Have you heard of Crystal Bridges’ Member Travel Program? Periodically, the Museum arranges regional, national, or even international trips. These are great opportunities for Members to travel with Museum staff and take advantage of unique opportunities to get special tours, learn from the experts, or get access to private collections. All Crystal Bridges Members are now eligible to participate in the regional travel program. Today’s post comes from Member Shirley Lamberson, who participated the Museum’s spring garden tour of Tulsa with landscape architect and Crystal Bridges Director of Operations Scott Eccleston. The group visited Philbrook Gardens and Art Museum, a private garden, and the gardens of the Gilcrease Museum. –LD
The agenda for the Tulsa outing made the trip irresistible to me. It included two of my favorite things – museums and landscaping – so how could I resist! From the first stop at the Philbrook Gardens and Art Museum to our final departure from the Gilcrease Museum the next day, we were treated like VIPs in every way. We got the insider’s view of each facility and, as such, learned so much about how the sites were developed and how they are run from day to day.
It is impossible to select a favorite site or feature. The Philbrook grounds were breathtaking and it took us back in time to how wealthy people of the 1920s lived and relaxed. I think my favorite garden had to be the Linnaeus Gardens where volunteers were the driving force and really the entire gardening staff. The enthusiasm of Director Bob Fugatt was contagious and made me want to join in the fun and creativity. It was hard to believe that so many different people could work together on their own areas of the gardens and provide results that were not only beautiful, but cohesive.
We ended the afternoon at a lovely garden party at the home of Liz and Rogers Hagans. Because of their connection with some of our tour hosts, they invited us, mostly strangers, into their home and grounds. The private gardens were so pleasant to wander around in, sipping wine and snacking on delicious tidbits.
After a delicious steak dinner and a very sound night’s sleep, it was like meeting old friends as we gathered in the hotel lobby, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, and ready for a new day of new sights.
When we drove out to the Botanical Gardens, it seemed like we were going far away from Tulsa. Finally, as we turned off the highway, we began to see a new landscaped world that was being erected. It all came into focus after a detailed talk by Dr. F. Todd Lasseigne, President and CEO of Tulsa Botanic Garden. As he described the project activities to this point I knew I wanted to come back next year and many years to come as the botanical gardens grow and mature in the future.
At the Gilcrease I skipped the garden tour and strolled through the art museum. Not only do they have wonderful Russell and Remington pieces in their western art displays, I found new artists that I plan to follow in the future.
Aboard the tour bus and headed for home, our conversations continued and it seemed like we’d known each other for ages, not just two days. One of the best parts of the trip was a chance to get to know both other museum members and Crystal Bridges staff members. The staff took excellent care of us and I found myself a part of a very special group of very special people. I can hardly wait to do it all again with a new destination.