoy their beauty—not just for a day but for days on end. •;

Daylily beds at Andre Viette Farm & Nursery.

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The Premier Choice in Real Estate Committed to Professional & Personal Service

Farms • Estate • Land • Residential • Vineyards

In Love with Yesteryear Redlands is a Classic Greek Revival hill top estate situated on 16 +/- scenic acres. 7.14 Acres of this property is zoned commercial which makes it ideal for a B&B or Winery. Residence offers: 5 bdr, 4.5 baths, 4 FPs, HW floors, high ceiling, large foyer. Large formal rooms. The upstairs owner suite is complete w/ sitting room, wet bar & private porch overlooking neighboring vineyard. Separate living quarters in finished basement. Orange VA. $1,400,000

Luxury Packed Residence on 10 +/– Acres

2 Story marble foyer with grand staircase, gourmet kitchen, formal dining & living room, library, sun parlor with interior arches. Entire 2nd floor Lavish Master Bedroom suite features sitting area, FP, large dressing room /closet, dual balconies, sewing room & laundry. Amazing basement with large family room, FP, spacious Bar area, billiards room, exercise room, theater w/ tiered seating. 5 FPs, hardwood floors, Intercom, high ceilings, 3 car garage and paved drive. Orange Co. $895,000



Lots of Windows to Enjoy the Lakeview

This Chalet offers some great views of the Lake. Home features 4 Bedrooms, 2 baths and a finished basement, gas log fireplace, vaulted ceilings, expansive windows & covered deck. Comfortable home with recent updates & shows fantastic. Located in a private community w/ 350 acre Lake with lots of fun amenities. $224,900

OFFICE: 540-832-0071 Premier Virginia Properties 107 S. Main St. Suite 1 PO Box 461 Gordonsville,VA 22942

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59 Acres Please proof the above advertisement. List an Near Montpelier in Orange County

(on appropriate line) and fax the proof to us In Keswick Hunt Country u Beautiful views of the Blue Ridge SIZE MountainsOK to print AS IS Springs, streams, pond sites u divisible COLOR OK to print with CHANGES u ideal conservation easement candidateFONTS building sites Ca. 1790 Log home needs restoration u many outstanding DATE LOGO $975,000. Call Joe Samuels for details at (434) 981-3322


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s a l ly d u b o se , r e a lt or ® Farms • Estates • Residential • Commercial • BUYER REPRESENTATION THE CHARLOTTESVILLE real estate company

SPACIOUS, WOODED, PRIVATE Williamsburg’s Newest Community Is Making History


ust five miles to Colonial Williamsburg and I-64, Liberty Ridge features stunning 3 to 9-acre homesites with custom estate homes now underway. Featured builders include Charles Ross Homes, Michael C. Brown Custom Builder, and Sasser Construction. Rolling terrain and a mature canopy of trees create a unique setting for this premier community, rich in scenery and resort-style amenities.

The William Hall Goodwin House Award-winning historic property, designed by preeminent architect Eugene Bradbury, situated on a lovely 2.25 acre estate lot on Rugby Rd. One mile from the Rotunda. Close to 6,000 sq. ft. Meticulously restored and modernized w/a new limestone terrace over a 3-car garage, climate-controlled wine-cellar, electrical, plumbing, fixtures, appliances, roof & multi-zone HVAC system. Beautiful restored cottage, icehouse & carriage house. REALTOR.COM iPHONE APP Shown by appointment only. $5,295,000 Sally Du Bose 434.293.2828 (office) 434.981.0289 (mobile)


University of Virginia, B.S. 1981 University of Denver, M.S. 1982

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757-565-1100 Located at 5365 Centerville Road, Williamsburg. Welcome Center open daily. 3 to 9-acre homesites start at $200,000.

Poplar Grange Spectacular 21st century iteration of the centuries-old Hunt Country ideal. Set on 103 rolling acres of preserved land, the 12,000 square foot, artisan-crafted home and its attendant stables, carriage house, fountains and riding arena create a unique blend of forward thinking and timeless traditions. The home includes only the finest materials and finishes including some elements reclaimed from historic homes. The estate lies between Upperville and Middleburg, the towns that define the Virginia Piedmont Hunt Country. Just 50 miles from the U.S. Capitol and 30 minutes from Dulles International Airport. Poplar Grange is perfect as an equestrian farm or simply as a country getaway. Price Upon Request.

Obtain the Property Report required by Federal Law and read it before signing anything. No Federal Agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. Featured renderings by William E. Poole Designs and Frank Betz Associates, Inc.

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1017 Curlew Road

BIRDNECK POINT Virginia Beach Deep waterfront! Magnificent 6,400 square foot architectural masterpiece overlooking the Cavalier Golf Course. Exquisite designer interior featuring a stunning new chef’s kitchen, Billiards room and an in-law suite. Gorgeous 1.2 acre site with three car garage, pool and 100 KW generator. Offered at $2,925,000.

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1215 North Shore Road

NORTH END Virginia Beach Oceanfront home with amazing views! Soaring ceilings and a floor plan you can spread out in. This home was completely rebuilt in 1988 and boasts a first floor inlaw suite, elevator and 4-car garage. Offered at $2,750,000.

ALGONQUIN PARK Spectacular 9,000 square foot, waterfront home on a beautiful two acre lot. Pool, pool house, outdoor kitchen, pier and boat lift. This country estate in the city offers beautiful details and finishes on a fabulous piece of property! Offered at $2,600,000.

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Christine Beatty 757-685-9004


Susan Pender 757-552-2073

This beautiful country estate sits just six miles from historical Abingdon’s Barter Theatre, Virginia’s oldest state theatre. Built in 1880, detailed restorations has maintained the rich history and character of the home. Approx. 6,788 sf, the home features 3-bedroom suites, 5 full baths, theatre room with English pub bar and fp, library w/original fp, sunroom, recreational room with stone fp, kitchen w/original fp (room for 2 cooks to prepare meals while you overlook the 3-acre lake and manicured grounds), nearly 2,000 sf of balcony’s and porches let you enjoy the view of your 64.86-acres of woods and farmland, a 2,350 sf, 4-car carriage house with a fully equipped guest suite. Stonewall and iron gates lead you “back in time” with modern amenities. Presented at $1,950,000

Maplewood Farm (276) 676-2520

blackwell associates inc. Lynda Wise (276) 628-3421 7848 Crittenden Road

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1208 Cedar Point

Majestic Charlie Anderson built, four story home overlooking a wide expanse of the Nansemond River. This elegantly appointed home has over 7,000 square feet of living space, five bedrooms, six baths, media room, custom built rear deck, pergola, deep water pier, boat house with lift and two jet ski lifts. Offered at $1,995,000.

WESTIN RESIDENCES AT TOWN CENTER Virginia Beach One-of-a-kind 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath double unit with more than 3,500 square feet. Expansive, wraparound east and south views from every living area. The flexible floor plan, luxury finishes and unmatched amenities will wow you! Offered at $1,975,000.

BAY COLONY Virginia Beach Stunning 5,200 square foot, deep waterfront home overlooking Crystal Lake. Beautifully appointed five bedroom, four and one half bath home boasts a new gourmet kitchen and spacious family room, library, three fireplaces and a fabulous master suite with an adjoining gym. Pool and boat dock! Offered at $1,890,000.

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Absolutely stunning waterview from this beautiful home that is quality built along the “gold coast” on rt. 17. 854 Greenfield Lane


1305 Kildeer Court

Pristine, custom brick home on a private lot backing to a beautiful, wooded area in one of Chesapeake’s newest Great Bridge neighborhoods. This home is loaded with more than $90,000 in upgrades, has 3,800 square feet, and an incredible master suite with a bonus office and gas fireplace. Offered at $599,900.

BIRDNECK POINT Virginia Beach Beautiful water views! Dazzling and spacious, 4,100 square foot brick home with a wide open interior. Built in 2007 by The Crumley Group, this home is custom throughout and has a luxurious downstairs master. Just minutes by boat to Broad Bay and only one mile to the oceanfront. Offered at $1,349,000.

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Theresa Briggs 757-408-8363


212 87th Street

Virginia Beach

Come to the quiet of the natural beaches and canopied walkway to the ocean! Craftsman Cottage with 4 bedrooms, elevator and a 600 square foot garage room for all of your beach buggies and toys. All of the luxurious touches! Offered at $1,175,000.

1-866-603-3463 Prudential Towne Realty is an affiliate of TowneBank and is an independently operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.

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4 Br - 2 ½ Ba 4 car detached garage, one attached garage $895,000


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RAMSAY FARM Located in Western Albemarle County at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this historic property takes full advantage of the local countryside in the Greenwood estate area. The c.1895 Classic Revival-style manor house was enlarged and completely renovated in 1937 under the design of noted architect Milton L. Grigg, and most recently it was carefully restored and modernized by the current Estates at Keswick Hall owners in 2000. Ramsay offers a mature setting of specimen trees, boxwood, formal garden and a varied collection of The outbuildings. Fabulous views of two mountain ranges are space enjoyed fromcountryside both norththat and Thomas south two-story TheEden farmof is The comprised of seventy600 acres of resort in the Jeffersonporticos. called “the United States.” Signature home sites with available home designs by Robert A.M.improvements Stern Architects, one of the most important architectshouse, of thestudio last 40 years. Convenient to eight mostly open acres and is traversed by Stockton Creek. Other include a guest house, farm manager’s historic Monticello & Charlottesville, with unparalleled golf, country club and spa amenities. and a barn complex, completing this fine country estate. $6,950,000

For more information about special spring pricing and incentives, please contact Rives Bailey at 434.227.4441 or visit

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Located in Western Albemarle County at the foot OK to print AS IS of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this historic property COLOR OK to print CHANGES takes full advantage of with the local countryside in FONTS DATE LOGO the Greenwood estate area. The c.1895 Classic Revival-style manor house was enlarged and completely renovated in 1937 under the design of noted architect Milton L. Grigg, and most recently carefully restored and modernized by the current owners in 2000. Ramsay offers a mature setting of specimen trees, boxwood, formal garden and a varied collection of outbuildings. Fabulous views of two mountain ranges are enjoyed from both north and south two-story porticos. The farm is comprised of seventy-eight mostly open acres and is traversed by Stockton Creek. Other improvements include a guest house, farm manager’s house, studio and a barn complex, completing this fine country estate. SIZE




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A Thrilling How does one become a serious art collector? It takes money, of course, along with a deep passion for the beauty that can be produced by the human hand. At least 30 years ago, Jane Joel Knox started collecting local art from around the state—and then over time became more ambitious and discriminating, aided once by a phenomenally lucky streak at an Atlantic City craps table. Here, Knox describes her art education: her visits to New York City and London galleries, her overseas research, and the “terrifying” process of bidding at the premier auction houses.

By Jane Joel Knox

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Le Contrabandier Aragonais 1882, oil on panel 15" x 10"; William Turner Dannat, American (1853 – 1929); acquired 1998, Adelson Gallery, New York. Opposite page: Summer Twilight, oil on canvas 25 " x 39"; William Morris Hunt, American (1824 - 1879); acquired 2001, Spanierman Gallery, New York.

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A Thrilling Obsession

How one becomes an art collector is not easily explained. For me, it always seemed inevitable. I’m not an artist, and I don’t have a formal art history background, but I’ve always been someone with a great appreciation for art. I have always loved museums and galleries and, most important, have always been powerfully drawn to pictures and colors and all the beauty a mere human can produce by his hand. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, when I was a stay-at-home mom, I used to stretch my meager resources to invest in local art. I bought works from the Virginia Museum Loan/Own enterprise (among them a painting by Nancy Camden—she later became Nancy Witt), from Arts in the Park (a striking Paul Germain) and from the Hand Workshop, now the Visual Art Center (a Judy Bumgardner). I collected from the Virginia Beach Boardwalk Art Show, acquiring a painting by Sandra Walker, who later became a British resident and soon after was invited into the prestigious British Watercolor Society. At the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, I bought a Charlotte C. Clark print of a narcissus plant on an Oriental rug. These purchases are still valued and in my collection. Still, I was ambitious and wanted a bigger, more important collection. The question was, how? It’s no secret: You need money to collect art. My big break came in the 1980s at, of all places, a craps table in Atlantic City. My late husband, Irving Joel, was an avid craps player—and a good one. I had watched him play many times and was obliged to observe his techniques since he was

Smiling Girl, not dated, oil on panel, 8.75" x 6.5"; Alfred Stevens, Belgian (1823-1906); acquired May 2008, John Mitchell Gallery, London.

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superstitious and made me stay at his side whenever he was winning. Knowing his formula, I decided on one occasion to play on my own. I made an amazing 21 passes in a row—a phenomenally lucky streak that a gutsier dice player might have parlayed into buying the entire casino! It was a heady experience, especially when the men at the table cheered me on, yelling, “I believe in women!” Despite all the money I won, I knew I could never repeat that performance and swore never to gamble again. We went on to New York City the next day, and I spent my winnings in what I would now call a “commercial” gallery—a place that dealt mainly in prints and copies, with very few original artworks. I bought two pieces, one of which, an Erte, hangs in the powder room of my house. The second is a very unusual bas-relief in an entirely Lucite frame. It hangs at a home at the beach. They are not the quality I later learned to seek, but I was thrilled to buy them. My husband died in 1994, and my interest in art expanded to fill the void. This is when I became more discriminating. I began to travel frequently to look at art, I subscribed to Sotheby’s and Christie’s catalogs, and I began to research paintings and artists. Studying works of art in which museums had invested was, and still is, an amazing educational experience—and in this way I started to become what the art world calls “a serious collector.” In 1996, on a visit to the Metropolitan Museum in New York, I became fascinated by one painting in particular, The Quartet, whose artist was unknown to me. I wrote down all the particulars from the signage. The artist was William Turner Dannat, and he was powerful! Hours later, and only a few blocks away, serendipity struck: I happened into a gallery that had a small oil sketch by that same artist, titled Le Contrabandier Aragonais. I wanted to buy it—and, still

The Polish Exile, 1890-91, oil on canvas 46" x 34", William Satterwhite Noble, American (1825 - 1907) ; acquired 2001, Sotheby’s, New York.

anguishing about the price, I left New York. Days later, Dannat still on my mind, I called the gallery owner. I asked him if the little painting was worth what he was asking, and would he buy it back at that price? “Of course,” he said. “It’s a masterpiece.” What did I think that he would say? I bought the painting and afterward did a massive amount of research on Dannat. I learned about a little town outside Paris, named Blérancourt, which has a small museum housing the life-size oil of the Dannat sketch I owned. Within months of learning about Blérancourt, I visited the town and the museum to see the finished painting. It was in storage, but an employee pulled it out for me. It was magnificent, very refined, and I could see why it had won a bronze medal in the Paris Salon of 1883. The French government had bought the piece directly from the Salon for the Luxembourg Museum of live artists. Seeing the piece completed the Dannat circle for me. I have made many trips in the U.S. and abroad to research art and to collect art. They are fascinating and deeply enriching. On a trip to London in 1997, I became acquainted with and captivated by the work of Wilfrid de Glehn, a British national

of Estonian descent, an Impressionist who painted landscapes, portraits and nudes. Messums Gallery, on Cork Street in London, had bought the entire estate of de Glehn paintings from the family and had so many good de Glehns that I found it very frustrating to settle on one. They were also at a higher price level than I was accustomed to. I selected The Barn, West Sussex, a beautiful, sunny picture of the interior of a barn, and asked a friend to coach me on the bargaining process. The gallery director and I then had our negotiation. He agreed to my price and reluctantly agreed to pay the shipping, which is a significant expense for a painting going overseas. At a later date, the same gallery sent me a picture of another de Glehn. It was a knockout Impressionist picture of a woman thought to be Jane de Glehn, wife of the artist. But there was no formal identification, only a letter from a very elderly family member. I wasn’t convinced, and I had to know who the subject was before I invested in the painting. Looking through various catalogs of de Glehn family paintings, I discovered a picture of Jane de Glehn wearing a ring with a green stone—almost certainly the same ring she was wearing in the picture for sale. I bought the work.

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The Path to the Sea, 1893-97, oil on canvas, 30" x 25"; William Lamb Picknell, American (1853-1897); acquired June 2000, Hollis Taggart Gallery, New York.

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Le Village de Saint-Cirq Lapopie, oil on canvas, 42" x 29"; Henri-Jean Guillaume Martin, French (1860-1943); acquired May 2008, Sotheby's, New York.

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A Thrilling Obsession

Art collections often have themes. They are typically centered on one artist, or group of artists, or a period of time. Some experts advised that I should have an in-depth collection of only one painter. Others suggested that I collect paintings from a specific genre or time period. However, none of those ideas appealed to me. I did not want to be restricted; rather, I wanted to be free to select whatever works appealed most strongly to me, no matter what they were. Any work of art, before I consider buying it, must tug strongly on my emotions. It must make me want to look at it—from all angles. That was, and remains, my basic standard for purchase. It’s not my only criterion, to be sure, but the most important. I also look for paintings that have good composition, beautiful light and unmuddy colors, and that are in good condition. There’s no way to determine all the above without seeing the painting in person. This is the most important criterion of all. Ironically, many of the paintings I’ve purchased over the last 20 or so years have a common thread. The paintings themselves differ greatly in style, but most are by American artists who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and trained in great European institutions—German and French ateliers—with great Masters. That, then, is the orientation of my collection. In the first five years of collecting on a large scale, I bought 11 paintings—yet only a few came from the same auction house or dealer. Most were acquired in different ways. I purchased one painting at a phone-in auction, two at live bidding auctions, and the rest from New York dealers in the East 70s—all different. Five of the artists were born within five years of each other—1848 to 1853. As those who have done so know, phone-in bidding and live auction bidding are remarkable. Phone bidding is initiated at the auction house; you fill out a pink slip and state the lot number of your choice, then state how much you’re willing to spend. There is a high/ low estimate for each painting. The low is usually the seller’s reserve, which is the lowest amount the owner of the painting will accept. An associate of the auction house calls you close to the auction day and tells you about what time your bid will come up. You tell your friends not to call on that day. When the bidding begins, the associate tunes you in to it—and you must let her know at every raise whether you’re with her or not. It is absolutely spine tingling—especially when she says

Through the Barn Door, West Burton, Sussex, oil on canvas 30" x 25"; Wilfrid de Glehn, British (1870-1951); acquired July 1997, Messums Gallery, London.

over the phone, “Congratulations for your new painting!” It is also a very odd sensation to buy, from a remote location, a very valuable piece of art. A live auction is much different— much more terrifying, frankly. The first time I bid live, in person, was in New York in 2000. In a Sotheby’s catalog, I’d seen a picture of Thomas Satterwhite Noble’s painting named Polish Exile. It featured a heroic figure whose desperation was complete. I was keen to acquire it, even though it was not in good condition. The canvas was abraded and riddled with craquelure. My feeling for the heroism of the subject was so strong that I overlooked the serious condition issues. My thought was, whatever the problem, I’ll fix it. I also felt that the painting’s condition might work in my favor. Museums have their own conservation departments and buy paintings with serious craquelure sometimes, but it is also an issue that might dissuade a museum from making the buy. In any case, I was fixated on Exile and chose to sit way up front at that auction. The auctioneer didn’t know my face, and I wanted to be sure he saw me. When the number came up, there was a flurry of early action, then nearly all of the early bidders withdrew, leaving only me and a rival somewhere behind me. As is

common with live bidding, I went over my limit. I kept thinking, “Only one more bid, and it will be mine.” Finally, it was mine—my bid number recorded. I left the room, my heart palpitating. Previously, under different circumstances, I had attended a live auction in one of the auction house’s secondary locations, where paintings by second-tier artists are sold, usually an unimpressive building near the main auction house. Very few people were there. I came only to bid on a self portrait of Frederick MacMonnies, a very well known sculptor (Horse Tamers at Prospect Park, Brooklyn) who happened to be tired of the rigors and time investment of sculpture and decided to do some painting as a relief. I knew all about him. That was my good luck. I bought the portrait for a price so low it surprised me. I was the only bidder. Perhaps because auctions are stressful, I’ve bought most of my paintings from galleries on New York City’s Upper East Side—located in the 70s, to be specific. I like these galleries because they display their art beautifully and in top condition. The frames are also accurate for the time period. They also amass a lot of research about their paintings and the artists, which is advantageous. The galleries also often have transparencies (fine color facsimiles)

of paintings that you can take home and study, to help you decide whether or not to buy the painting you’ve admired. Sometimes, you can make an offer lower than the price. Sometimes, it isn’t accepted. I think they give good advice. I once considered a floral painting by Adelheid Dietrich but was concerned about the stiffness of her flowers. Gallery owner Vance Jordan said to me, “If you’re looking for more relaxed flowers, choose another artist. Northern German artists don’t paint relaxed flowers.” Who knew? I rarely buy impulsively—and yet careful scrutiny never mitigates the feeling of anguish that overcomes me every time I choose to buy. The exception occurred in 2001, when I received a catalog from Spanierman Galleries in New York. It had a picture of Summer Twilight, a Barbizon-style painting by William Morris Hunt that captured me immediately. The picture is this: On a gloriously beautiful late-summer afternoon, four young boys splash and soak in the Charles River. Theirs is an attitude of gaiety and abandon—surely the result of being released from a hard day of work. (Child labor was common in Boston in 1877.) Excited, I immediately arranged a flight to New York City to see it in person. I was so afraid that someone would beat me to it. The Hunt painting didn’t disappoint me. I paid full price for it, didn’t even ask for the usual 10 percent discount that most galleries give. They didn’t offer it to me, either. I now own about 60 paintings that daily bring great beauty to my life. I have made plans to give many of my favorites to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Two will be exhibited in the new American wing. A third, Femme à l’atelier, by Alfred Stevens, will be exhibited in the Mellon Gallery. Others will premier in the 75th anniversary exhibition. Others are promised gifts. I will do research to find good fits for the rest of them and already feel good about the fact that they will be cared for and that my family and I can visit them. Nowadays, since I own a lot of paintings, I look at works for sale more critically than ever. That only makes sense. It’s possible (but unlikely) that I may get turned on by contemporary art—not abstract or non-representational art, but just good work by living artists, preferably local. This is how I see myself continuing to collect. I can’t quit. It’s an obsession! • For more about the artists noted in this story, see V i r g i n i a

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John RHudy on horseback

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Clockwise from top left: Resident signs, Burke’s garden church and graveyard, Marvin Meek, Charlotte WhiTted’s sheep.

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Three generations of the Snapp family, at their dairy farm.

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Charlotte Whitted lets her children, and her sheep, roam free in the summertime. John Rhudy rides horses, like a cowboy, to round up cattle across hundreds of acres of grassland. White-haired Marvin Meek recalls tales of Tazewell County and how the residents of his unincorporated hometown banded together in 1940, at the onset of World War II, to stop a sheep-killing bear they called “Old Hitler” because he was so beastly.

of Rich Snapp, savors the winter: “I don’t mind being housed-up. I do a lot of quilting.” Charlotte Whitted, who is executive director of the Historic Crab Orchard Museum and Pioneer Park in Tazewell, agrees. “Part of the lure of living in Burke’s Garden is that something unpredictable could happen at any time, and the weather is a piece of that. You just never know what you’re getting. These characters—and There’s always a tale roughly 300 others—live in down at the general store the fabled and topographically of somebody’s chicken unique agricultural community house that blew away or in rural southwestern Virginia somebody’s roof blowing named Burke’s Garden. Unique off.” because “the Garden,” as Rhudy, the cowboy, says Burke’s Garden native Kent there was a week or more Hoge and other residents this past February when call it, is a high and hidden the snow was so high, “it valley, a bowl situated at an was not worth the effort to average elevation of 3,100 feet get out.” and surrounded by Garden Rick Snapp, 32, is a son Mountain, a circle-shaped of Rich and Ruth Snapp rise in Tazewell County’s and was born in nearby southeastern corner. Viewed Bluefield, W.Va., yet he from above, via aerial claims, proudly, to be a photographs, Burke’s Garden lifelong resident of Burke’s looks like a verdant crater—as Garden. Rick grew up in if a mischievous giant, eons his parents’ early-20thago, had pressed his thumb into the cone of a volcano. century farmhouse. The One thing is certain: Burke’s Snapp family has farmed Garden is a beautiful land this land since the days of that, to a certain degree, time the Civil War, says Rick. forgot. The place is completely His father and grandfather off the grid of modern life: worked the land and the There is no newspaper delivery barns, and so does he. The in the town, and no cable family now owns 223 acres television; no stoplights and of land, producing milk on no working post office. And their dairy farm. They also no cell phone service. Many of lease another 1,000 acres the residents are retired, a few to raise beef cattle and hay. of them farm, and lots drive It’s tough work, says Rick, out to work in nearby towns, who works extra jobs like constantly challenged by clearing local driveways often-sketchy road conditions in winter for commuters leading in and out of Burke’s (one of whom is his wife, Garden. Says the 39-year-old Selena)—but he is fond of Rhudy, a graduate of Tazewell the rural lifestyle. “Any kid High School and Radford growing up in the country University, “Unless you’ve has an advantage over kids grown up here and really like growing up in the city,” the rural setting, it’s a different he asserts. Rick wants his world.” children, ages 10 and 14, to Owing to its remote, be farmers, too. relatively high-altitude Will they? Even in a Clockwise from top left: Old post office; Rick Snapp with his corn crop; Fern; Shelby Jewel, who is a location, Burke’s Garden is slow-moving place like member of a bluegrass band named “the bluegrass Kinsmen.” largely defined by its isolation this, the fabric of life is strictly off-limits in the winter. One a fairly significant amount of snow and its weather, which is usually gradually changing. Time was, the additional route—what 75-year-old in the winter, sometimes several either cool or teeth-chattering cold. residents stayed put for weeks—or dairy farmer Rich Snapp calls “the feet a year, which blocks roads and The average annual temperature even months—at a time. “I never got CCC Road” (built in the 1930s by the exacerbates the place’s lonely beauty. is about 50 degrees, and in spring to town much when I was a little Civilian Conservation Corps)—stays There is just one paved road and summer—when the grasslands boy,” says 76-year-old J.L. Rhudy Jr., a so rough that it’s best traveled only between Burke’s Garden and the ripen and bald eagles begin to patrol lifelong resident, farmer and a cousin in a Jeep to reach the tiny village of nearest town, Tazewell, 30 minutes the picturesque, lake-size pond of to John Rhudy. “I never knew where Bastian, a dozen miles away. away. Another road, made of gravel, the Gose Mill—the mercury rarely town was.” The locals are not only used to the winds down the backside of Burke’s exceeds 80 degrees. Unlike most Indeed, in the immediate postsometimes harsh climate, they like places in Virginia, or the mid-Atlantic Garden, crossing the Appalachian war decades, Burke’s Garden was a it. Ruth Snapp, the 74-year-old wife Trail en route to Bland County. It is for that matter, Burke’s Garden gets self-supporting community with its

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A road out of Burke’s garden.

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own post office, high school and a larger population. “You had general stores here, you know, where you bought your stuff,” says 70-year-old Kent Hoge, a retired farmer. The local school brimmed with children. “Your schoolteachers, you knew them, and they knew you,” Hoge says. “And a lot of them, they grew up here in the Garden, or they married into the Garden. And there was about only one person that drove out of here every day.” That’s not the case now. For one thing, fewer people in the valley are farming. That shift has got the locals driving a lot more, to jobs outside the area. The old Burke’s Garden school building sits vacant, used only occasionally as a community center. It was the victim of school consolidation, a move that required Garden students to be bused over the mountain to Tazewell. “The big land holdings are all being broken up,” says Bill Jurgelski, a doctor and New Jersey native who, at age 79, works as many as a dozen shifts a month as a part-time emergency room doctor in the nearby Richlands and Grundy hospitals. He moved to the Garden in 1998. “Most of the current generation is not interested in farming,” he says, “so they are selling off their land.” Marvin Meek, 88, affirms this. “Farming is a lost thing. Land prices have gotten so high, you can’t make it work. Now, young kids have to go find a job doing something that’s better than farming.” Until the 1980s, hardly any property was sold. “It used to be said that the only way you could get a place in Burke’s Garden was you had to inherit it or marry it,” says Meek. “That was pretty much true. But it isn’t anymore.” Born to a farming family in Burke’s Garden in 1922, the spirited Meek moved west, to Arizona, in 1942 and eventually worked for actor John Wayne on the movie star’s 26 Bar Ranch. Meek returned to the Garden in 1986 and now spends his days making furniture, such as pie safes, and caring for his ailing wife, the former Ella Baumgardner. He also remembers Wayne: “He was a nice guy and a true American.”

How was Burke’s Garden formed? There are more than a few theories about its geological origins. Meek thinks the valley was once a lake, while Rich Snapp offers another idea: “Some say a meteor hit it and flattened it out.” Still others suggest

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population is becoming more seasonal. “We are getting more people who are building houses here and living here part-time,” she says. “We really preferred when they lived here all the time and [we] knew who they were.” For a few years, in the 1990s, a few Amish families lived in Burke’s Garden. They operated their own store, school and factory, making wooden railings for fences and porches. “They were good, hardworking people,” John Rhudy says, and they believed in helping their

aerial view of Burke’s garden.

Being “neighborly” is, of course, an essential component of the rural ethic. Waving her arm to encompass the residents, Whitted says, “These are [people] whom you call when your barn is burning down or you’ve thrown your tractor in the creek, and you’ve got to have somebody pull you out.” the area was once part of a volcano. Geologists get the last word, and they’ve apparently said, according to Tazewell historian and author Louise Leslie, that this bowl was once a 6,500-foot-high mountain largely composed of limestone, but with a sandstone cap. Slowly, that sandstone cap eroded, and the peak of Garden Mountain collapsed into itself. That’s the “common wisdom,” says Whitted. “And the limestone shifts all the time, so that’s a pretty believable story.” James Burk, a hunter who spelled his last name without an “e,” is credited in history books with discovering this place. As Tazewell County legend has it, Burk chased a wounded elk into the valley in the 1740s, then, after setting up camp, he buried the peelings of his potatoes so Indians could not track him. Explorers later found that Burk’s peelings had grown into a potato garden and, as a joke, they named the area “Burk’s Garden.” The name stuck. Centuries later, the valley is still fertile, Whitted says. “I’ve just found that it doesn’t take hardly any effort at all to get things to grow.” Whatever the origin of its topography and name, the Garden has a powerful effect on some residents. Jurgelski named his farm the “Lost World Ranch” to reflect both the remoteness of the area and the herd of 40 Bactrian camels he raises. Jurgelski has owned the camels, two-hump camels native to Mongolia, for 14 years, since before moving to Burke’s Garden. “I’ve just gotten attached to them,” he says.

Whitted, as part of her job at the Historic Crab Orchard Museum, enjoys telling Garden tales (tall or otherwise) herself. Standing in the museum, she points to a stuffed carcass known as the Varmint—it’s actually a coyote—and says that in 1953 the animal killed more than 400 of Burke’s Garden’s sheep, eluding capture for nearly a year before it was finally shot to death by a professional hunter. What’s the big deal about shooting a coyote? In Whitted’s view, the Varmint saga symbolizes the spirit of Burke’s Garden. “These are people who can take care of themselves,” she says. Like Jurgelski, Whitted is a transplant. In 1999, she and her husband, Gordon, a schoolteacher, were living in Lawsonville, N.C., but were searching for a farm to raise both their sheep and their family. When they saw the area, the couple, now in their 40s, were smitten. “If you drive over the mountain, you realize, ‘Well, yeah, this is it,’” Whitted says. “I thought it was obvious. The land is fabulous, beautiful; in many ways, it’s got some idyllic qualities. And it’s a great place to raise children,” even if that means spending a lot of time in the car, driving the kids back and forth to school in Tazewell every day. Libby Bowman, who has lived here since 1962, welcomes newcomers, inviting them to join the Burke’s Garden Homemakers Club, an organization that occasionally publishes community cookbooks. She worries, however, that the

community. But they eventually left, he says, because they were unable to buy enough land for their children to live in the area. Being “neighborly” is, of course, an essential component of the rural ethic. Waving her arm to encompass the residents, Whitted says, “These are [people] whom you call when your barn is burning down or you’ve thrown your tractor in the creek, and you’ve got to have somebody pull you out.” When the summer arrives, Burke’s Garden families will begin to till their fertile soil—and do it quickly, facing one of the shortest growing seasons in the state. With little humidity, there’s virtually no need for air-conditioning. Breezes steadily waft through the open windows of century-old farmhouses. “There’s the smell of good hay being put up,” Rick Snapp says, smiling, “and you watch the corn grow.” Warm weather brings a few visitors, mainly bird-watchers and bikers tracing the scenic byways. Jurgelski, at the Lost World Ranch, gives people rides on his camels. He can foresee how road improvements might change Burke’s Garden permanently, making it a retirement colony or “just a regular village.” The old ways and means could wane, but for now the community remains “close-knit,” says Meek. “We haven’t changed a lot in the last hundred years.” He and others are happy to live out their retirement in the splendid quiet that is Burke’s Garden. “We’re not trying to beat the next guy,” Meek says. “It’s just a good place to kind of let down.” •

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Cuz’s owners Mike and Yvonne Thompson; lower right, Friday night diners.

Pigs Gone Wild

“We started with very high standards, and we’re basically an institution now. We don’t even hardly have a sign out front.” Indeed, Cuz’s attracts everyone from college students to coal barons— especially on Saturday night, when there is live bluegrass music. Many customers drive an hour or more to partake of a menu that, like the restaurant, has expanded over the years and now features steaks, fish, even lobster snatched from the cold waters of Massachusetts, in addition to the barbeque. Steak filets are flown in from Iowa, fish from Hawaii. “Everything’s fresh, everything’s homemade,” says Thompson. “The food is wonderful,” says Mike Hillman, a banker from nearby Lebanon and a Cuz’s regular. “We love the beef. We love the seafood.” The décor is simple—lots of booths, most painted with bright colors. And there are scores of crazy-fun pig drawings on the booth backs and walls, some spray-painted and most from the hand of Thompson, who describes the interior as “colorfully eclectic.” Says he of his porcine predilection, “We’re a barbeque restaurant, and not to be big on pigs would be self-defeating.” Cuz’s has survived two fires and come out of each incident a bigger place. The original dining room is now part of a kitchen stockroom. The eatery, open from March to November, can hold 225 guests downstairs and 60 more patrons upstairs. “For most people who come here,” says Thompson’s wife, Yvonne, a former journalist who was born in Hong Kong, “this is a destination restaurant.” For more than 25 years, Thompson cooked in the kitchen. Now, he simply oversees the operation in “Pounding Thrill”—his clever name for Cuz’s community, Pounding Mill, about 15 minutes from Tazewell and 40 minutes from Burke’s Garden. “I’m still in charge of what things taste like,” he promises. “I don’t want people to do a whole lot of thinking about that.” •

You wouldn’t expect to find a destination restaurant on a lonely stretch of highway in southwestern Virginia, but Cuz’s has been pleasing coal barons and college students with its “uptown” cuisine—and zany porcine décor—for 31 years. BY JOE TENNIS Well traveled and well educated, shaggy-haired Mike Thompson doesn’t quite fit the profile of a guy who owns a restaurant in rural Tazewell County called Cuz’s Uptown Barbecue Cabins & Resort. Though he grew up on a nearby family farm, Thompson went to prep school in England and earned a degree in art history from Vanderbilt. A rube, he is not. He ran the farm for a few years, but says, bluntly, “I didn’t like working for, or with, my family.” During an overseas trip in the late 1970s, Thompson and his wife decided to open a barbeque and beer restaurant in southwestern Virginia—in a milk-bottling barn along Highway 460—and it’s been thriving ever since.

Thompson, who does not resist opportunities to display his wit, says the eatery’s name is a bit of a joke—there is no nearby town. But there are a couple of hand-hewn cedar cabins for folks who want to stay overnight in the area, and, more to the point, there is quality, uptownstyle cuisine, not your ordinary country cooking. It’s the food that has made Cuz’s a hit with customers since it opened as a five-table honkytonk in 1979. “The area really needed a good place to eat,” says Thompson. V i r g i n i a

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Naval Air Station Oceana is one of America’s largest and most important military installations. The base, sprawled across 5,000 acres in Virginia Beach and employing 15,000 people, is a vital cog in the state economy—but its bigger role, of course, centers on national security. Half of the U.S. Navy’s tactical aircraft are located at Oceana, where scores of pilots daily take to the sky in F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets to attain, and maintain, a state of “combat readiness.” By B e n S w e n s o n


p h oto g r a p h y by R o bb s c h a r e tg

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An f/a-18 Super Hornet.

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Amie Dukes: to her right, a row of Hornets from VFA-106, the Gladiators.

The observation deck of the air traffic control tower is the best seat in the house. From this vantage, 107 feet above seven miles of intersecting runways, one gets an acute feel for Naval Air Station Oceana. With its noise and frenetic activity on a late-winter day, the place rouses the senses. Top Gun-style pilots and ground crews ready multi-million-dollar machines for an afternoon of flying practice—at speeds up to 1,000 miles per hour. Trucks ferry fuel and inert practice ordnance—which smokes on impact so pilots can be graded on their accuracy—around the tarmac. Aircraft taxi forward and queue up at one end of center stage: runway 14R/32L. It’s from here that a half-dozen F/A-18 Super Hornets, the Navy’s sleek, gray strike fighters—each worth about $60 million—will rocket forward with a blast of jarring sound and staggering thrust. Each is airborne in seconds, banking hard left, clearing the runway for the next plane in line, which follows suit within a minute. Even from this aerie, it’s impossible to take in all of Oceana, a sprawling naval complex that is one of America’s largest and most important military installations. Located on more than 5,000 acres of land in Virginia Beach, Oceana is the Navy’s East Coast Master Jet Base, one of two installations in the United States (the other is NAS Lemoore in California) devoted exclusively to housing, servicing and deploying the Navy’s combat-ready, or tactical, jets. Its westerly neighbor, Naval Station Norfolk, might be better known— it’s the largest Navy base in the world—but Oceana is equally vital to national security. “Fifty percent of the Navy’s tactical aircraft, give or take a few, are located here at Oceana,” explains Capt. MarkRich, the 49-year-old commanding officer of the base, sitting in his tidy ground-floor office on Oceana’s main street, named Tomcat Boulevard. Dressed in his black naval officer’s uniform, Rich is an unassuming and mannerly officer who appreciates the gravity of his command. In the event of an international crisis, it’s possible that pilots and aircraft from Oceana

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would be the first physical U.S. military presence on the scene, the so-called “tip of the spear.” A former F-14 Tomcat pilot with combat experience in Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, Rich is effectively the mayor of a small, aviationoriented city. He is certainly well suited for the challenges, but acknowledges they are far different from anything he’s done before in his 27-year military career. For example, he must manage civilian and military contractors and labor unions, in addition to the dozens of military commands and facilities he oversees. “When all you do is go to your squadron, fly your airplanes and work in the field,” he says, “you have no awareness of the complexities and breadth of issues [at a major military base].”

Maintaining a state of what the military calls “combat readiness,” which is the basic function of this base, requires a lot of manpower. Some 15,000 employees work at NAS Oceana, one-third of them civilians, the rest naval personnel. They hold jobs ranging from intelligence officer and fighter pilot to aircraft maintenance technician and weapons expert. Nearly everyone at the base has advanced technical skills or is in some stage of acquiring them. The employees work in such key units as the Strike Fighter Wing, providing all the shorebased training and support for the Atlantic Fleet’s tactical aircraft; the Navy Munitions Command Detachment Oceana, which secures and accounts for all ammunition and explosives at the base; and

Naval Aviation Forecast Center, Oceana Component, which provides the weather data and warnings that are critical at a base focused continuously on pilot training. Oceana has two companion facilities, located a few miles from the main base. One is NAS Oceana Dam Neck Annex, home to combat support units such as intelligence, and the other is Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Fentress, Oceana’s outlying landing field that offers another set of nearby runways where pilots can practice. Together, these two sites comprise thousands of additional acres where aviators and support personnel ply their trade. “Every time an East Coast [aircraft] carrier deploys, the striking power of the aircraft they’re taking with it is coming from Oceana,” says Rich. “It’s our job, when [pilots are] shore-based, to enable their training so they can maintain the level of readiness they need.” Oceana’s aircraft—almost 300 F/A18 Hornets and Super Hornets—make up the Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (“wing” is the term the Navy uses for a large group of aircraft, pilots and support personnel). According to the commodore of the Strike Fighter Wing, Capt. Craig Yager, Hornets are quick and versatile jets that can carry a variety of air-to-air and airto-ground weapons and complete unique missions in a broad range of locations and situations. He says that upgrades in software—and occasionally hardware—render Hornets and Super Hornets among the most advanced weapons in the Navy’s arsenal. A seasoned aviator, Yager works in an olive drab flight suit and has an office adjoining imposing hangars. He trained at Naval Air Station Fallon in Nevada, better known by its less formal name, Top Gun, and still takes to the sky occasionally with his subordinates (but not as often as he’d like). Yager’s job, like Rich’s, is decidedly managerial: He must ensure that the wing’s 17 operational F/A-18 squadrons (a smaller division of a wing, consisting of about 12 jets) are properly manned, trained and equipped. That is a massive undertaking.

“Landing aboard a carrier as it’s moving and the deck is pitching can be very difficult,” says Yager. “As you see airplanes going around and around [at Oceana and Fentress], that’s what we’re doing—coming back here and getting proficient in that landing pattern.”

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A team of navy firemen, from left: Ronnie Pierce, Michael Neverson,

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Lt. Barry Gentry, Josh rathke, Michael Rorie

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Power Oceana’s aviators conduct more than 300,000 “flight ops”—meaning takeoffs, flybys and landings—per year. This despite the fact that at any given time, as many as twothirds of Oceana’s aircraft may be deployed or practicing on aircraft carriers off the coast. Yager says that constant training, even by experienced aviators, is necessary to maintain razor-sharp flying skills. After takeoff, Oceana’s planes typically head east toward training ranges over the Atlantic Ocean. There, they practice air-toair operations. Alternatively, they may head south to a bombing range in Dare County, N.C., for air-toground work. Navy pilots must have one essential skill, and that’s the ability to take off from, and land on, an aircraft carrier. Oddly enough, because aircraft landings have almost no room for error, Oceana’s pilots do much of their training on land, supplementing that with practice aboard the ships themselves. “Landing aboard a carrier as it’s moving and the deck is pitching can be very difficult,” says Yager. “As you see airplanes going around and around [at Oceana and Fentress], that’s what we’re doing—coming back here and getting proficient in that landing pattern.” Lieutenant Trent Arnold, a 35-year-old Marietta, Ohio native,

Capt. MArk Rich, commanding officer of NAS Oceana

knows this routine well. He’s a student pilot assigned to VFA-106, also known as the “Gladiators,” which serves as the East Coast’s fleet replacement squadron, responsible for training newly winged Navy and Marine Corps pilots or those switching the type of aircraft they fly. Pilots train with VFA106 for about eight months before being assigned to one of the Navy’s 37 tactical F/A-18 squadrons around the world. A new class of eight to 12 student pilots joins VFA-106 every six weeks. Arnold seems very much at home in an aircraft hangar full of a dozen Super Hornets. He likes to point out that Navy jets are different from all other military jets in one key respect, and that is the size and composition of their landing gear. Unlike Air Force pilots, who can coast in for a landing on long runways, Navy pilots must come down out of the sky like a rock—hard and at a steep angle so that their tail hook can catch a wire stretched across the deck of a carrier. The wire stops the jet. Such landings put a tremendous amount of force on the landing gear, which is why it is an intricate mass of thick steel

Many of the sailors who staff the state-of-the-art Fleet Readiness Center, where jet components are serviced, have received their training a few streets over, at Oceana’s Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training.

Physical training, rain or shine

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with substantial shocks. As Arnold says, “There is no trying to make [our landings] nice and pretty.” Even on long, shorebased runways, Navy pilots tend to land hard and short, as if they were landing on a carrier. It’s force of habit. The Hornet’s landing gear, specifically its “launch bar,” also allows them to be hurled off the deck by a powerful catapult. “It’s zero to 130 in three seconds and change,” Arnold says. According to Arnold, 10-hour workdays, some of which start in the evening, are routine. While flying the aircraft may only last an hour or so, pilots must sit through a pre-flight brief and a post-flight debrief (better known as “finding out how bad you did,” he quips), and spend time preparing themselves and the plane to fly, which includes practice time in a flight simulator. Much of Arnold’s coursework and aerial training is conducted by instructors of Oceana’s Strike Fighter Weapons School, Atlantic. These experienced pilots, who have trained at Top Gun, teach students how to properly employ the tremendous weaponry F/A-18s are capable of carrying. Student pilots are all officers who, in addition to expressing an interest in flying, have completed a battery of tests demonstrating their

competence and physical suitability for the training and for the aircraft they hope to fly. Some Oceana pilots have flown other military aircraft before, but most—known as a “Category I”—are in aviation training for the first time. The work is demanding and stressful, but pilots like Arnold, who tend to be highly motivated 20- and 30-somethings, would have it no other way. Arnold says that there have been days during his flight training when, on the way to work, he’s driven past people mowing golf course fairways and thought, “What a stress-free job, I wish I did that. But it would be nowhere near as rewarding to me as flying planes.” Of course, pilots are not the only Navy personnel being schooled at Oceana. Many of the sailors who staff the state-of-the-art Fleet Readiness Center, where jet components are serviced, have received their training a few streets over, at Oceana’s Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training. There, sailors learn to repair the hundreds of intricate systems that are part of the F/A-18. Students receive classroom, computer and hands-on instruction. Dozens of doors line the center’s dark corridors, and behind many of them are sizable laboratories, each containing jet systems—engines,

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clockwise from top: A team of mechanics in a hangar, a super hornet after landing, An instructional session in the Center for Naval Aviation technical training.

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wings and cockpits, for instance. These labs are spotless and orderly, with an aircraft component in the center of the room, typically, and mobile red tool chests lining the walls. Students apply their computer learning in these workshops. Just when they begin to feel comfortable with a particular part, the instructor taps a few keys on a PC and—bam—something goes awry. It’s the students’ job to diagnose and repair the problem. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Tom Thomas, a training unit officer, underscores the importance of the lessons he and his colleagues teach. “Many of the parts are electronic parts,” Thomas says. “You’d think, looking at one, ‘It’s just a little box.’ Well, that little box might cost 80 grand.” Navy brass know that they demand a lot from employees and their families—especially during those periods when personnel are on routine six-month deployments—and try to reward them in return. Besides the scores of military buildings on the base, Oceana has dozens of Navy Exchange shops that provide lowcost goods and services to sailors,

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their families and retirees, all taxfree. They include clothing stores, restaurants and gas stations. What’s more, the Navy’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) division offers 31 different recreational activities ranging from bowling to golf to horseback riding. There are three gyms at the base, along with a child development center and a twodollar movie theater. “We recognize that relaxation is an integral part of the fighting force,” says Robin Joseph, general manager of the Oceana Navy Exchange, which is the fifth-largest U.S. Navy Exchange in the world. According to Joseph, the exchange and MWR division help boost morale and play a big role in personnel retention. Sailors who are surveyed when reenlisting, he says, often cite the Navy Exchange and MWR among the reasons for their return. Vinny Spagnuolo, one of Oceana’s MWR directors, explains that the division also helps sailors cope with anxieties related to long deployments—one of the military’s most challenging responsibilities. “We’re here to put the sailors at ease while they’re deployed,” he says. “With all these diversified

programs and youth centers, they know their families are taken care of while they’re gone.” MWR also serves a public relations function of sorts, helping to coordinate Oceana’s renowned air show, attended by more than 200,000 citizens annually. According to Lieutenant Arnold, Oceana is considered a choice military assignment—he calls it the “crown jewel” of Naval Air Stations.

The U.S. Congress approved the construction of NAS Oceana in 1943. The base was originally an outlying landing field for aircraft training at Norfolk. In those wartime days, Oceana was far from any population center, located on marshy and nearly inaccessible land. That’s not the case today. Like the Hampton Roads region around it, Oceana has grown significantly over the years. Owing to its size and large number of employees, Oceana is a key component of Virginia’s economy, injecting more than a billion dollars annually into state coffers. Partly for

that reason, says Rich, Oceana and the communities that surround it are inseparable. “A huge part of this community has some association with the military,” he says. “We’re in the churches, our folks are coaching soccer teams—a large number of the people we’re flying over are people who work here.” Still, both the Navy and Virginia Beach officials are aware of how complex the relationship between a city and a major military base can be. Simply put, municipal priorities and military priorities are not always the same. Certainly, encroaching development in areas adjacent to Oceana, where an airplane crash could occur, has created some tension and been a source of concern for Navy officials for years. Meanwhile, the persistent jet noise at the base (which can exceed 110 decibels when jets are taking off, equivalent to the volume in the front row of a rock concert) alarms many citizens around Oceana. One big issue now is space. Oceana and Fentress don’t have quite enough of it for all the demands of training. That’s especially the case before major deployments, when the Navy’s

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Capt. Craig Yager, Commodore of the strike fighter wing; post- flight operations; preparing to land after air exercises.

Will Sessoms, mayor of Virginia Beach, is well aware that the loss of Oceana would have had a devastating effect on the local economy, but he prefers not to dwell on the past. In fact, Sessoms and other Beach politicians are working to make sure that Oceana remains the home for the next generation of Navy strike fighters, the F-35, slated to join the fleet in 2014.

high command might order that five squadrons must get ready to ship out. All those pilots must use the same time and airspace to prepare. As a result, Navy officials (largely from the base in Norfolk) want to build another outlying landing field, or OLF, on the rural outskirts of Hampton Roads. The Navy is currently studying five potential OLF sites in Virginia and two in North Carolina. While the proposal has garnered both criticism and support, a final decision on where—and if—an OLF will be built is years away. Five years ago, the military’s Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission proposed moving the East Coast Master Jet Base from Oceana to Florida. The idea was eventually quashed, but not before it

unnerved both city and state officials and prompted renewed attention to Oceana’s needs. Navy officials and community leaders are now charting a new, more cooperative path. To address encroachment concerns, for example, Virginia Beach and the state have purchased conservation easements and have limited development around Oceana. For their part, Navy officials have restricted flying times and set up a phone line for complaints about jet noise. Will Sessoms, mayor of Virginia Beach, is well aware that the loss of Oceana would have had a devastating effect on the local economy, but he prefers not to dwell on the past. In fact, Sessoms and other Beach politicians are working to make sure that Oceana remains

the home for the next generation of Navy strike fighters, the F-35, slated to join the fleet in 2014. “I see the Navy and the city working well together in the future,” says Sessoms, citing the shared interests of the two sides. He emphasizes the importance of Oceana’s economic contribution to the city in terms of jobs created, money spent and hours volunteered. More than 30 percent of schoolchildren in Virginia Beach come from military families. Civilian federal employees and military personnel continue to have among the highest average salaries in the region. What’s more, ongoing construction at Oceana, including a $40 million energy efficiency project, provides work for local contractors.

And then there’s the fact that Oceana produces some of the best pilots in the world. “Oceana is a tremendous asset to the city,” says Sessoms, “but the impact on Virginia and the nation is the [larger] issue, and it is very substantial.” That is true. Last February, F/A18 aircraft conducted missions in Afghanistan, driving Taliban fighters from hostile positions and clearing the way for U.S. and coalition forces on the ground. NAS Oceana, like all military bases in America, is fulfilling U.S. security needs every day, along with providing economic ballast to the region and, more generally, injecting can-do spirit into its community—all in a manner that might be described as large, proud and, yes, loud. • V i r g i n i a

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Departure The return of big red Wherein illustrator STERLING HUNDLEY depicts Secretariat.

This is a big year for Secretariat, the Virginia-born Triple Crown Champion. He was born at The Meadow farm in Caroline County 40 years ago, charged to glory in 1973 and died in 1989. Even as his racing achievements fade into history, his legacy grows. Later this year, the chestnut stallion known as Big Red will be introduced to a new generation. The movie Secretariat is scheduled for a fall release. It will focus mostly on Penny Chenery, Secretariat’s owner, and the challenges she faced taking over her father’s falterng horse farm. Actress Diane Lane will portray Chenery (who now lives

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in Boulder, Colorado), and John Malkovich will play trainer Lucien Laurin. Also this year, Dementi Milestone Publishing will release Secretariat’s Meadow: The Land, the Family, the Legend, a pictorial history of the farm, the horse and the family. It was written by Kate Chenery Tweedy, Penny’s daughter, with Leeanne Meadows Ladin. Seldom, if ever, does a thoroughbred season pass without racing experts recalling Secretariat’s career and his 31-length victory in the Belmont Stakes, during which TV announcer Chic Anderson exclaimed, now famously, “He is moving like a tremendous machine!”

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an equal opportunity/affirmative action university 100416-01

At Virginia Commonwealth University, we engage a world that’s ever evolving. We apply streetsmart solutions to local and global challenges. We embrace a deep understanding of a diverse population. We are future scientists, artists and educators; communicators and performers; doctors and business executives; engineers and social leaders; social workers and politicians. We create change. We move the needle. We make a dent.

4/20/10 4:49:28 PM

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4/20/10 4:09:50 PM

Virginia Living - June 2010  

Virginia Living's June 2010 issue

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