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FILE — Box: B: 2, Folder: 5 Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, B:BF 1938.03.14

Letter from Beatrix Farrand to Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C., March 14, 1938 Digital

Letter from Beatrix Farrand to Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C., March 14, 1938
Letter from Beatrix Farrand to Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C., March 14, 1938

Scope and Contents

Copy of typescript letter from Beatrix Farrand to Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss (Mildred Bliss) expresses her thoughts on the death of William Gray and the loss to Dumbarton Oaks and his family. Beatrix reports that Ellis Russell has written that James Bryce has been given William Gray's head [gardener] position at Dumbarton. She discusses Mrs. Mudski (Mary Cadwalader Jones) her mother and lantern slides that Robert and Mildred enjoyed, and Elisina Tyler inheriting Sainte Claire [du Chateau] as part of Edith Wharton's estate which may be more of a burden given Elisina may be "financially uneasy."

Farrand acknowledges that Anne Sweeney is continuing work on the Dumbarton Oaks Garden, Catalogue House and the forsythia arch in relation to the William and Caroline stone bench for the Dumbarton Oaks Forsythia Dell has been on her mind. She received drawings from Ruth Havey for the herb garden and lantern which she forwarded to [John W.] Davis (contractor) with comments.

She tells Mildred that the Casa Dorinda notes have been sent to Dorothy Kingsford to be shared with Mildred once she receives this letter. She updates Mildred Bliss on the status of the olive trees at Casa Dorinda and the measures being take to help them survive.

Beatrix feels the news of the building of a sculpture gallery west of the Dumbarton Oaks Music Room is exciting.

She offers her plans to leave California and arrive in Washington, D.C.


  • March 14, 1938


Language of Materials

Materials chiefly in English with a few items in Greek, Latin, French, Italian, or Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

An appointment is required to consult the collection. Please submit appointment requests here: For research queries, contact the staff of Rare Book Collection (


23 boxes (approximately 2632 items including correspondence, expense reports, invoices, estimates, deposit records, book lists, newspaper clippings, newsletters, and plant lists.)


Repository Details

Part of the Dumbarton Oaks Repository

Dumbarton Oaks holds archival collections in its Rare Book Collection, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, and the Dumbarton Oaks Archives. The collections include: the papers of noteworthy scholars in the three fields that Dumbarton Oaks supports (Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and Garden and Landscape); image collections depicting objects or sites of topical interest to scholars in the three fields; Beatrix Farrand’s personal archive of letters and original drawings that document the development of the Dumbarton Oaks Garden; and institutional records and architectural plans and drawings documenting the history of Dumbarton Oaks. For more information about hours and to make an appointment to consult any of the collections listed here, please fill out the request form:

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