We met a friend in the city today and checked out Hillwood. It is a former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post and features her various collections of fabulousness. In fact Hillwood's slogan is "Where fabulous lives" and the web-site doesn't really scratch the surface when it reads:
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens has one of the most comprehensive collections of eighteenth and nineteenth-century Russian Imperial art outside of Russia, as well as an extensive collection of eighteenth-century French decorative arts. Highlights include a diamond crown worn by Empress Alexandra at her marriage to Nicholas II; Beauvais tapestries designed by François Boucher; two Imperial Easter eggs by Carl Fabergé; La Nuit by William-Adolphe Bouguereau; and a collection of costumes and accessories worn by Mrs. Post or her family.
We enjoyed the tour and the cafe and, even more so, the 13 acres of formal gardens and the greenhouse with all kinds of orchids and ferns and such.
Seeing all that opulence in the mansion got us thinking about collections. We all agreed that if we had that kind of unfathomable wealth, we would likely not collect the things she collected... Do you want a jewel encrusted chalice? She did.
Although, having your name on a concert venue as nice as Merriweather Post Pavilion (in Maryland) would be a good thing, indeed!
So, I guess it begs the question... you can't take it with you... what do you invest in that you'll be pleased to know bears your name after you're gone? Making your home and gardens into a museum beats having a highway named for you (people would curse your name every day) or a sewage treatment plant (they'd hold their nose when they passed your legacy). What would you want your name on?