Evergreen Museum & Library, the long-time residence of Baltimore’s philanthropic Garrett family, serves as a preeminent example of Gilded Age Italianate architecture. During their nearly 75 years at Evergreen, the Garretts—self-described “collectors by instinct and by education”— cultivated an assemblage of some 50,000 fine and decorative arts objects that is unusual in its scope and inventiveness and encompasses paintings, furniture, sculpture, ceramics, and rare books & manuscripts. The house is surrounded by 26 acres of formal gardens and naturalistic landscapes.
This sumptuous environment created a spectacular setting for the Garretts to host some of Baltimore’s most glittering events. Notables ranging from presidents (Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Hoover) and industrialists (Andrew W. Mellon) to architects (Frank Lloyd Wright and Dorothy Draper), artists (Leon Bakst and Ignacio Zuloaga), musicians (Arturo Toscanini, Bela Bartok, Cole Porter, George Gershwin), and other celebrities (George Bernard Shaw & Amelia Earhart) kicked up their heels at Evergreen. The house’s North Wing hosted stellar performances and concerts during the Jazz Age, with internationally recognized interior decorator Billy Baldwin declaring the entire experience, “a whole new world to me. There I was surrounded by the best art and music, as well as conversation. I knew I could never return to the life I had led before.” Now, Evergreen is part of the Sheridan Libraries & Museums of Johns Hopkins University.