Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of photographing the annual Hillwood gala and preview of the institution's new exhibit of Marjorie Merriweather Post's dazzling Cartier jewelry collection, entitled “Cartier: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Dazzling Gems.” The event was attended by Post's extended family including Ellen Charles, Hillwood board president for the last 25 years who was responsible for transforming her grandmother's estate into a functioning museum.
Despite torrential downpours earlier in the day, the evening cleared and guests arrived bathed in hazy golden hour light. I was ecstatic - it's difficult not to take beautiful photos in those conditions - and I shot available light the whole evening. Valets whisked away cars and guests walked through a row of white jacket clad waiters bearing sparkling white wine and champagne upon their arrival. The mood was romantic and light-hearted as guests sipped cocktails on the front drive as a classical singer sang nostalgic French tunes.
All the ladies wore their best jewelry ("Marjorie would have approved!"), and guests strolled through winding garden paths to view the exhibit, which is housed in a building behind the main house. The Cartier jewels and 1920's dresses on display were stunning and well presented alongside stories of Post's business successes - their owner knew how powerful looking good could be and used it to her advantage in business.
Dinner was served at 8pm on the lawn, and I snuck out the back as guests took their seats. You can find the feature in the paper on newsstands today, and online HERE.