Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens

Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens is located in Houston, Texas, United States. It covers 14 acres (57,000 m2) and houses a collection of decorative arts, paintings, and furniture. Bayou Bend was once the home of Ima Hogg, a Houston philanthropist. Bayou Bend was first marked by a Texas Historical Commission marker, in 1973. It was also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, in 1979.

John F. Staub, an architect, designed the mansion for Ima Hogg, her brothers William C. and Michael Hogg. It was built between 1927-28. The home site was covered in thick undergrowth and towering trees. Miss Hogg described it as "nothing but dense thicket." The home was the first to be built in the River Oaks neighborhood by the Hogg brothers. Ima Hogg demanded that as many trees as possible were preserved during construction. To make way for the house, Ima Hogg only sacrificed one tree. The gardens were built around the existing trees. Over the objection of Will, Ima Hogg gave her home its name. Will said that the name was too muddy,'muskeetery, and malarial. Ima replied that not everyone can have a bayou.

Bayou Bend currently has approximately 4,700 objects. They are from historic and stylistic periods 1620-1870. They are placed in 28 period rooms that display American decorative arts 1620-1870. This important collection of American decorative art was assembled by Miss Hogg in 1920. Staub designed elegant, yet simple interiors that would suit these rare antiques.

While sitting in Wayman Adams' studio for a portrait, Miss Hogg noticed a simple armchair made in colonial America. She later purchased a Queen Anne chair. Miss Hogg bought the exact same chair nearly half a century later than she first saw in Adams' studio. "I had an unaccountable compulsion from the moment I bought my first Queen Anne armchair, in 1920, to make an American collection for some Texas museums. The collection also includes notable objects from other countries, including English ceramics that were used in Colonial America.

Eight formal gardens are located on the 14-acre (5.7 ha) of heavily wooded land along Buffalo Bayou. Three of the gardens were named after a statue of a goddess/muse that was displayed in the garden: Clio, Diana, and Euturpe. Other gardens are called White, East and Butterfly, as well as Carla.

The gardens were severely damaged by Hurricane Ike in September 2008. Although no statues were damaged by the storm, 65 to 70% of the pine trees and an American holly tree had fallen on the grounds. This tree was the tallest in Harris County, Texas, at 55 feet (17 meters). Bart Brechter (the Curator of Gardens at this museum) estimated that it would take five months to clear the debris, and could take years for the gardens to be restored to their former state.

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