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Colored Pencil Drawing & Painting Workshops At Bonnet House

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Spring is in full swing here at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens! We have been thoroughly enjoying the warmer weather and taking inspiration from the blossoming plants & flowers throughout our vast gardens. Although South Florida is fairly warm throughout most of the year, we always look forward to the longer days and the beauty that each new season brings.

In order to make the most of springtime, we are excited to host a colored pencil and painting workshop this coming May. This 3-week workshop will help you capture the beauty of the season, and anything else that may interest or inspire you. Guests will have the opportunity to learn colored pencil techniques that will help you create great-looking artwork without years of experience.

We are also incredibly eager for you to join us in welcoming our new drawing instructor, Galal Ramadan, to Bonnet House. Galal has written many articles published in Colored Pencil Art Magazines and has been in solo national and international exhibitions. He was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and now resides and teaches in Florida. He is extremely passionate about his art, teaching others, and drawing inspiration from the world around him.

This 3-week workshop will take place on Saturdays from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm from May 7th – 21st, 2022 in our air-conditioned Island Theater. This course is $140 for members and $160 for nonmembers. To view the list of materials you will need, click here . We sincerely hope that you will consider registering for this fun, interactive, and educational workshop this May. Using colored pencils and paints to capture the beauty around you is a skill you will always treasure. To learn more about this workshop and register, click here.

The Many Homes Of Frederic Bartlett

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It goes without saying that Frederic Clay Bartlett was an exceedingly fascinating individual. From his artistic and architectural endeavors to his time spent abroad, to his various marriages, Frederic Bartlett led a full and interesting life from start to finish. Here at Bonnet House, we obviously know him best as the owner of our unique property and vast gardens, but Bonnet House was actually just one of many different properties that Frederic Bartlett called home at some point in his life.

To learn more about the life of Frederic Bartlett, and the other individuals that made Bonnet House what it is today, we began hosting a highly anticipated and informative speaker series. This series is meant to highlight some of the more interesting and unknown facts about the Bartlett family, the property, South Florida, and much more.

Our first lecture in this series discusses the gentleman who started it all: Frederic Clay Bartlett. Frederic Bartlett and his wife, Helen, began construction on the Bonnet House property in 1920. But unfortunately, tragedy struck in 1925 when Helen died from breast cancer. After that, Frederic’s visits to Bonnet House became sporadic until 1931 when he married Evelyn Fortune Lilly. With this marriage, a renaissance occurred on the site as Frederic and Evelyn entered a prolific period of embellishing Bonnet House with the decorative elements that delight visitors to this day.

But despite all that took place on the Bonnet House property before, during, and after his marriage to Evelyn, Frederic did not live exclusively at Bonnet House. In fact, over the span of his 80-year life, he actually lived in more than 15 different homes! Each of these homes reflects on his various passions, artistic endeavors, and even his character.

Because this particular topic has sparked the interest of so many in the architectural and artistic community, we have uploaded a recording so that you can listen and learn more about the life and various homes of Frederic Clay Bartlett at your leisure! From Bonnet House in Florida, to Dorfred House in Illinois, you’ll learn about the unique aspects of each of Bartlett’s most beloved homes and communities. You can watch the full recording, by clicking here.

Antique Chinese Betrothal Baskets

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Often referred to as wedding basket by foreigners’ betrothal baskets is more accurate as they are traditionally used during the betrothal or engagement.  The family of the groom fills the basket with dowry gifts for the bride’s family. The gifts traditionally come in even numbers. Food, sewing materials, a nightgown, and red sheets for the wedding night are sometimes included. Red is the symbol of prosperity, joy, and love. It is the main color used in Chinese weddings.

The baskets are commonly hand-made from thin strips of split bamboo. The strips are dyed red.   Ours, which is located in the studio to the right of the fireplace features exquisite weaving, with a double layer and an intricate design on top of the lid. Sometimes the weaver would sign their name on the wide bottom strips.  The one at Bonnet House is unsigned.  It dates from the early 1900s.

According to Things Chinese: Antiques, Crafts, Collectables by Ronald G. Knapp they “… usually come in pairs so that they can be carried on the ends of a balanced shoulder pole. In some areas of China today, rather than purchasing a set, one has the option of renting one from a wedding cake shop.”

There is a strong possibility Mr. Bartlett purchased this basket on his wedding trip to China with his second wife, Helen Birch Bartlett. They were married in 1919.

The eagle in the Drawing room was also made in China. It was purchased by Evelyn Fortune Bartlett from Phyllis Cramer who owned the Kampong gallery in Palm Beach. Mrs. Cramer told Mrs. Bartlett that the eagle is a Chinese house decoration. The small animals on the gray tables around the courtyard were also purchased from the Kampong gallery. The store was located at 10 Via Parigi, an arcade opposite the Everglades Club. It was advertised as “a shop like a museum.”

 

 

 

The 13th Annual International Orchid & Garden Festival

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Here in South Florida, orchids are extremely popular. Not only are they some of the most unique and visually stunning flowers in the world, but our warm and humid climate makes them well suited to thrive in our local environment. This is why we are able to grow them in abundance throughout our estate and is also the reason Evelyn Bartlett was able to collect them so prolifically.

To honor her collection, and accommodate local interest, we host an annual International Orchid & Garden Festival each spring. We are thrilled to once again present our annual International Orchid & Garden Festival on Saturday and Sunday, April 2nd and 3rd, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The Festival welcomes orchid enthusiasts and plant lovers alike to vividly experience – and purchase – diverse, colorful and fragrant varieties of orchids, tropical plants, herbs, and fruit trees sold by local and international vendors from Thailand, Malaysia, Ecuador, and Hawaii.

This popular event will feature breathtaking orchid displays and over thirty exotic plant vendors from all over the world. Guests can also purchase and view attractive and unusual forms of garden art, and listen to gardening lectures from local growers. Guests can also enjoy a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic refreshments, as well as delicious food from local vendors.

Admission for this event is $12 per adult and includes both admission to the Orchid Festival and a self-guided grounds tour. Self-guided house tours are available for an additional $8 and children 12 and under are free. Discounts or group rates do not apply, and there will not be any guided house tours during the festival weekend.

We hope to see you and your loved ones at this year’s 13th Annual International Orchid & Garden Festival. To learn more and purchase tickets in advance, click here.

Ascend to Better Birding At Bonnet House

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Here at Bonnet House, we are fortunate enough to have large, expansive gardens on our property. In fact, the Bonnet House estate contains five unique ecosystems which showcase some of the last examples of a native barrier island habitat in South Florida. These pristine habitats offer excellent opportunities for our guests to view nature as well as hundreds of beautiful native and migratory birds, among other animal species. For this reason, Bonnet House is a popular place for many South Florida residents and visitors to go birding.

Contrary to popular belief, birding is not a passive activity. In fact, birding involves actively listening to and searching for birds that you wouldn’t notice if you were just looking out of your back window. Here at Bonnet House, we are fortunate enough to have the space for a variety of birds to visit and build their nests. This is why we do our best to educate guests about birding practices so that they can enjoy and identify some of these beautiful creatures.

On March 6th, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, we will be hosting a comprehensive birding class that will go over a 10-step approach to identifying birds by their family groups, behaviors, field marks, plumage, habitat, and more. The class will include an informative PowerPoint presentation, numerous handouts that you can take home, a workshop activity, and a walk around the garden to look for birds.

If you are interested in taking this popular birding course, please be sure to bring the following items with you:
● Binoculars
● A field guide (can be provided to guests, if needed)
● Birding apps on your phone (optional)

Here at Bonnet House, we understand how popular birding is in the South Florida community. We hope that you can take this opportunity to learn something new, improve upon your bird watching skills, and maybe even see something new! To learn more and register for this course, click here.

Upcoming Classes & Workshops At Bonnet House

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It may still be the middle of winter, but Bonnet House is burgeoning with new classes and workshops! This February and March, Bonnet House is excited to announce a variety of interesting courses for those interested in art, wildlife, nature and so much more. From exploring the basics of calligraphy to learning how to paint stunning orchids, our workshops will leave you with a new skill or interest that you can be proud of for years to come.

Beginning on February 15th, Bonnet House will be hosting a five-week calligraphy workshop. In addition to learning about the art of calligraphy itself, participants will be taught the history of pen lettering and the importance of the hand-copying of great works of antiquity, especially the Bible, in the scriptoria of the great monastic houses of the Middle Ages. To learn more and register for this workshop, click here.

From February 25th – 26th, Bonnet House will also be presenting an orchid painting watercolor workshop. This two-day course will take place in our gorgeous gardens and will be taught by the very talented Karen Eskesen. This informative and fun workshop will be sure to help you improve upon your watercolor abilities and expand your artistic repertoire. To view the supply list for this course, and to register, click here.

Bonnet House is also pleased to offer a six-week acrylic painting workshop starting on Thursday, March 7th. Guests will be able to join Fine Artist Bonnie Opie in the historic Bonnet House gardens as she goes over the basic principles of acrylic painting. This workshop will give participants the opportunity to take inspiration from our vast gardens while learning a new artistic medium. To learn more about this six-week course and to register, click here.

Bonnet House is passionate about providing meaningful artistic experiences for interested individuals across the world. We hope that you can join us for one or more of our fantastic workshops and events. To learn more about our upcoming events, classes, and workshops, visit our events calendar.

New Speaker Series Announced At Bonnet House

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It is well known by many of our guests that the Bonnet House estate has an incredibly unique and fascinating history. From its ecological significance to its historic importance, this property and the people who lived here have captured the imaginations of countless visitors throughout the decades. For this reason, we are excited to be hosting a speaker series that will highlight some of the more interesting and unknown facts about the property, South Florida, and much more.

Our first lecture in this series will cover the gentleman who started it all: Frederic Clay Bartlett. Frederic Bartlett and his first wife, Helen, began construction on the property in 1920. But unfortunately, tragedy struck in 1925 when Helen died from breast cancer. After that, Frederic’s visits to Bonnet House became sporadic until 1931 when he married Evelyn Fortune Lilly. With this marriage, a renaissance occurred on the site as Frederic and Evelyn entered a prolific period of embellishing Bonnet House with the decorative elements that delight visitors to this day.

But despite all that took place on the Bonnet House property before, during, and after his marriage to Evelyn, Frederic did not live exclusively at Bonnet House. In fact, over the span of his 80-year life, he actually lived in more than 15 different homes! Each of these homes reflects on his various passions, artistic endeavors, and even his character.

In this fascinating lecture, we have invited J. Kent Planck to discuss the significance of some of the places Frederic Bartlett called home. This event will occur on February 14th, from 10:00 am – 11:30 am. This event will take place both in-person and virtually via Zoom. To learn more and register for this event, click here.

It goes without saying that the Bonnet House property would not be what it is today without Frederic Bartlett. We hope that you can take the time to learn more about his interesting life at this lecture. If you are unable to attend this event, we will continue our lecture series on a monthly basis with a variety of speakers & topics. To learn more, visit our events calendar.

Popular Events Resuming In January

By Bonnet House Blog, Events, Music No Comments

2021 was an interesting year, to say the least. From our fantastic after-hours events to our artistic workshops, Bonnet House has continued to offer joyful and educational experiences to countless guests throughout the past year. But while we love reflecting on the success of the last year, we are eagerly looking forward to the variety of fun and exciting events we have coming in 2022.

This January, Bonnet House is excited to resume our popular Concerts Under The Stars series, featuring a variety of talented local performing artists. Here, sweet music, balmy starlit nights, and the setting of Bonnet House will combine for a truly unique experience. This extremely popular event series will begin on Thursday, January 27th, 2022, and will continue on the second Thursday of each month. Each event will take place from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm and will include wine and cheese outside on our lovely tent-covered veranda.

Additionally, in January, Bonnet House will be resuming our Upstairs/Downstairs tours. Visitors will participate in a VIP experience of the upstairs and downstairs of the main house and take a sneak peek inside normally-closed areas of Evelyn and Frederic Bartlett’s private living quarters. These tours are offered on the second, third, and fourth Wednesday of each month January through April from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Be sure to note that reservations are required for our Upstairs/Downstairs Tours. Please click here or call (954) 703-2606 to reserve your space.

There are so many exciting events happening at Bonnet House in 2022. We hope that you will consider adding some of our upcoming events in 2022 to your plans for the new year. If you are looking for things to do in the new year, view our events calendar for more information!

Bonnet House Announces 4 Week Ikebana Workshop

By Bonnet House Blog, Classes & Workshops No Comments

The Bonnet House property has a uniquely fascinating history that has captured the attention and imagination of countless visitors. The historical, ecological, and artistic components of this property make Bonnet House one of the most special places in all of South Florida. In order to properly honor this rich history, we do our best to offer a variety of classes and workshops that emphasize the interests and passions of the previous estate owners.

One such workshop will be starting on January 18th and will last through February 8th, 2022. In this four-week workshop, participants will learn about ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arranging, with Sensei Marjorie DaVanzo. Ikebana has roots dating back to the sixth century but has regained popularity in modern times. The more we understand about ikebana, the more we can see that its recent popularity is not surprising.

The overall purpose of Ikebana is not simply to create beautiful flower arrangements but to expand the appreciation that we have for beauty. According to one of Japan’s most influential modern ikebana practitioners, Toshiro Kawase, the point of the art form is to see that “the whole universe is contained within a single flower.” This workshop takes place on Tuesdays from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm and costs $260 for members, and $280 for non-members.

The world we live in today is often hectic and stressful, which can make it difficult to appreciate the beauty in all that is around us. By hosting these workshops, we hope to help people open their minds, and better appreciate the world around them.

While the Bartlett family may not have practiced the ikebana artform specifically, they did care a great deal about appreciating nature and expressing themselves through their decor and artwork. If you want to learn to better appreciate the beauty surrounding you and your life in the new year, consider registering for this workshop today.

Step Back In Time & Into Nature At Bonnet House

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Here at Bonnet House, we understand that life can sometimes feel mundane, and it’s easy to feel disconnected and discouraged while stuck in the basic routines of day-to-day life. Work and family life can be all-consuming at times, and it’s only natural to crave new experiences. Fortunately, however, there are a variety of ways to step back from the monotony of your daily routines and experience something truly unique and magical.

The Bonnet House estate is special in that it provides guests the opportunity to step back in time, while also connecting with the beauty and solitude of nature. Though the Bonnet House property was purchased in 1895, the grounds had already witnessed over 4,000 years of human activity, remnants of which can still be seen on the property today. Bonnet House’s modern history, however, began in 1919, when Hugh Taylor Birch gave the property to his daughter. Since then, the estate has served as a cultural and artistic landmark, taking guests back through time to an exciting, bygone era.

Bonnet House Museum & Gardens is also one of the few places in downtown Fort Lauderdale where guests can truly get lost in nature. In addition to their historic significance, the Bonnet House grounds encompass one of the last examples in South Florida of a native barrier island habitat. Five distinct ecosystems can be found on the property including the Atlantic Ocean beach and primary dune, a freshwater slough, the secondary dune which includes the house site, mangrove wetlands, and a maritime forest.

Bonnet House is also a haven for migratory birds, year-round birds indigenous to Florida wetland and coastal areas, and manatees that occasionally seek refuge in the estate’s Boathouse Canal. The natural beauty, and fascinating wildlife makes Bonnet House the perfect place to step back and reconnect with nature.

If you are looking for a way to switch up your routine, be sure to visit Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. Our vast property provides the perfect opportunity to step back in time and into nature. Plan your trip to Bonnet House and purchase your tickets here.