The American Violet Society
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Greetings from Washington, DC!
May 6, 1995

Produced by The American Violet Society © 2000 All Rights Reserved


Nathalie Casbas (Toulouse, France)
and interpreter.

            The former International Violet Association's First Annual Symposium / General Meeting was held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. It is now part of The American Violet Society's pioneer history.

             It was indeed a great occasion. Members and participants from both coasts of the USA and France came to the capital city to celebrate the Violet. And the venue was ideal as The National Museum of Women in the Arts had at that time, two of American Impressionist painter, Lila Cabot Perry (1848-1933) violet paintings in residence: Woman with a Bowl of Violets and Portrait of Mrs. Joseph Clark Grew. Our conference attendants were given a docent tour of the Museum's exhibits.

Some attendees at the Washington,
DC's violet symposium
and newly found friends
From left to right: (back row)-
Norma Beredjiklian, Jill Ann Williams,
Grazyna Grauer, Elaine Kudela 
(front row) - Helene Vie,
Bernice Pavernik, Mary Lou Carr,
Annebelle Rice

             The symposium featured presentations by Jill Ann Williams (on the uses of the violet in the kitchen), Nathalie Casbas (from Villaudric, France) on the "Culture and current economic impact of the Toulouse Violet" and Helene Vie (Toulouse, France) who represented the Terre de Violettes association and her Jardin d'Elen violet creations and products. Photographic exhibits included Robert Peace's Violets in Australia (20 violet varieties collected over the years), and Inge Snipes' 6 exquisite photographs of her garden in Morrisville, PA..

             This first gathering of violet aficionados was aided and in great measure, by the Embassy of France in Washington, DC. Several of its distinguished associates were in attendance.

             Other visitors to this event included members of the Potomac Chapter of the American Herb Society, and California garden writer, Mia Amato from the San Francisco Examiner.

Visitors at Monticello, Virginia

             Activities continued on Sunday, May 7th with a trip to Charlottesville, Virginia to visit Thomas Jefferson's gardens at Monticello. This visit was hosted by Frances Boninti, AVS (former IVA) member and docent at that institution.

             Subsequent to this gathering, the San Francisco Examiner featured on May 31, 1995 Mia Amato's report "Roses Are Red and Violets are Poised for a Comeback." In France, the Toulouse newspaper La Depeche published Dominique Vieu's charming account of their city's "Cinderella Ambassadors," that is, Nathalie Casbas and Helene Vie's travails to attend this symposium and meet other violet fanciers in Washington, DC.


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