Reynolda Opens Ping Pong Room in Historic House
Reynolda House Museum of American Art has restored the Ping Pong Room in the basement of the Historic House. For the first time since the house was converted into a museum, visitors to Reynolda can pick up a paddle and play ping pong in the room where the Reynolds family enjoyed hours of recreational fun. The restoration of the Ping Pong Room was made possible by the Lindsey Pleban Miller Fund for a More Family-Friendly Experience.
In the mid-1930s, Mary and Charlie Babcock converted the basement of Reynolda to a recreational zone for “rainy day entertainment.” The Ping Pong (or table tennis) Room was painted in red-and-white stripes, suggesting a circus tent. Games could be watched from a bench inside the room or from the hallway through a plate glass window. Other entertainment rooms available to tour in the Historic House include the Squash Court, the Billiard Room, and the Bar.
“The restoration of the Ping Pong Room is part of a larger initiative to bring more hands-on activities to Reynolda,” said Phil Archer, Betsy Babcock Main deputy director of Reynolda. “The generous gift made in honor of Lindsey Pleban Miller enables us to invite visitors to experience the museum as a place of play as well as a place of art, gardens and history.”
Helping to set the atmosphere for more family fun in the basement, Reynolda House archivist, Bari Helms, referenced Mary Reynolds’s rush order of dance records in 1937 to create a Spotify playlist that museum visitors will not only hear in the basement but will be able to download as well. The spirited sounds will feature tunes from artists including Tommy Dorsey, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby and Billie Holiday. The newly added musical experience kicks off in conjunction with the opening of Reynolda’s newest exhibition, Smith & Libby: Two Rings, Seven Months, One Bullet, on display September 9 – December 31.
Hours and Admission
Reynolda House Museum of American Art, located at 2250 Reynolda Rd., is open to visitors Tuesday–Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is charged, though several free admission categories apply. Reynolda Gardens is open from dawn to dusk daily, free of charge. The Greenhouse is open Tuesday–Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reynolda Village merchants’ hours vary. No ticket is needed to shop at the Reynolda House Museum Store.
Original release date: August 24, 2023
Reynolda is set on 170 acres in Winston-Salem, N.C. and comprises Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Reynolda Gardens and Reynolda Village Shops and Restaurants. The Museum presents a renowned art collection in a historic and incomparable setting: the original 1917 interiors of Katharine and R.J. Reynolds’s 34,000-square-foot home. Its collection is a chronology of American art and featured exhibitions are offered in the Museum’s Babcock Wing Gallery and historic house bedrooms. The Gardens serve as a 134-acre outdoor horticultural oasis open to the public year-round, complete with colorful formal gardens, nature trails and a greenhouse. In the Village, the estate’s historic buildings are now home to a vibrant mix of boutiques, restaurants, shops and services. Plan your visit at reynolda.org and use the free mobile app, Reynolda Revealed, to self-tour the estate.