Collections

Rights and Reproductions

Evergreen Museum & Library provides images for educational presentations, professional research, print and electronic publications, and media projects. All requests for images must be made in writing to the Director-Curator. All requests are processed in a timely manner, according to the order in which they are received.

Contact: James Archer Abbott via email or at the following address: Evergreen Museum & Library
4545 N. Charles Street
The Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD 21210

4545 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21210
410.516.0341

evergreenmuseum@jhu.edu
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Highlights
North Entrance

Evergreen Museum & Library originally was built in 1857 as a square 2-1/2 story block facing Charles Street. During the 60 years and two generations of the Garrett family's residence at Evergreen, the house was expanded and modified greatly. While the original entrance remains, located at the top of the stairs under the east-facing portico, the entrance used by visitors today was designed by New York architect Lawrence Aspinwall (1854–1936) in 1896. Commissioned by Alice Whitridge Garrett (1851–1920), who wanted a more accessible entrance, Aspenwall designed a two-story addition to enhance the main house's Italianate architecture. The glass and wrought iron canopy over the door was created by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) and Aspinwall employed J. William McPherson & Co. in Boston to design the stained glass windows that illuminate the stairwell.

First Floor Hall

Shortly after moving into Evergreen, T. Harrison Garrett (1849–1888) began to transform the country house into a spectacular Gilded Age estate. Garrett first turned his attention to the redecoration of the front hall—the place where first impressions would be made. Garrett hired the oldest and most prestigious interior design firm in Baltimore, P. Hanson Hiss & Co., to create a stylish and imposing interior. The Moorish lattice work in the archways was added, as were the oak bench surmounted by a 17th-century Belgian tapestry and the mosaic floor with abstracted feather, ribbon, and shield motifs.

The Drawing Room

Baltimore architect, Laurence Hall Fowler (1876–1971), renovated this room in 1941 for John Work Garrett (1872–1942). Fowler left the flooring in place and redesigned everything else in the room—from the drapery treatment (made of hammered rayon instead of silk because of war rationing) and the raised ceiling, to the installation of the butternut paneling and trim with silver gilding. Both Fowler and Mrs. Garrett (1877–1952) agreed that the new drawing room, “was not to be an art gallery, but a pleasant room to sit in with pictures around you.” The pictures referred to are Mrs. Garrett's collection of post-Impressionist paintings, including work by Modigliani (1884–1920), Picasso (1881–1973), Utrillo (1883–1955), Vuillard (1868–1940), Bonnard (1867–1947), Degas (1834–1917), Forain (1852–193), and Derain (1880–1954). A large portrait of Alice Warder Garrett in a white Spanish dress was painted in 1929 by the Spanish artist Ignacio Zuloaga (1870–1945) and hangs by the piano. The Chinese blue and white porcelain from T. Harrison Garrett's collection is displayed on the mantel.

The Main Library

This walnut paneled room was designed by architect Laurence Hall Fowler (1876–1971) and built in 1927–1928 to house the Garretts' books. These rare volumes contained in the Garrett Library reflect the interests of both John Work Garrett (1872–1942) and his father, T. Harrison Garrett (1849–1888) and includes two editions of Audubon's Birds of North America — one octavo and the double elephant folio. Other famous natural history books include those by Gould, Catesby, Eliot, and Redoute. The library also contains incunabula (books printed before 1501) and the signatures of all the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Also on view in the Great Library is a Tang Dynasty Camel (617–906) and a Persian Mongol Cavalry Man (early 13th century). Over the fireplace hangs a portrait of John Work Garrett by Ignacio Zuloaga (1870–1945) painted while Garrett was Ambassador to Italy and living in Rome.

The Victorian Room

Used by Alice Whitridge Garrett (1851–1920) as a music room, The Victorian Room was redecorated by Alice Warder Garrett (1877–1952) as a guest room, using the oak imitation bamboo furniture she had inherited from her parents. She decorated and named this room “The Victorian Room” as a joke because it contrasted so sharply with her more modern 20th-century taste. The room's Meissen chandelier was purchased by T. Harrison Garrett (1849–1888) and the silk parasol which had belonged to Alice Warder Garrett was added to conceal the light bulbs when the chandelier was electrified in the 1930s.

Gold Bathroom

T. Harrison Garrett (1849–1888) had this bathroom added to the house in 1886. Baltimore architect Charles Carson (1847–1891) was asked to design the bath and ordered the unpolished marble mosaic tile from Herter Brothers of New York for the walls, ceiling, and floor surfaces. The bath's metal pipes and fixtures are made of brass and all of the wooden surfaces, including the window frame and shutters, the standing cabinet, and the water tank, are gilded with gold leaf.

John Work Garrett’s Boyhood Bedroom, Den & Library

After a childhood accident, John Work Garrett (1872–1942) developed a tubercular hip which inhibited the growth of one leg. When this occurred, John's father installed an elevator for him, moved him from the third to the second floor, and added a library to his new room. The library level is constructed of iron and glass. In the room are objects associated with John's early life, including a banner from Princeton (the alma mater of all three Garrett sons), birds' eggs, coins, magic tricks and other objects that demonstrate his early interests in natural history and collecting.

Baskt Theatre

The space that now houses Evergreen's Bakst Theatre was originally a gymnasium. It was built for Alice Whitridge and T. Harrison Garrett's three sons who were schooled at home. Located in the North Wing's second floor, it was designed by Charles Carson (1847–1891) in 1886. The space was transformed into a theater by Alice Warder and John Work Garrett and today it is the only private theater decorated by Léon Bakst (1866–1924), the famed Russian set and costume designer for the Ballets Russes whom the Garretts met in Paris just before World War I. Mrs. Garrett invited Bakst to Evergreen in 1922 and the Theatre opened in May of 1923. Bakst stenciled the Theatre's walls and lobby ceiling with Russian peasant motifs. He also designed three stage sets and costumes for Mrs. Garrett to wear when she performed there. Today Evergreen Museum & Library is the only museum whose collection includes both stage sets designed by Bakst and their preliminary water color drawings.

Bakst to the Future, The World of Interiors, October, 2016, pp. 360-71. Text: Carol Prisant. Photoraphy: Simon Upton.