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Hermitage Press H E R M I T A G E





To Norfolk with Love Celebrating 75 Years of the Hermitage Museum





Hermitage 75th Anniversary Gala

Melanie Mathewes, Executive Director

2012 marks the 75th anniversary of the Hermitage Museum. Join us to celebrate this history and service to the community with a gala in the Hermitage Gardens: Imagine, you and your spouse are pondering your future, when you come to the decision that more than anything else, you would like to leave your home, property, collection of art, and all your worldly possessions to the people of Norfolk. That is an enormous leap of faith and one specifically taken by William and Florence Sloane in 1937. For the past 75 years, their home, Hermitage, has welcomed thousands of local, regional, and international visitors. As stewards, we have collectively helped the Sloanes fulfill their wishes to provide a community resource that treats art and the environment as one in the same. 2012 is a momentous year for the Hermitage Museum & Gardens. An image of the Museum graces the cover of the Garden Club of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week guidebook. A gala celebration is planned for May 18, and a new Asian Gallery is slated for opening. May - August 2012

In addition to the upcoming excitement, the events you regularly enjoy such as the contemporary exhibitions, Visual Arts Studio classes, Sunset on the River concerts, Friday Night Films, the Studio Artists Program, and the beauty of the gardens and grounds will continue to flourish. After seventy-five years the Hermitage remains vibrant and dedicated to the cultural enlightenment of this region. Now, let’s think of the Hermitage in 2087 – that is 75 years from now. Where the coming years will take us we cannot know for certain, but we will be steadfast in honoring our past as we look toward the future. We hope to see you at the Hermitage this year and for many years to come.

Friday, May 18, 7:00 - 11:00 p.m. Cocktail hour in the Museum 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. Dinner on the Lawn 8:00 - 9:30 p.m. Drinks, Dessert and Dancing 9:30 - 11:00 p.m. Live Swing Music by Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society Fancy Dress - Black Tie optional For detailed information and tickets visit or call Megan Frost at 757-423-2052 x205. Thank you to our event sponsors:

above: aerial photograph of the Hermitage, circa 1930

7637 North Shore Road • Norfolk, VA • 23505 • (757) 423-2052 •

At the Visual Arts Studio Summer Art Camp is Back! Offering Creative Programming and Exciting Opportunities For Kids Melissa Ball, Public Programs Manager

Kids Summer Art Camp

Young Artists Summer Camp

June 11th through August 17th, the Hermitage is hosting nine themed weeks of Kids Summer Art Camp for boys and girls ages 6 through 10. Each week features hands-on art activities, behind-thescenes Museum tours, outdoor programs, educational opportunities, special guests, and games related to the week’s theme.

Back for its second year, the Hermitage is offering four weeks of Young Artists Summer Camp for boys and girls ages 11 through 13. The camp takes place every other week beginning June 18th.

Ages 6 - 10 • 9 weeks • June 11 - August 17

Offering camp weeks for kids ages 6-10 and 11-13, the Hermitage is the ideal spot for campers to discover the arts, learn new skills, make friends, and explore their creativity in an informal and relaxed environment.

Week 1: Curious Curators Week 2: Art and Nature Week 3: World Travel Week 4: World Travel Week 5: Imagination Week 6: Glass Art Week 7: Across Asia Week 8: Home Week 9: Curious Curators

June 11 - 15 June 18 - 22 June 25 - 29 July 9 - 13 July 16 - 20 July 23 - 27 July 30 - August 3 August 6 - 10 August 13 - 17

Camp Pricing and Registration: Members: $155/week • Non-members: $175/week Registration forms are available at For more information on Summer Art Camps contact Melissa Ball, Public Programs Manager, at 757-423-2052 x207 or

Ages 11 - 13 • 4 weeks • June 18 - August 10

At camp, young artists will experience informal fine-arts training in several artistic mediums. By the end of the week, campers will have created a well-rounded miniportfolio to share with family, friends, and teachers. Each week incorporates behindthe-scenes Museum tours, guest instructors and artist demos, a nature walk, and time in the gardens and grounds. No previous art knowledge is necessary but an ability to focus on one project for up to two hours and an appreciation for art is encouraged! Week 1: June 18 - 22 Week 2: July 9 - 13 Week 3: July 23 - 27 Week 4: August 6 - 10 All camps run Monday through Friday. The camp day begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m.

Sunsets on the River Live Music on the Hermitage Back Lawn • Spring Schedule of Bands May 10: School of Rock House Band vs. the Governor’s School for the Arts Big Band and Combos May 24: The Hot Cakes ( June 7: Luke Hartman ( June 21: The Green Boys ( FREE for Museum members • $7 for non-members Bring a picnic, blanket, and lawn chairs. Cash bar - no outside alcohol. May - August 2012

In the Changing Galleries Retooled: Artwork by the Governor’s School for the Arts Faculty Melissa Ball, Public Programs Manager

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 10, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Exhibition on Display: May 11 - June 5

The Hermitage is honored to expand its partnership with the distinguished Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) by hosting a special exhibition featuring the artwork of its Visual Arts faculty. As the final portion of a two-part series, “Retooled” presents the GSA Visual Arts faculty’s response to the artwork of their student artists from the exhibition “Tools of the Creative Mind”.

photography, fiber arts, screen printing, lithography, glass, painting, and digital imaging. The Hermitage Visual Arts Studio will also offer supportive programming and workshops.

The GSA Visual Arts faculty includes some of the foremost artists in Hampton Roads. Featuring fifteen artists, the exhibition represents a survey of artistic media including ceramics and sculpture, video,

The opening reception is in conjunction with the Hermitage’s ever-popular outdoor concert series, Sunsets on the River, featuring live music by the School of Rock House Band and the Governor’s School for the Arts Jazz Band. Enjoy the chance to meet the featured artists and speak to them directly about their work. Image: Au Current Orchestra (detail) by

Milestones: Annual Exhibition by the Hermitage Studio Artists Melissa Ball, Public Programs Manager

Opening Reception: Thursday, June 28, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Exhibition on Display: June 29 - August 7

Celebrating their 5th year, the Hermitage Studio Artists will again impress and move visitors with this unique assembly of creative methods and artistic messages in their annual exhibition, Milestones. This year, artists Jim Alexander, Jocelyn Coles, Patricia Isenhour, Helen Jones, Amanda Page Stephens, and Virginia Van Horn will present examples of painting, fabric arts, sculpture, mixed media, and photography.

to apply for one of six studios available in the former Gardener’s Cottage and enables those accepted into the program to participate in this annual exhibition.

The Studio Artists program, which began in 2007, offers regional artists the opportunity

Mark your calendar for the exhibition’s opening reception on Thursday, June 28th - featuring complimentary hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and the opportunity to meet the artists.

Image: If Wishes Were Horses (detail) by Virginia Van Horn

7637 North Shore Road • Norfolk, VA • 23505 • (757) 423-2052 •

Flowers and Gardens Inside the Hermitage Beauty of the Natural World Depicted in Paintings

Oyster Restoration Continues

Lauren Northup, Curator of Collections

Yolima Carr, Curator of Gardens & Grounds

As a believer in the values and aesthetics of the Arts-and-Crafts movement, Florence K. Sloane strove to bring the beauty of the natural world inside her home as much as possible. As a result, most of the paintings she chose included gardens and flowers. Here are two of the most spectacular.

Colonial Doorway

Abbott Graves (1859-1936) ca. 1927 Oil on canvas The painting Colonial Doorway best embodies the artist’s impressionistic approach to floral still lifes. By applying thick, impasto brushstrokes, ample color schemes, and healthy portions of natural light the garden scene becomes an intense romance between the structure and its flora. Archival records indicate this painting hung in Mrs. Sloane’s bedroom in the 1920s; a cheerful reminder of her childhood in the Northeast. Abbott Graves is renowned for his plein air garden scenes. Inspired by French impressionism, Graves strove to depict visual reality in terms of the transient effects of light and color within a natural environment. Colonial Doorway has been identified as his finest work in the country.

Rejoice Greatly

Stephen Reid (1873 - 1948) 1927 Oil on canvas


Painted after the Allied victory of World War I in 1918, Rejoice Greatly quietly reflects upon the sacrifice of those servicemen who gave their lives for their country. Reid’s daughter, Jessie, hangs lanterns in the foreground to light the way home for the returning troops. The painting depicts the artist’s garden in St. John’s Wood, London, which was sadly reduced to rubble by Axis bombing during World War II.

Stephen Reid was a Scottish painter most famous for his historical subjects and allegorical portraits. In his thirties, Reid was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists. His personal relationship with the Sloane family brought his art to this region. H E R M I TA G E M U S E U M & G A R D E N S N E W S L E T T E R

In 2007, two oyster reefs were built along the east shoreline and tidal pool at the Hermitage by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Constructed of recycled shells, these reefs attract baby oysters, fish, crabs, and hundreds of other marine species. They also help stabilize the natural shoreline and provide a living laboratory for area scientists. In June 2010, over 50 oyster reef balls were installed along this same shoreline. Reef balls are hollow concrete structures that provide wonderful homes for oysters. The reef balls were coated with millions of baby oysters, called ‘spat’, that within six months had grown enough to filter and clean nearly fifty gallons of water per day! The oyster restoration continued this past February with the addition of another small oyster reef along the shoreline near the millstone allée. Staff and volunteers from the Hermitage and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation deposited 60 bushels of recycled oyster shells beside the reef balls. In May, 60 additional bushels will be planted. M AY - A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 V O L U M E 8 I S S U E 2

Petal Pushers

Mrs. Sloane’s Formal Rose Garden A Golden Age for the Hermitage Gardens

Come see what’s Blooming:

Yolima Carr, Curator of Gardens & Grounds and rose-lined path leading east ended at the now historic brick wall and lion-based bench overlooking the Lafayette River. A pair of putti (pictured left) sat atop stone columns at the entrance of the garden path. Continuing south, thirty-three millstones still lay where they originally bordered large cages filled with Australian budgerigar birds.

The 1930s was a golden age for the Hermitage gardens, and Mrs. Sloane’s formal rose garden was the finest of them all. The Sloanes charged an entrance fee to the formal rose garden (now known as the East Garden) in order to raise funds for the construction of the Norfolk Museum of Arts & Sciences. Visitors flocked to the Hermitage to admire the hybrid tea rose varieties. Inside the garden, at least twenty-five beds of antique roses echoed the symmetrical design; with beds composed of either 4, 9, or 15 rose shrubs. The roses planted in these beds were large varieties of Early Hybrid Teas from the 1910s and 1920s. The Early Hybrid Tea Rose (Rosa Indica odorata hybrida) was produced by crossing the Tea Rose with Hybrid Perpetual. This Early Hybrid Tea retained the delicacy of color and fragrance of the Teas, and the vigor of the Hybrid Perpetuals. At the north end was a cactus garden and path which led to the grotto area fountain. A boxwood

Spring/Summer (May - August)

Sadly, with Mrs. Sloane’s passing in 1953, the formal rose garden began to disappear. Years of neglect brought weeds and other invasive plants, covering the original elements of what once was a beautiful garden. Mrs. Sloane’s formal rose garden is a now a quiet garden shaded by tall conifer cedars, hackberries, and oak trees. A wrought iron gate blocks the former entrance back into the rose garden, where a willow arch and gate were guarded by Asian sculptural warriors. Brick walls and sculptural details remain scattered as memories of the Gilded Age, just waiting to be returned to their once formal elegance. Recently, detailed records were discovered that shed light on the original design of the East Garden - Mrs. Sloane provided drawings showing the exact number of roses in each bed. Using these documents along with original photographs, the Hermitage hopes to restore the East Garden to its original appearance, offering visitors the chance to experience the landscape as it was during the 1930s.

Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily Lilium Lancifolium Jupiter’s Beard Centranthus ruber Smokebush Cotinus Coggygria March Hibiscus Hibiscus moscheutos Hydrangea Hydrangea species Garden phlox Phlox paniculata species Mexican Petunia Ruellia brittoniana Tall Coneflower ‘Autumn Sun’ Rudbeckia laciniata

circa 1930


H E R M I TA G E M U S E U M & G A R D E N S N E W S L E T T E R

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Programs & Events


1• Appraisal Days with Karl Green (Bonhams, Decorative Arts) 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. FREE for members, $15 non-members Lecture followed by appraisals. Appraisals are first come, first served.

10• Retooled: Artwork by the Governor’s School for the Arts Faculty Opening Reception: May 10, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Exhibition on Display May 11 - June 5 10• Sunsets on the River School of Rock House Band vs. Gov. School for the Arts Big Band and Combos 18• 75th Anniversary Gala 7:00 - 11:00 p.m. Tickets available online 24• Sunsets on the River Live music on the lawn, The Hot Cakes 26• Visual Arts Studio Early Summer Session of Classes May 26 - July 7

Sunsets on the River Live music on the lawn: School of Rock Band vs. Governor’s School for the Arts Big Band and Combos, The Hot Cakes, Luke Hartman, The Green Boys. May 10, May 24, June 7, June 21: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. FREE for members, $7 for non-members


4• Through the Garden Gate (Garden Tour) Offered every other Monday and Saturday, beginning June 4

7• Sunsets on the River Live music on the lawn, Luke Hartman

11• Kids Summer Art Camp Nine themed weeks, June 11 - August 17 15• Friday Night Films The Secret Garden, movie begins at 8:30 p.m. 18• Young Artists Summer Camp Four weeks, June 18 - August 10 21• Sunsets on the River Live music on the lawn, The Green Boys 28• Annual Exhibition by the Hermitage Studio Artists Opening Reception: June 28, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Exhibition on Display June 29 - August 7 29• Friday Night Films An American in Paris, movie begins at 8:30 p.m.

75th Anniversary Gala Celebrate the 75 years of history and service to the community at this garden gala featuring dinner, drinks, dessert, and swing music by Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society. Friday, May 18, 7:00 - 11:00 p.m.

Individual and Table Tickets are Available Online

July 13• Friday Night Films The Birds, movie begins at 8:30 p.m. 15• Visual Arts Studio Late Summer Session of Classes July 21 - September 1 27• Friday Night Films Hud, movie begins at 8:30 p.m.

August 10• Friday Night Films Singin’ in the Rain, movie begins at 8:30 p.m. 24• Friday Night Films The Wizard of Oz, movie begins at 8:30 p.m. For pricing and details, visit or call (757) 423-2052

May - August 2012

Friday Night Films Outdoor presentations of classic films: The Secret Garden, An American in Paris, The Birds, Hud, Singin’ in the Rain, The Wizard of Oz. June 15 - August 24, movies at 8:30 p.m. (gates at 6 p.m.) FREE for members, $5 for non-members

The Gift That Started the Sloane Collection Colin Brady, Curator of Interpretation

The origins of the Hermitage collection are well documented in the annals of Mrs. Sloane’s writings, and it is partly in thanks to her sister, Grace Stiles, that the collection evolved in the manner that it did. In 1901 a small, but elegant, Japanese Satsuma bowl

was given to Mrs. Sloane as a gift. From this kind gesture would spawn a fifty year journey into collecting and promoting the arts in Hampton Roads.

quality diminished in some regions the pieces acquired by Mrs. Sloane continued to demonstrate the superior craftsmanship of those from bygone eras.

Satsuma ware is a porcelain style developed in Japan that relies on an ivory crackled glaze, colorful genre scenes and fables, as well as gold trim to delineate it from other regional ceramic styles. It was produced primarily for export to the West, but has its roots in Japan’s Momoyama Period (15741603) when potters were brought back from Korea after a series of wars with Japan.

Throughout her years as a collector, Mrs. Sloane would continue to return to Satsuma wares as a standard for enhancing her Asian pottery collection. Purchases were made in every decade between 1901 and 1953 further proving her interest in the highly stylized earthernware. Satsuma pieces may not be the most ambitious works found in the Sloane collection, but they are certainly held in high regard. They will always be the first in our catalogs and that will never change.

By the time Grace purchased this bowl, Satsuma ware had reached the peak of its production. The late 19th and early 20th century witnessed the development of more studios producing this ceramic throughout Japan than any other period. While the

Hermitage History: Visual Arts Studio The Transformation of the Horse and Cow Stables from 1910 through Present Day Melissa Ball, Public Programs Manager The Hermitage Visual Arts Studio, or VAS, is an inspirational setting for students of all ages, interests, and skill levels to discover the power of art. Through the ongoing schedule of art classes and workshops, the VAS and its talented instructors provide a relaxing and comfortable environment for personal expression. In addition to the adult courses offered throughout the year, the Arts Studio hosts children’s programs as well as art camps and welcomes over 200 kids annually to experience the world of creativity. While the VAS holds a dynamic presence at the Hermitage today, the building’s past is also intriguing. Originally constructed in 1910 as the horse and cow stables and carriage house, the building has transformed to serve several functions over the years. After moderate cosmetic renovations in 1937, the structure

choral, and wood-carving, the school was then hailed as the only active visual arts school of its kind “in a radius of hundreds of miles.” In 1979, a full darkroom was installed in the building and the VAS has continued to serve the community with artistic opportunities for all.

became what it is today and served as a meeting site for the American Red Cross and other supportive organizations for World War II. It was also in 1937 that the building began its 75 year history as an artist’s destination with the founding of the “Hermitage School of Arts and Crafts”. First offering instruction in such disciplines as weaving, art, dancing, drama,

Hermitage founder Florence Sloane once wrote that “museums are now living, active centers, where all classes, ages, and both sexes come for help and productive recreation” and the VAS holds true to this statement. The Visual Arts Studio is an important component of the Hermitage’s mission to “encourage the appreciation of art” and continues to introduce new ideas and a welcoming atmosphere. image: Weaving instructor Winifred Nixon Green at her loom in the Visual Arts Studio, circa 1937

7637 North Shore Road • Norfolk, VA • 23505 • (757) 423-2052 •

William S. Hull Emeritus

Nancy W. Branch Pam Q. Combs Benjamin G. Cottrell, V Barbara Hamm Lee Sandy Harris Barbara B. Laws Nancy L. Martin John B. Meek Elizabeth F. Melchor Jennifer W. Moore Christine G. Neikirk Nancy H. Nusbaum Trish R. Pfeifer Kerri R. Stokes James A. Valone Olin L. Walden

Eleanor A. Lewis Secretary

F. Nash Bilisoly Treasurer

Robert E. Garris, Jr. Vice-President

K. Maxwell Dale President

Board of Trustees

Address Service Requested

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Norfolk, Virginia Permit: No 175

• Admission (exclusive of tax) Adults $5 Children (ages 6-18) $2 College Students (with ID) $3 Members & Active Military FREE

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Call (757) 423-2052 for additional information on house tours.

Tours begin promptly on the hour Last tour begins at 4:00 p.m.

• Schedule of Tours Mon - Sat 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Sunday 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Closed Wednesdays/Thursdays

Hermitage House Tours

We are just shy of reaching our total project goal of $200,000. Please consider making a gift or pledge to the Preserving a Norfolk Legacy Campaign. The Hermitage is hitting its stride once again. More and more people are recognizing what used to be called “Norfolk’s Hidden Gem.” Your contribution will help us to ensure that the Hermitage and its collection will be here for the enjoyment and education of our community for many years to come. For a complete list of donors, visit

After the warmest March in Norfolk’s history, there are not enough words to thank you the supporters of the Preserving a Norfolk Legacy Campaign. The Museum’s original air conditioning system (installed in 1964) quit in May of 2011. The installation of a new system for the Hermitage Museum was vital to the preservation of the historic structure and the Sloane Collection housed inside. The Hermitage received a $25,000 challenge grant from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. This grant was contingent on the Museum raising $125,000 before April 2012. Thank you to Christiane and Jim Valone, David and Susan Goode, the Hermitage Museum’s Board of Trustees, the Young Associate’s Board and all the friends of the Hermitage for helping us reach this goal!

Megan Frost, Membership & Development Manager

Preserving a Norfolk Legacy

Hermitage Newsletter  

75th Anniversary issue of the Hermitage Press Newsletter