Visitors to the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in Northwest Washington are attracted by acres of flowers, history, breathtaking china and curiosity about Marjorie Merriweather Post, the businesswoman, heiress and socialite who bought the estate in 1955. When Post died in 1973, she bequeathed the house, with its French and Russian art collections, to the public. The estate’s popularity is growing among Washington museums: Attendance last year was up 22 percent over 2010, and last month’s visitors set a monthly record, says communications director Lynn Rossotti. Next month, the estate will present the contemporary work of a living artist for only the second time: “Prêt-à-Papier: The Exquisite Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave.”

64,199 Visitors in 2011
52,598 Visitors in 2010
9,104 Visitors in April 2012
16,000 Objects in art collection
9.000 Summer seasonal plants
21, 967

Hours worked by Hillwood’s volunteers

270 Volunteers

Complete dinner services

13 Acres of landscaped gardens

Years that Hillwood has hosted Gay Day

2 Faberge Imperial Easter Eggs
1 Post’s daughter, Dina Merrill, married Cliff Robertson in 1966 in the only wedding at Hillwood

—Jacqueline Trescott