8 Ways the Dixon Has and Has Not Changed Since the 80s
1. In 1981, the Dixon gardens comprised seventeen acres. They still do.
2. At the start of 1985, the Dixon did not own a single piece of porcelain. By the end of the year, the bequest of Warda Stevens Stout added 600 works of eighteenth-century German porcelain to the collection. With Charlotte Hooker’s gift of English porcelain in 2008, the collection now numbers over 1000 objects.
3. In 1986, John E. Buchanan, Jr. succeeded Moussa M. Domit as Director of the Dixon where he served until 1995. After Buchanan’s passing in 2011, The Dixon purchased Portrait of Eugenia Huici Arguedas de Errázuriz from 1890, a full scale work by Jacques-Émile Blanche, in his memory. The piece can be seen today in the Dixon’s residence.
4. The Dixon’s permanent collection of French Impressionist masterpieces began with Hugo and Margaret Dixon’s collection of twenty six paintings. This initial Dixon bequest featured works by French Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, an American Impressionist, as well as 18th and 19th century British portraits and landscapes. However, at the start 1986, the Dixon’s Impressionism collection included no examples by Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, or Jean-Louis Forain. Today, we own one Cézanne (a major late work), two canvases by Monet (from 1870 and 1882, respectively), and no fewer than sixty works by Jean-Louis Forain.
5. The footprint of the Dixon’s museum building has not changed since 1986. That year, we completed construction on the Plough Gallery, Catmur Foyer, Winegardner Auditorium, the Mallory and Wurtzburger Galleries, and Canale Kitchen. Since 1986, however, we have built a potting hub, gardens offices, the Canale Conservatory, Hughes Pavilion, its terrace, and two new greenhouses.
6. Throughout the 1980s, a large elm tree stood sentinel over the East Lawn of the Dixon. In the early twentieth century, Dutch elm disease virtually wiped out America’s once vast population of elms. Thanks to the regular care it receives, the Dixon Elm still towers over the East Lawn.
7. In 1988, Robert Jones came to work at the Dixon. In 2014, he celebrated his twenty-sixth year here.
8. Today, the single largest contributor to the Dixon’s annual operating budget is still Hugo Dixon. He was the largest donor to the Dixon operating budget in 1989, through the foundation he established to support the museum and gardens. Hugo Dixon passed away in 1974.