What to Wear to the Wethersfield Garden Luncheon

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If you have never experienced the beauty and classical proportions of one of Dutchess County’s most beloved treasures, please join us for the Wethersfield Garden Luncheon taking place on Sunday, September 4th, 2022. We will be raising funds for cultural and recreational programming for the community and for the restoration, preservation, and enhancement of the estate’s garden and grounds.

A recent visit turned up quite a scene, highlighting the forms of the classical style appropriating symmetry, perspective, and ornamentation. Pathways lead the eye and soul to impeccably proportioned vignettes inspired by ancient Greek and Roman principles.

“A 1,000-acre sanctuary of elegance and charm, Wethersfield is as marvelous today as it was over half a century ago. Its garden is among the most significant Italianate Renaissance gardens in the country.”

The Friends of Wethersfield will all turn up, all turned out for Marion deVogel, a most deserving recipient of the Spirit of Wethersfield Award for her steadfast support of its Renaissance. Her personal relationship and contribution to the garden can be seen through Marion’s cinematographer’s eye in this beautiful video presentation.

Last year at the inaugural event the weather turned wet and chilly but that did not deter the hardy devotees who are proponents of “No such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.”

Marion introducing Farnam at last year’s luncheon.
Marion deVogel presenting the award to Farnam Collins.
Craig Callen, Barbara Tober, and Darren Henault.
Bernadette Murray, a founder of the luncheon.
Millbrook Hounds appeared to entertain the guests.
A happy table.
A special cake by Elizabeth Mayhew, the Duchy of Millbrook.
You can see her incredible designs on Instagram.
Elizabeth Mayhew and Patricia Farman Farmaian, with Jenn looking on.
Auctioneer Everett Cook encourages Willem deVogel to bid high.
Toshi Yano, Director of Horticulture, with Claire Mann.
John Ike, Nancy Hathaway, and Parker Gentry.
Hugo Cassirer and family.

CaraCara dresses are in perfect shades for transitioning into autumn.

CaraCara Dresses, $495.

Julia Workman Brown and Meghan Klopp wearing CaraCara.

The invitation requests “Hats if Convenient” so we went shopping for a suitably chic chapeau. Two local chapeliers, Belle McIntyre and Diana Niles King, who donate generously to the community, create their whimsical designs to delight and enhance the head covering experience.

The gals welcome bespoke and individualized consignments.

Diana Niles King and Belle McIntyre at Fitches Corner in their creations.

And for fall, don’t miss their festively feathered fashionables.

The history of Wethersfield began on a farm in the country when Chauncey Devereux Stillman discovered the equestrian delights of the area.  Today the property welcomes riders and hikers on its 20 miles of trails.

Its narrative comes alive on the website, “In 1937, realizing the potential of the land, Stillman purchased two abandoned farms, and Wethersfield was born — based upon premises as timely then as they are today. Mr. Stillman valued classicism in many forms, including architecture, landscape design, and fine arts. A Renaissance man, he became a collector of paintings, statuary, antique furniture, and driving carriages. As Wethersfield grew, all these interests were integrated and curated in terms of design — and were placed in proper context to tell a larger story, in part, about the role of classicism in human expression.”

We applaud the Founding Friends of Wethersfield for their foresight, Karen Bechtel and Will Osborne, Eliot and Susanne Clarke, Farnham and Anne Collins, Soo and Carolina Kim, Doug and Sarah Luke, John and Terry Regan, John and Theresa Sprague, Bill and Nancy Stahl, The Stillman Family, Oakleigh and Jaqueline Thorne, Barbara and Donald Tober, Jim and Zibby Tozer, Willem and Marion de Vogel.

Through their generosity and vigilance, the house and gardens continue to thrive and to create opportunities in arts and culture for this and future generations.

Photos by Lucy Brown Armstrong, Karen Klopp and Jennifer Oken

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