Tickets Now on Sale for Unique Salon Performances and a Garden Cocktail Party
Winchester, VA 5/21/14…The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) is celebrating the reopening of its Glen Burnie House with four events taking place throughout June. All open to the public, the events include a series of unique theatrical performances; a Grand Reopening Day; a lecture unveiling discoveries of the house’s renovation; and a 1960s-inspired cocktail party.
According to MSV Executive Director Dana Hand Evans, the reopening celebrations continue the tradition of entertaining at Glen Burnie established by MSV benefactor Julian Wood Glass Jr. (1910–1992) and his partner R. Lee Taylor (1924–2000).
The festivities begin on June 5, 6, and 7 with three, black-tie performances of The Hollow Crown. From 6 until 9 p.m., each performance will take place in the intimate setting of the Glen Burnie Drawing Room. The Royal Shakespeare Company first presented this two-act play to rave reviews in 1961, the same era Glass and Taylor were entertaining at Glen Burnie. In the Glen Burnie presentations, eight musicians and actors will sing and read from writings by or about British monarchs over a period of 800 years. Humorous and intriguing, the show brings royal love affairs, betrayals, murders, and adulteries to life. Each evening includes cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and valet parking. Space is limited; reservations are required by June 2. Cost is $110 per person for MSV Members and $125 per person for all others. Reservations may be made online at www.theMSV.org or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 208.
Next, on Grand Reopening Day on June 10, the doors to the Glen Burnie House open wide for all to enter from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. On this day, visitors will discover a re-envisioned Glen Burnie House that provides a fresh and engaging introduction to the history of the house and the people who lived there. Cost is free to Members and regular Museum admission for all others.
Then, on Saturday, June 14, architectural historian and MSV consultant Maral Kalbian will unveil findings discovered during the two-year renovation project of the Glen Burnie House. This lecture event will take place from noon until 2 p.m. and include light refreshments. Cost is $20 for MSV Members and $25 for all others.
Finally, on Saturday, June 28, the month of opening festivities concludes in high style with the Sixties Summer Soirée. Howard Shockey & Sons, contractor for the Glen Burnie renovation project, is sponsoring this 1960s-inspired garden cocktail party. The event will take place in the house and gardens, where hundreds of rose bushes are expected to be in bloom.
The soirée will feature dancing to the music of the Jeff Decker Swing Band, complimentary champagne, a pianist playing in the house, and a selection of 1960s-inspired hors d’oeuvres and classic cocktail cash bar. Party-goers are invited to get into the spirit of the evening: the woman wearing the best cocktail hat or vintage 1960s attire and the gentleman wearing the evening’s best bow tie—as judged by Mr. and Mrs. Irvin Shendow of Winchester’s Bell’s Fine Clothing—will each win a $100 gift certificate to Bell’s. In addition, all those who attend the event will be entered in a drawing to win ten free tickets to this summer’s popular Gardens at Night concert series.
Cost to attend the party—which includes admission, entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, and complimentary champagne—is $25 per person for MSV Members and $35 per person for all others. Reservations may be made online at www.theMSV.org or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 213.
The Glen Burnie House and Its Renovation
The Glen Burnie House sits on land that Winchester founder James Wood surveyed, claimed, and then settled in 1735. Wood’s son Robert built the oldest portions of the house in 1793 and 1794. By the 1950s, the Glen Burnie property came to be owned by Wood descendant Julian Wood Glass Jr., who preserved and renovated it from 1958 to 1959. Over the rest of his life, Glass and his partner R. Lee Taylor transformed the house into a country retreat surrounded by six acres of formal gardens. After Glass’s death and as a condition of his will, the house and gardens opened to the public on a seasonal basis in 1997. The house and gardens are an important part of the year-round regional history museum complex formed with the opening of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in 2005.
The Glen Burnie House renovation project is an important component of the first of four phases of a $4.2 million Master Plan that the MSV unveiled in November 2013. Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation guided the renovation, which newly installs gutters; foundation drainage systems; exterior storm windows; a restroom and lift to make the main level of the house fully accessible to all visitors; accessible outdoor paths; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems; a catering kitchen; and an exhibition to introduce the site’s history.
Winchester firms leading the house project include Reader & Swartz Architects; contractor Howard Shockey & Sons; mechanical and electrical engineers Comfort Design, Inc.; and structural engineers Painter-Lewis. Also working with the MSV on the project is a renowned team of professional architectural investigators led by local architectural historian Maral S. Kalbian. The Design Minds, Inc. of Fairfax, Virginia, was exhibition designer for the project.
The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. The MSV is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Museum is open year-round; the house and gardens are open April through October. Admission to the Museum complex is $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and youth (age 13 to 18). Museum admission is always free to ages 12 and under and to MSV Members. Additional information is available at www.theMSV.org or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235.