Gerard B. Lambert Foundation
The Gerard B. Lambert Foundation
In 1976, Rachel Lambert ‘Bunny’ Mellon (1910-2014) established a foundation intended to honor her father, Gerard Barnes Lambert (1886-1967), for his lifetime accomplishments in business and the arts. The Gerard B. Lambert Foundation was central in the development of the Oak Spring Garden Library and its contents.
Mr. Lambert, a Renaissance man, was highly successful in myriad endeavors. His profound love, inspiration and financial resources made it possible for his daughter to pursue her own goals and dreams in gardening and to collect horticultural, botanical and natural history artifacts that today are part of the Oak Spring Garden Library’s collection.
Mrs. Mellon wrote of her father’s library:
“There were books in Daddy’s library – big, huge books of gardens, of architecture, of archaeology… Everything fascinated me – and there was no one who talked to me about them, so they were absorbed and made a great vault in my mind to think about….”
Upon graduation from Princeton and architectural studies at Columbia University, Mr. Lambert served his country in World War I. Returning home, he went to work at the family firm, Lambert Pharmacal Company, in St. Louis, Missouri. He was a driving force behind the advertising agency of Lambert and Feasley, which was very effective in promoting Listerine, an antiseptic mouthwash invented in 1879 by Mr. Lambert’s father, Jordan Wheat Lambert, and Dr. Joseph Joshua Lawrence. Gerard Lambert later became president of Gillette Safety Razor Company. He was instrumental in developing the popular Gillette Blue Blade razor, and his restructuring of this company led to its enduring success.
Gerard B. Lambert’s legacy now lives on through the Gerard B. Lambert Foundation’s support to organizations such as RxArt, which commissions contemporary artists to transform sterile children’s hospitals into engaging and inspiring environments.