In 1875, RJ Reynolds established his tobacco company in Winston, NC. He married Katherine Smith in 1905 and while RJ was busy building his empire, Katherine was building the family's fabulous Reynolda House. She was very in tuned with the natural surrounding but also wanted to develop a healthy atmosphere for the employees and caretakers of the estate so subsequently created a whole village. Farms, a church, a school, informal and formal gardens, a lake and hospital were built and families thrived there. In 1934 RJ and Katherine's daughter, Mary Reynolds Babcock, took over the estate and village, continuing the vision of her mother but also vigorously collecting fabulous American art pieces.
|the gorgeous greenhouse continues to provide beautiful plantings for the estate and also for sale to the public|
In 1967, Mary and her husband formally established the home as a non-profit entity and it officially became the Reynolda House Museum of American Art. They donated a very substantial amount of acreage to Wake Forest University, who took over the museum operations in 2002. Much of the quaint village remains and houses small shops and restaurants. The preserved house and furnishings as well as the estate grounds, gardens and village are all open for visitors to stroll through.
Reynolda house not only has amassed a large collection of amazing and valuable art pieces, but a wing was built onto the house for use as exhibition space for traveling collections. We purposefully visited this week so we could enjoy a showing from the Brooklyn Museum of Art: American Masters: 1910-1960, from O'Keefe to Rockwell. It was a fabulous show and below are some of the pieces that were on display for us to enjoy.