Featured photo: Michelle Mew, chair; Carolyne Roehm, featured speaker; Barbara Hunt Crow, honorary chair; Colta Ives, featured speaker; Linda Spina, Women’s Council president.)*
Carolyne Roehm, internationally recognized style icon and gardener extraordinaire and Colta Ives, renowned art historian and landscape designer, shared their stories of achievement and passion with a captivated sold-out crowd at the 12th Annual A Writer’s Garden Literary Symposium and Luncheon A Passion for Gardenschaired by Michelle Mew last November.
The sun was shining as the morning began with book sales, centerpiece sales and the silent auction set up just outside Rosine Hall at the Dallas Arboretum and the room soon filled with ladies and a few gents in anticipation of the symposium.
Linda Spina, president of the Women’s Council welcomed the crowd thanking everyone for their support, including Barbara Hunt Crow as honorary chair and Betty Lou Phillips as host for the Intimate Evening reception sponsored by Garden & Gun magazine the evening before.
Sharron Lucky, emcee, gave an overview of the speakers and their backgrounds, introducing Colta Ives as the first speaker. Colta is Curator Emerita, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, a renowned art historian, trained landscape designer and author of many books, her latest titled Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence.
Colta’s presentation followed in the footsteps of nineteenth-century artists who celebrated the out-of-doors as a place of leisure, renewal and inspiration. The slideshow was full of detailed drawings, sketches, official landscape designs and paintings by Manet and Seurat which were inspired by the beautiful public gardens in Paris and Monet’s art works depicting his private garden. Many other private gardens were explored revealing a truly engaging portrait of the power of horticulture to shape both the physical and creative world.
After an intermission which gave everyone the opportunity to check on those silent auction bids, Carolyne Roehm was introduced. A style icon and lifestyle maven, she has been part of American design culture for over four decades with a career spanning the fashion, gardening, decorative arts, entertaining and publishing worlds.
We came to know Carolyne better as she shared a brief history, saying that as an only child, she grew up playing dress up and it wasn’t until she saw the 1961 film Back Street that she knew her passion for fashion design could be realized, seeing that the film’s main character was a fashion designer. That’s when she knew what she wanted to be.
Finding a mentor in Oscar de la Renta, Carolyne worked alongside the couture great for 10 years before launching her own fashion house in 1985. A discerning eye and a passion for beauty lead her into the world of flowers and gardening, where her books are often referred to as the best in their field. Subsequent entertaining and interiors titles cemented her position as one of America’s premier lifestyle experts.
She loves to set a beautiful table, saying it’s like setting a stage. Many of her slides showed the relationship between the color and structure of flowers and how she translates those into her fashion designs. Carolyne said quality is something to be treasured and that classic styling and elegance are timeless.
Michelle gave heartfelt thanks to everyone, saying that this event was indeed Fun Fundraising, had exceeded her expectations and was a sell-out. She also recognized Connie Rhoades and gave her appreciation for chairing the Intimate Evening event.
For the past eleven years, A Writer’s Garden Literary Symposium and Luncheon has presented outstanding authors and speakers with extensive knowledge in the histories of garden design, architecture and art, and stories of extraordinary individuals and events.
Since 1986, the major goal of the Women’s Council has been the development and maintenance of A Woman’s Garden, the only public garden in the nation conceived by women, funded by the efforts of women and dedicated to the spirit of women. A Woman’s Garden celebrates the strength, ingenuity, creativity and determination of all women and is a centerpiece garden of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.
Founded in 1982, the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden’s purpose is to support and promote the interest and growth of A Woman’s Garden and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. The Women’s Council DABG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Visit the website at www.womenscouncildallasarboretum.org
Style icon and lifestyle maven Carolyne Roehm has been part of American design culture for over four decades with a career spanning the fashion, gardening, decorative arts, entertaining and publishing worlds. Finding a mentor in Oscar de la Renta, Carolyne worked alongside the couture great for 10 years before launching her own fashion house in 1985. A discerning eye and a passion for beauty lead her into the world of flowers and gardening, where her books are often referred to as the best in their field. Subsequent entertaining and interiors titles cemented her position as one of America’s premier lifestyle experts.
A former president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, with appearances in both the Who’s Who of Women in America and the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame, she was honored by Manolo Blahnik with a shoe in her name and, in a fitting tribute, design legend Bill Blass labeled Carolyne “The Ultimate Tastemaker.”
Regardless of the medium, Carolyne’s unerring eye and innate sense of style have turned out timeless products including clothing, fashion accessories, jewelry, and fragrance.
The author of twelve books including At Home in the Garden, A Passion for Flowers, At Home with Carolyne Roehm, and the Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring Notebook Series, Carolyne’s mission is to teach others how to capture and create beauty in their lives, in both the everyday and the out of the ordinary.
Her new book, Carolyne Roehm Style & Design: A Constant Thread was just released.
During her long career at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Colta Ives has organized over 20 exhibitions and authored nearly as many scholarly books on artists and art, mainly of the nineteenth century, among which are the titles: Daumier Drawings, The Private Collection of Edgar Degas, The Lure the Exotic: Gauguin in New York Collections, The Graphic Art of Pierre Bonnard, and Vincent van Gogh: The Drawings.
Colta has lectured on these topics and others at the invitation of museums across America and also in France and Australia. She has conducted seminars at New York University and at Columbia University, her alma mater, from which she holds graduate degrees in both Art History and Landscape Design.
Following her retirement from the Metropolitan Museum with the title Curator Emerita, Colta was invited to return to the Museum as a guest curator to mount an exhibition she conceived on the historic botanical boom of the nineteenth century and its effect on French art, culture, and gardening practices. That exhibition, shown at the Museum in New York from March through July 2018, was the realization of her book published earlier this year, Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence.
Colta is a life-long amateur botanist and experimental gardener at her woodland retreat in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.
*Photos by Dana Driensky.
(Sharon Adams, Adams Communications Public Relations, is honored to secure media sponsorships for this event: Garden & Gun, The Park Cities News/The Waters Family, My Sweet Charity.)