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Delightful visit

Had an afternoon free and decided to do a tour/visit. The location is surrounded by horse farms... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
kellyk411
,
Omaha, Nebraska
What Does A Wealthy, Successful, Bon Vivant Who Left Bel-Air With His Talented Dachshunds Do For Fun In Lexington?

Spend time with his aging parents on their Horse Farm. But George and Barbara soon decided they... read more

Reviewed September 25, 2018
Robert K
,
Dallas, Texas
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All reviews shell grotto doll houses on display mary lou jewelry pieces rotating exhibits wallace station horse farms rose garden rolling hills lexington area dollhouse library art miniature tours dachshund
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Had an afternoon free and decided to do a tour/visit. The location is surrounded by horse farms. The tour was very well done. The guide was very knowledgeable. George Headley’s drawings are beautiful as is the jewel art. The miniatures created for Mary Lou Whitney’s daughter are fabulous. Amazing detail. A must for miniature enthusiasts. Peter William’s paintings are breathtaking. A beautiful collection. The shell house and library building with garden are also on the premises.

Thank kellyk411
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2018

Spend time with his aging parents on their Horse Farm. But George and Barbara soon decided they needed a Museum devoted to his jewelry and bibelot creations for which he was world-famous. He turned the Garage into a "Party Cave" which he dubbed the Shell Grotto, and filled his Library with alluring decorative arts they collected.
I don't want to give too much away, because Kayla, our tour guide has some great stories worth hearing. The Museum is 50 years old this year. And George would have been 110 years old this year. Stop by and pay your respects this year, the Headleys will love the company.

Thank Robert K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2018

I'm not a huge art aficionado, but this was still an interesting place to stop. The shell grotto is unique, and there were some pretty cool miniature houses on display. We enjoyed an early dinner at Wallace Station after we finished our tour.

Thank Sally S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2018

The Headley-Whitney Museum is a treasure tucked away in Lexington's countryside. I visited on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and was extremely impressed by the collection and variety of exhibits for such a small museum. The estate itself is gorgeous, but I would highly recommend reading about George Headley before going. I don't think I would have enjoyed my visit as much if I didn't have the proper context.

Thank Britt W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2018

I've driven by the museum for years (often on a Monday or Tuesday, when they're not open), and always wanted to see what was inside. Last year I took my first visit out, and was amazed at what Lexington has to offer. I had no idea that we had been home to such a quirky and cool jewelry designer, much less to know that his personal collection had been absolutely first rate. Of special note, to be said, is the Shell Grotto. It's basically an example of when someone has way too much time and money on his hands! It's truly gotta be seen to be believed, especially here in the middle of landlocked Kentucky!

The main exhibits that are there permanently are the Whitney dollhouses (yes, those Whitneys), and George Headley's collection of decorative tableau called "bibelots." There is also the Tony Leonard collection of equestrian photos (not my cup of tea, but horses are everywhere in Kentucky), and changing exhibits. The first I saw was on sustainable art.

Tours of the grounds include the Shell Grotto and the Library, as well as the Rose Garden, and are given on the hour with fun guides. Between the actual Museum and the beautiful drive out (Old Frankfort Pike is a Scenic Highway), this place really is worth the trip out there.

3  Thank alisha3962018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2017

I am a fan of small quirky museums--the Fan Museum in Greenwich, the Door Museum in Pezenas, France, the Cats Museum in Kotor--and this little one has something to appeal to everyone. First, the drive to reach it is along one of the designated scenic Bluegrass routes. Second, the museum itself features rotating exhibits--currently photography, but favorites from the past were children's lunchboxes and Steve Armstrong automata. Third, there are also four large furnished "dollhouse" buildings in the permanent collection. Fourth, some of the bibelots and jewelry designed by George Headley are also on permanent display though, sadly, most of the finest pieces were stolen in a 1990s robbery. Fifth, you can see his library, a melange of architectural styles that somehow works. Sixth, there's a pet cemetery, mostly dachshunds, one cat. Seventh, you can stroll through a rose garden. BUT, finally, the piece de resistance is the Shell Grotto. Over-the-top!!!!! if you love shells, don't miss this building. Be advised that some of these features can only be visited with a tour guide. Tours are on the hour and our guide was marvelous, tailoring her spiel to our questions.

1  Thank Karen K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2017 via mobile

It's a bit of a drive from downtown Lexington but the charming rolling hills, picket fences and horse farms along the way add to the charm. The museum itself isn't huge but interesting and unique. The seashell grotto is a hoot-in a good way. George Headley was an artist and jewelry designer who realized that jewelry was his forte. Yes, he married into money-Whitney name ring a bell or two? Besides the uniquely designed jewelry there's a number of impressive photographs there also. It's certainly worth a look while in the Lexington area. It also helps to have a great staff that is enthusiastic and friendly.

Thank jgbtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2017

A bit off the beaten path, the drive out to this museum is lovely. The museum itself has only one small room of Headley jewels and bibelots, but those on display are fabulous! The current historical Photographic exhibit in a much larger space was also very nice. There are also 4 large to-scale dollhouses, completely furnished. Unfortunately they are not well-lit and it's hard to really appreciate the fine detail in each of them. Outside in a former garage is a garish Shell Grotto that looks like it belongs in a t-shirt shop in Key West. You just have to see it to believe it! In yet another building is a lovely, but small, library room. Allow 60-90 minutes to see it all.

Thank Kathryn L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2017

A small museum with amazing objects that you won't see anywhere else. Not your typical art museum but wonderful fascinating collections. A little out of the way but definitely worth the trip.

1  Thank lisafromny243
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2017

This is a small out of the way museum that we appreciated very much. Going to the museum from downtown Lexington provided views of many scenic horse farms. Collection includes jewelry, designs, and art of George W Headley, including small ornate jewelry pieces and bibelots. Several unique large doll houses are also on display. The grounds include a large rose garden.

1  Thank owowoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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