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Thursday, March 3, 2011


This post is dedicated to the blog Architect Design.

View from koi pond
Inspiration for this post came through fellow blogger Architect Design's   recent post on Vizcaya, Miami estate of Charles Deering. Stefan has taken us around so many architectural wonders with so much detail that it feels as if we have seen them in person. After browsing through posts on Vizcaya, I realized that these buildings and gardens looked familiar. I went through my pictures from my last visit to Philbrook and was amazed.

There are some interesting similarities between the two estates. They are in Italian Renaissance style, were built in the first quarter of the twentieth century, their owners did not live there for very long, in case of Vizcaya, Deering lived for only 9 years, and Philbrook, Phillipses lived for 11 years, and both were later turned into museums.

Philbrook, the 72 room mansion on 23 acres was built in 1926 by Kansas City architect, Edward Buehler Delk, for Waite and Genevieve Phillips, of Phillips Oil, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The elaborate gardens of Philbrook were inspired by Villa Lante, an Italian country estate north of Rome.

In 1938 Waite Phillips surprised everyone when he gave Philbrook as a gift to the city of Tulsa, to use as an art center.

The Philbrook museum houses a collection of art from Piero di Cosimo, Gentile da Fabriano, Biagio d'Antonio da Firenze, Tanzio da Varallo, Bernardo Strozzi, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Thomas Moran, William Merritt Chase, and Levi Wells Prentice. Museum also has a great Native American and African art.

Indoor fountain
Interesting light fixture inside
Garden detail
Detail of the fountain
Corinthian column in the gardens
Initials of Waite Phillips
Picture credits: Philbrook museum, bob smith, MK, etc


  1. Our visit to the Philbrook this week was fabulous! Googling for info on La Villa, I came across your blog and wonderful pictures! I blogged about the gardens one day and the museum the next... so many great pictures to share! Come visit me at Granny Mountain in NW Arkansas~

  2. Hi! First I must say what a great post! I love the photos! I did notice, what I believe to be, what is now the Tulsa Garden Center, located next door to the tulsa historical society another great mansion built by the brother of the aforemaforemed, labeled as the front of Villa Philbrook. I could be wrong. Rigardless both the Tulsa Garden Center, and Tulsa Historical Society buildings are two other fabulous properties worthy of some attention. Again, what a lovely post, and comparison! Now if you'll excusse me, I'm off to explore more of your wonderful blog. Thank you so very much for writing! Keep it up.