A Contemporary Cornerstone

Andy Warhol's "Vote McGovern" commands this view of the Library, where the Bork's contemporary aesthetics complement the architecture by contrast.

Andy Warhol's "Vote McGovern" commands this view of the Library, where the Bork's contemporary aesthetics complement the architecture by contrast.

Avowed Italophiles, the couple “contemporized” the structure, removing layer upon layer of paint and velvet brocade wallpaper to restore well-proportioned rooms to forgotten grandeur and display their own collections of eclectic art and classic contemporary furniture. Owners of a house built for major entertaining as well as patrons and benefactors of the arts, the Borks host social events both indoors and on the terraced gardens, one most recently for The Washington Ballet.

The driving force behind the Shigeko Bork Mu Project, which specializes in presenting contemporary art from Asia to the Washington area audience, Mrs. Bork has helped launch the U.S. careers of such well-known artists as , , and . Her husband serves as president of the Africa Society of the National Summit, an organization devoted to educating Americans about the African continent. As a director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, he is dedicated to showcasing the works of new African artists as well.

Above the tree line, the house boasts sweeping views of Washington’s finest vistas: to the south, Georgetown, the Potomac River, Rosslyn, and Reagan National Airport; to the north, the Washington National Cathedral. This “grand ’ol home” is a cross-cultural fusion where history, power, scandal, and philanthropy meet.

The vestibules expand upon the theme of old and new, where modern art, an antique rug,contemporary furniture, and an often-replicated lantern make a unique aesthetic statement

The vestibules expand upon the theme of old and new, where modern art, an antique rug,contemporary furniture, and an often-replicated lantern make a unique aesthetic statement


Previously overlooked, the marble floor in the dining room, which came from the White House, the U.S. Capitol, or The Old Ebbitt Grill, wasfully restored. Vintage Barcelona chairs upholstered in white leather, rather than the traditional black, replace a Louis XIV settee or Chippendale sideboard which likely occupied the same spot decades ago

Previously overlooked, the marble floor in the dining room, which came from the White House, the U.S. Capitol, or The Old Ebbitt Grill, wasfully restored. Vintage Barcelona chairs upholstered in white leather, rather than the traditional black, replace a Louis XIV settee or Chippendale sideboard which likely occupied the same spot decades ago


Hiroshi Kobayashi’s large scale painting, “Baby Balloon,” figurative and abstract, shows the artist’s command of perspective and is an example of his unique technique reminiscent of “paint by numbers.”

Hiroshi Kobayashi’s large scale painting, “Baby Balloon,” figurative and abstract, shows the artist’s command of perspective and is an example of his unique technique reminiscent of “paint by numbers.”

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