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Dumbarton Oaks Garden Painting by Caroline Heald - the Fountain Terrace

  • 1,50000
  • Save $ 1,000

In this peek into one of the garden treasures of Washington, D.C., artist Caroline Heald explores the beauty of the vegetation, the limestone pools and the intricate iron balconies of the Fountain Terrace at Dumbarton Oaks.  Dumbarton Oaks is an historic estate in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.  Thanks to the information written by the artist — Caroline Emmet Heald — on the top wood stretcher,  we know that “Dumbarton Oaks”, an oil and canvas, was done in 1991-92.

In this painting, the artist views the well known symmetrical design of the Fountain Terrace from an interesting and energizing angle and perspective ...... creating almost a geometric structure of angles and parallel lines around which the abundance of nature (albeit a carefully and deliberately planned and designed nature) is displayed.  The lawns, the flowers, the pools, the shrubs, etc. were meticulously planned and designed .... and are usually photographed and painted/drawn in their refined symmetry. But here the artist has viewed the scene from a fresh perspective that gives a dynamic energy to a place that itself was transformed gradually over the years by the original designer. This immersion in the world of a planned garden environment .... looking down from above ..... includes only a slight sliver of blue sky. 

Caroline Heald had a studio in the Torpedo Factory Art Center (Alexandria, Virginia) for almost ten years (from 2004 to 2013) after having her own studio nearby during the prior ten years.  She is now in Culpeper County, Virginia. You can read more about her and see more of her work on her website ( and on the Torpedo Factory’s site.

From the late 1980s into the early 1990s, she did all of her painting outdoors.  After getting a studio space in 1994, more of her paintings were done in the studio.

This is the only painting that she did on the Dumbarton Oaks Garden property (which required a written application to paint there).  She did do other plein air paintings in a nearby public park (the 27-acre Dumbarton Oaks woodland garden that was given to the federal government in 1940 and is managed by the National Park Service as part of Rock Creek Park) .

Some of the information included here in this listing has been graciously provided by the artist in a phone conversation on April 4, 2018 (she had not yet seen the preliminary posting or the photographs).  If she is subsequently able to provide additional information about this painting, we will update this listing.

Based on her file notes on this painting, we are not able to recreate its "history" in the years between when she painted it and when we acquired it. Perhaps a past owner or owners will see this listing and let us know about the time it was in their care/collections.

Those who know our academic and collecting interests -- and our inventory over the years, know that landscape paintings and especially "plein air" paintings are a major focus at Adams-Byrd. [ ***** Be sure to check out our blog post "TORPEDO FACTORY ART CENTER - A PREMIER SOURCE OF ORIGINAL ART IN ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA - ARTIST MARILYNN SPINDLER" (May 18, 2016).]

Over the years, we have had the good fortune to be able to acquire some splendid paintings, drawings and original prints by a number of distinguished women artists ... many who worked in New York City and in the Washington, D.C. area.  We will gradually be listing more of them on our online venues, but feel free to contact us about any of your art or decor collecting needs and requests.

We are happy to be offering several of Heald's paintings from our collection for sale to discerning art collectors .... and we were delighted to see that at the Art League's 2018 Patrons' Show Fundraiser, she received the Geri Gordon Award (to the piece chosen by the winner of the First Choice Raffle) for her painting "Station Pond".  

We photographed Heald’s “Dumbarton Oaks” painting outside ..... both in bright direct light and in the shade ..... to provide many views of her presentation and interpretation of this favorite gem of garden design aficionados.  To learn more about the Dumbarton Oaks gardens designed by Beatrix Farrand, check out the Dumbarton Oaks website and other articles and videos available online.

This framed oil on canvas painting is 24 1/2" x 30 1/2" including the thin wood framing / edging strips (painted black) .... which are under 1/4" x under 1 1/8". Inside the "frame", the canvas is under 24" x under 30".


The price does not include packing and shipping.  You can pick up the painting from us in the Washington, D.C. area.  If you need to have it packed and shipped, we can refer you to a FedEx store or to a UPS store (both have helped us and our online customers for many years) that you can hire and pay by phone.  There is no additional charge for us to get the painting to the packer/shipper that you hire.

 ***** FALL SALE    This special painting is being reduced from $2500 to $1500.  *****

All of the art work and collectibles being sold by Adams-Byrd have been collected and selected one at a time by the proprietor, an art historian with many years of training and experience in university art history departments, museums, galleries and historic sites both in the U.S. and abroad.  Our small family business has been based in the Washington, D.C. area for many years.  Our online presence has now replaced our brick & mortar locations. The art and collectibles that we are offering to discerning shoppers are special and unique pieces that have been carefully “curated” by us.


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