The Dixon residence was designed by the prominent Houston architect John Staub who is best known for the development of the River Oaks suburb in Houston and home of Bayou Bend, which now houses the decorative arts collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. The Dixon residence was designed in the Neo-Georgian manner and completed in 1942. The house opened to the public in 1976, and today is devoted to displaying the Dixon permanent collection.
The image above outlines the past additions to the Dixon residence that have become the main parts of the museum building.
The 17-acre wooded site was acquired by the Dixon's in 1939 and construction of their home followed. Plans for the house and gardens began simultaneously as the house was sited for future garden vistas. At the time, Margaret and Hugo Dixon enlisted the aid of his sister, Hope Crutchfield, who was a landscape designer. Their goal was to create an American-style garden reminiscent of English landscape parks and French and Italian garden styles. In 1976, the cutting gardens were established to provide flowers for the arrangements in the residence and the galleries. Mrs. Dixon always had fresh flowers in her home and the Dixon Gallery and Gardens' long partnership with The Memphis Garden Club has continued this tradition.In 1998, a horticultural complex opened at the Dixon that includes a library, meeting space, potting hub, greenhouses, and a glass conservatory.The Dixon was certified as a level 4 Arboretum in 2011, having 60 identified and labeled trees. Although a public institution, the Dixon receives no city, state or federal funding; it is supported by the Hugo Dixon Foundation, Dixon Gallery and Gardens Endowment Fund and by individual and corporate donors.
The Hughes Pavilion was built several years ago over the Dixon's swimming pool. The pool is still below the Hughes and is used to irrigate the Dixon's 17 acres of gardens. The Hughes Pavilion has become and well-known and lovely venue for weddings and other celebrations.
Below is a full map of the Dixon property and gardens.
There is a lot of history and so much to see when you take a stroll around the Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Come visit us!