‘Tis Open Season at the Dixon

Each year, in the week after Thanksgiving, the Dixon becomes a bit more magical thanks to the Memphis Garden Club.  The MGC has been donating their time and their talents to the Dixon for decades, creating  festive holiday decorations that have run the gamut from “A Candyland Christmas” to “The Nutcracker Suite.”  This year was certainly one of their best.  Led by Chair Lou Slater, the members of the Memphis Garden Club drew their inspiration from our current exhibition, Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art, transforming the Dixon’s exterior, Catmur Foyer, and Residence into a sportsman’s paradise.  From fishing lures to duck calls, you will find something for everyone who loves the outdoors at the Dixon this holiday season.

As you walk up to the Dixon’s main entrance this year, you will find the doorway to the Catmur Foyer decorated with festive garland, topped with a carved wooden deer.  Moss-covered wooden trees flank the doors and give a hint of what’s to come inside.

The Catmur Foyer always sets the stage for each year’s holiday theme.  Going along with Wild Spaces, Open Seasons, the MGC team created a mini-hunting camp, with cattails, reeds, and what is definitely the first (and possibly the last) yurt to grace the floors of the Dixon.

After walking through the exhibition, surely one of the most beautiful shows in Dixon history, visitors going into the Dixon Residence will encounter even more holiday decorations.  The decorators of the Residence Library really embraced the fishing theme—even Santa Claus has “gone fishin!” 

A menagerie of woodland creatures makes themselves at home in the Living Room, led by a large wild turkey (another first for the Dixon I’m sure!).  Two rustic-chic trees stand in front of the room’s north windows, and if you look closely, you will find elegantly wrapped “presents” from Hugo Dixon to Margaret Dixon—what a special touch!

The Residence Foyer always delights visitors, as each year members of the Memphis Garden Club come up with different and exciting ways to decorate the banister of the stairway leading to our offices upstairs.  With gilded (naturally shed) deer antlers, berries, pine cones, colorful bird feathers, and even a mallard duck on display, the Foyer is not to be missed! 

The Residence Dining Room always serves as the grand finale for the holiday display, and this year is no different.  Inspired by Wild Spaces, Open Seasons, decorators created an elegant “hunt breakfast” that would even impress Mr. Carson on Downton Abbey.  With hunting trophies on display and a beautifully decorated tree, it is truly a feast for the eyes!

The Dixon’s curatorial team and gardens staff always have so much fun planning and implementing the holiday decorations with the members of the Memphis Garden Club.  We want to thank them for their generosity and hard work in making the Dixon a must-see for holiday revelers this year and every year. 


Posted by Chantal Drake at 2:47 PM
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