The winter garden: Parmelee house

Washington conservatory, Library of CongressThe conservatory of “The Causeway,”  or James Parmelee house, Northwest Washington, D.C., 1919, by Frances Benjamin Johnston, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The estate has also been called Twin Oaks and Tregaron.  Its 1912 house still stands, and some of the land is a campus for the Washington International School.

James Parmelee was a Cleveland financier and co-founder of the National Carbon Company.

More winter gardens are here.

Life in gardens: dance!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s the first day of the last month of summer.

In observance of this moment, you might want to put on something gauzy, go outdoors, and cavort {gambol, caper, dance, frisk, frolic, rollick, romp, leap and skip about playfully} — as many were apparently wont to do in the first decades of the 20th century.

These performers were certainly influenced by American dancer Isadora Duncan, who, by 1900, was performing and teaching a “natural” modern dance. “With free-flowing costumes, bare feet, and loose hair, she took to the stage inspired by the ancient Greeks, the music of classical composers, the wind and the sea,” according to the Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation.

All photos here via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, except for “Sisters of the Sun,” which is via Shorpy.

What mattered in Isadora’s Hellenic dances was not the Greek themes or the gauzy costumes, but the uninhibited vitality, the sense of a glorious nakedness.”

— Lewis Mumford, 1905

Vintage landscape: what a lovely idea

A garden party. . .

Bill Cunningham’s (always) charming fashion video in today’s New York Times, about The Newport Vintage Dance Week — here — made me think of these Library of Congress photos of bygone garden parties.

President and Mrs. Coolidge at White House garden party, June 3, 1926, by National Photo Company.

Click on any thumbnail below to scroll through larger photos of a variety of garden and lawn parties.