Hidden Treasures: Russian and French Art, at Home in Washington



HOST: Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC, in VOA Special English. I'm Bob Doughty. On our show this week:

We hear music from a young singer named Teairra Mari ...

Answer a question from a listener about how Americans get their jobs …

And report about a museum in Washington D.C. that contains a private collection of fine art.

Hillwood Museum

Hidden from the traffic and noise of Washington, D.C., the Hillwood Museum is a special treasure. This beautiful home contains one of the finest private collections of Russian and French art in the world. Barbara Klein tells us more.

BARBARA KLEIN: Hillwood Museum was once the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post. She lived from eighteen eighty-seven until nineteen seventy-three. Missus Post was a wealthy businesswoman. She owned one of the largest food companies in the United States. She also was very interested in collecting beautiful French art and furniture.

She lived in Russia in the nineteen thirties when her third husband, Joseph Davies, was the American ambassador in Moscow. Marjorie Merriweather Post developed a love for Russian art as well. She bought the home in Washington in nineteen fifty-five with the plan of making it into a museum after her death. Many art experts helped Missus Post create its fine collection.

Hillwood has many rooms filled with her treasures. Visitors can see finely made music boxes from the eighteenth century and colorful paintings of European princesses. Experts say the ancient wood and gold furniture from France is some of the finest ever made. Visitors can even look at Missus Post's jewels and clothes. In her bedroom area they can see photographs of her with her family and friends. Marjorie Merriweather Post knew many important people including world leaders and great thinkers. She invited them to her home for parties.

The museum property also includes several beautiful gardens. One is designed like the gardens in Japan. It has a bridge and carefully arranged rocks. Visitors can watch flowers floating in the garden's water pond. They can also enjoy the carefully designed garden full of beautiful flowers called roses. Flowers are also grown all year in a special glass building or greenhouse. These flowers are placed in the house throughout the year. The colors and smells of these gardens provide a true celebration for the senses.

After a walk around this large property, visitors can rest at a nearby eating place. They can also buy objects to remember this special museum at its gift store.

How Americans Get Jobs

HOST: Our listener question this week comes from Vietnam. Pham Thanh Si wants to know how Americans find jobs.

The Internet is a good source for gathering information about a lot of subjects. Finding a job is one of them.

Richard Bolles wrote a book about finding a job called "What Color is Your Parachute?" He says there are three things you should do first to find a job. You should write a resume. A resume tells about your education, skills and work experience. Next, Mister Bolles says you should publish your resume on an Internet Web site called a job bank. The Web site also should have job announcements from employers. Usually, job listings will be sent to you by e-mail. If the list includes a job you like, the third step is to call or e-mail the company. The employer may ask you to meet to talk about the job.

Major national Web sites such as monster.com or hotjobs.com are very popular. Experts say you should also use Web sites for the cities where you would like to work. You can search for jobs by industry, location or job title. Also, you can apply for positions online.

Some experts suggest using several different ways to search for a job. These may include attending job fairs, searching newspapers and magazines for job listings and networking.

Job fairs are organized events for employers and people who are looking for jobs. In different areas of a large room, representatives provide information about their companies. You can go to each area to ask questions about the companies. And you can leave a copy of your resume with each one.

You can also go to your local community library. You can find information about companies and job listings by using computers, newspapers and magazines.

Experts say networking is one of the best ways to find a job. Networking is talking to people about your job search. You can talk to people you work with now or worked with in the past. You can also talk to friends and family members.

Experts say networking should be a part of your daily job search. Someone you know may have information about a job that would be perfect for you. There is an American expression that says, "Sometimes it is not just what you know, but who you know."

Teairra Mari

Last week we played new music from Willie Nelson, one of the most established stars in the music industry. Today, we tell about a new voice in the business. Here is Faith Lapidus with music from singer Teairra Mari.

FAITH LAPIDUS: Teairra Maria Thomas was born seventeen years ago in Detroit, Michigan. Music was a part of her family history. Her grandmother was a back-up singer for Aretha Franklin. Mari clearly has that Motown sound. Her first single quickly went to the top ten of the popular music ratings by Billboard Magazine. Here is "Make Her Feel Good."


Mari's album "Roc-a-Fella Presents Teairra Mari" was released August second. The singer helped write some of the songs. One of them is about growing up without a father. Here is "No Daddy."


A year ago, Teairra Mari signed with Roc-a-Fella Records. Successful hip-hop artist and producer Jay-Z is the company's president and chief executive officer. He apparently has high hopes for the young singer. He has named her "Princess of the Roc." We leave you now with Teairra Mari singing "Act Right."


HOST: I'm Bob Doughty. I hope you enjoyed our program.

Our show was written by Lawan Davis, Dana Demange and Caty Weaver, who was also our producer.

Send your questions about American life to mosaic@voanews.com. Please include your full name and mailing address. Or write to American Mosaic, VOA Special English, Washington, D.C., two-zero-two-three-seven, U.S.A.

Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special English.