Lecture Series


Ballyfin Demesne: The Restoration of an Irish Country House

Friday, January 31st • 11 am | Nina Campbell in conversation with Fred Krehbiel, Jim Reynolds and Colin Orchard

American businessman and art collector Fred Krehbiel along with Irish Master Gardener Jim Reynolds and English Interior Designer Colin Orchard appear together for the first time to share the restoration odyssey of Ireland’s Ballyfin, an 1820’s Regency manor house situated on 614 acres in the Irish Midlands. Moderator Nina Campbell, world renowned interior designer, guides the conversation among the three visionaries who dedicated a decade to the renovation of Ballyfin—a testament to Irish art and architecture. The home was built for Sir Charles Coote and remained in the family for 100 years until the owners sold the house to the Patrician Brothers who ran a much loved school. When Fred purchased the house in 2002, he and Jim greeted the project with enthusiasm because the “pristine state of ruin” allowed them the aesthetic authority to return the house and grounds to the original splendor of a 19th century Irish country house built for entertaining. Today Ballyfin is a five-star luxury hotel featuring 21 individually designed rooms and suites, lavish interiors decorated with Irish art and antiques, and rolling private grounds including a man-made 28-acre lake, ancient woods, follies and grottoes. Ballyfin continues its legacy of hospitality, where former pupils are now employed in the great house and greet visitors from all over the world with a warm Irish welcome.

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Building Architecture into Landscape: Bold Designs for Natural Beauty

Friday, January 31st • 2 pm | A lecture by Martin Wirtz

Second generation landscape designer Martin Wirtz shares family history and firm philosophy in exploring the inspiration for balancing classic formality with contemporary garden style. Whether designing gardens for public spaces, corporate headquarters, museums, royal families, or private clients, the Wirtz name is synonymous with bold gestures, sculptural hedges, and unexpected plant selection. Each design is one of a kind yet recognizable with iconic Wirtz details. Martin’s father, the late Jacques Wirtz, founded Wirtz International and was compared to André le Nôtre, the designer of the gardens of Versailles. For the past 25 years, Martin, and brother Peter, have led Wirtz International and received worldwide acclaim for projects completed in Europe, Asia and the United States.

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Born to Party, Forced to Work: 21st Century Hospitality

Saturday, February 1st • 11 am | A lecture by Bronson van Wyck

What defines a truly great party? Most of all: generosity of spirit. World-renowned entertaining expert Bronson van Wyck distills the essential pillars of the art of celebration into an afternoon to remember with tips for hosts and hostesses as well as behind-the-scenes secrets from twenty years at the forefront of the party planning industry. Illustrated with images and insight from van Wyck’s spectacular events, this is the perfect primer on designing parties that are as much fun to give as they are to attend.

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Blackberry Farm: The Legacy of Home

Saturday, February 1st • 2 pm | A lecture by Mary Celeste Beall and Kreis Beall

Blackberry Farm and Blackberry Mountain Proprietor Mary Celeste Beall explores the evolution of creating welcoming spaces with Blackberry Farm Co-Founder Kreis Beall in a conversation about hospitality and design for two eras of Blackberry.

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