This year we are pleased to honor inspired artist, plantswoman, and world-renowned vintner Molly Chappellet as our 2017 Place Maker awardee. Combining huge on-site boulders, the arresting works of land art she makes out of recycled wire and stakes for supporting grape vines, and swaths of native and exotic plants, she has created an entirely unique garden at Pritchard Hill, the Napa Valley home of the Chappellet winery.
We are also delighted that Sophia and Peter Blanchard will accept the 2017 Place Keeper award in recognition of their success in converting Greenwood Gardens, Peter’s twenty-eight-acre family estate and childhood home in Short Hills, New Jersey, into a membership organization open to the public. With preliminary nurturing by the Garden Conservancy, this magnificent landmark property is currently undergoing restoration, and its terraced gardens, meadows, and woodlands, along with the grottoes and teahouses designed in the early twentieth century by William Whetten Renwick, now serve as a haven of tranquility as well as a window on the gracious grandeur of New Jersey’s past.
Do join us on this festive occasion by purchasing a ticket or table for ten here.
The Foundation for Landscape Studies proudly announces president Elizabeth Barlow Rogers’s receipt of the New York Botanical Garden’s prestigious Gold Medal on November 17, 2016. Previous recipients of this infrequently conferred honor include the sociobiologist, naturalist, and conservationist E. O. Wilson; the neurologist, physician, and author Oliver Sacks; and the British botanist and ecologist Sir Ghillean Prance.
According to Gregory Long, president and CEO of the New York Botanical Garden, the award is “a fitting way to commemorate Rogers’s dedication to New York City in the fields of urban park development and landscape history.” In reply, Rogers said, “I am thrilled to receive such an accolade, but any praise of me must also go to the men and women who stood by my side during the first fifteen years of the life of the Central Park Conservancy and those who continue to make this public-private park partnership a shining example for others throughout the world. I am further grateful for the recognition of the role the Foundation for Landscape plays in nurturing the related fields of landscape history and landscape preservation.
In Getting to Green, Rich argues that the Green movement in America has lost its way. Congress has not passed a major piece of environmental legislation for a quarter century. Environmentalists declared climate to be their top priority, but could not bring a carbon-cap-and-trade bill to a vote, even with Democrats in control of Congress. For conservative Republicans, anti-environmentalism has become an article of faith. Pew polling reveals that the environment is one of two things about which Republicans and Democrats disagree most. How did this happen, and what can be done?
The author starts by telling the story of American conservation’s conservative roots and the bipartisan political consensus that had Republican congressmen voting for, and Richard Nixon signing, the most important environmental legislation of the 1970s. He then narrates the gradual loss of that consensus and its replacement with the “Great Estrangement”: a conservative movement dominated by those deeply suspicious of Green goals and hostile to virtually all policies advocated by environmentalists, and a Green movement that all too often appears antagonistic to business and economic growth.
Rich argues that getting the Green movement back on track requires change in three main areas. First, instead of giving up on conservatives, we must seek to reconnect a critical mass of moderates and conservatives with their long tradition of support for conservation. Second, to succeed in the next fifty years, environmentalism needs a coherent, strong, and sustainable rationale, and one that answers the charge that Greens care more about nature than people. And finally, the modern Green movement, which is now a half century old, must look honestly at its own failings and limitations, and get its house in order for the challenges ahead. This includes putting to rest the old Green refrain that economic growth and big corporations are the enemy.
To order a copy, click here.
According to Betsy Rogers, coupling the words “nature” and “New York City” is not, as most people think, a dichotomy. Her latest book, Green Metropolis: The Extraordinary Landscapes of New York City, is an exploration of seven New York City landscapes—some fortuitous and others designed. The seven pieces of New York's green fabric she has chosen to describe are the Staten Island Greenbelt, Jamaica Bay, Inwood Hill Park, the Ramble in Central Park, Roosevelt Island, Fresh Kills Park, and the High Line. Chosen for the stories they tell about urban nature, history, and landscape design, they illuminate the physical, social, and cultural factors that have governed the city’s growth and the building of its park system.
In addition to describing the original appearance of, and subsequent alterations to, the parks she has chosen to write about, Rogers brings them alive through contemporary voices, including those of their caretakers, regular users, and fierce protectors. More than a guidebook, Green Metropolis gives clear directions on how to get to each of the landscapes discussed via car or public transportation. Now you can discover for yourself some special places within New York City’s five boroughs that you may have never known were there!
To order your copy, click here.
In addition to publishing Hints on Landscape Gardening by Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau in association with Birkhaüser in 2014, the Foundation for Landscape Studies has sponsored an English translation of Briefe eines Verstorbenen (Letters From a Dead Man), also the work of the great landowner and garden maker who is sometimes called “Germany’s Green Prince.” Pückler’s letters, which have been translated with fidelity and verve by landscape historian Linda Parshall, were written to his wife Lucie von Hardenberg during his extended journey for the purpose of—yes—marrying a British heiress. Why, you may ask. Reading the letters, it becomes apparent that Pücker was deeply devoted to Lucie. Without severing the bonds of affection and mutual support that united them, they agreed to get what might be termed a divorce of convenience in order to continue their great enterprise, the conversion of his inherited Silesian principality into one vast Romantic landscape, Park Muskau.
It is hard to imagine an English bride whose parents have traded a dowry for a title as a happy member of a ménage à trois. But this was an age when many impecunious Continental aristocrats went wife hunting in the world’s most prosperous nation, and no one was deceived as to the respective motives of fortune hunter and social climber. Subterfuge aside, there was nothing particularly reprehensible in Pückler and Lucie’s going to such lengths to obtain the necessary funds to indulge what he called “parkomania”: an insatiable desire to plant and prune trees to frame broad vistas; build carriage drives and pathways to peregrinate through extensive woods and meadows; partially dam streams with boulders to create waterfalls; and employ several gardeners to maintain the most picturesquely naturalistic—yet carefully contrived—panoramic stretch of scenery imaginable.
Written in a diaristic mode, the letters are filled with keen observations and delightful descriptions of Regency England in its age of growing prosperity. Since Pückler was a frequent guest in Brighton and London ballrooms, we are treated to numerous charming descriptions of the guests and lavish hospitality he received, whichhe penned after returning in the dawn hours. In addition, it seems that he traveled everywhere throughout the countryside in his well-appointed carriage, for the letters contain keen observations of scenery and the landscape design of many of the great country estates he visited—again, think Downton Abbey—and where he was frequently a welcome guest. He invariably used such opportunities to walk through the art galleries of his hosts, viewing and commenting on masterpieces by the likes of Titian, Raphael, and Holbein, (these fabulous works of art had not at that time been sold to national museums and American Gilded Age magnates). In these places we follow him outdoors as he gives perceptive critiques from the perspective of an experienced designer.
Pückler has more to recount than simply the people and places he visited on his pleasure-packed itinerary. In one letter we accompany him as he goes down in a diving bell in order to see a tunnel that is being built beneath the Thames. In another we observe him engaging in friendly conversations with the inmates of Newgate Prison.
Letters of a Dead Man was from the beginning intended for publication once the contents of the packets dispatched to Lucie were collated and edited. The book, which was endorsed by none other than Goethe, enjoyed an instant success and was as popular in England as in Germany. This was fortunate since the bride hunt had not been a success and the revenues from this runaway best seller subsidized, at least for a few more years, the ongoing improvements to Park Muskau.
The Foundation for Landscape Studies’ new translation, produced in association with Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection and Stiftung Fürst-Puckler-Park Bad Muskau, is a massive, unabridged tome (the original German edition was published in four separate volumes) seven hundred pages in length and weighing eight pounds. At first you will think it too heavy to pick up and much too long to read. Do not be deterred. Once you have started on your travels with Prince Pückler, you won’t be able to put it down.
This handsomely illustrated book is a history and memoir by Afton Villa’s owner, Genevieve Munson Trimble, a former Foundation for Landscape Studies Place Maker honoree.
Trimble’s remarkable story begins with a tragedy. In 1963, fire ravaged the forty-room Victorian Gothic plantation home known as Afton Villa, reducing to ashes more than 170 years of history. Soon after it was abandoned, the villa’s carefully laid out garden beds became overgrown with weeds, while rampant vines smothered the twin rows of azaleas lining its serpentine entrance drive.
Limning a portrait of the past as well as a picture of the present, Trimble provides a history of the original owners before recounting the bold decision she and her husband, Bud, made to purchase and resurrect the ruined mansion and its surrounding gardens. In her intimate and loving account of this decades-long restoration project, she demonstrates the way in which creative conservation of the spirit of a place surpasses mere historic preservation of a period artifact.
To order your copy, click here.
The Foundation for Landscape Studies is proud to honor John Fairey and Richard Moylan on May 11, 2016, at its annual Place Maker / Place Keeper Awards Luncheon. Please join us in Central Park at the Boathouse! Tickets available here.
John Fairey’s contributions to the science and art of horticulture are everywhere evident at Peckerwood, the garden he has been continually creating since the early 1970s in Hempstead, Texas, on the outskirts of Houston. A plant explorer, botanical researcher, teacher, and distributer of rare specimens though Yucca Do Nursery, he is also an artist whose landscape design skills take gardening beyond the realm of simple plant display. In addition, Fairey directs Peckerwood’s collaboration with several research institutions on plant conservation and the effects of climate change on gardens in Texas and elsewhere.
Richard J. Moylan has served Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery with dedication and distinction for more than forty years. Hired as a teenager, he rose through the ranks from groundskeeper to assistant surveyor to landscape supervisor to assistant corporate secretary to Cemetery president, the position he has held since 1986. Famed since its origin in 1838 for its wealth of handsome sepulchral monuments and sculptures, Green-Wood’s collection of mature specimen trees has earned accreditation as an arboretum. Through educational and tour programs that allow the public to enjoy this artistic and botanical heritage, Moylan has opened the gates of this National Historic Landmark to more than 250,000 visitors annually.
October 15-18, 2015
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Ecole nationale supérieure du paysage de Versailles (ENSP) and School of Architecture and Planning, and University Libraries, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (UNM)
PhotoPaysage/LandscapeRepresentation is a joint French and American conference exploring the role of photography and other forms of representation in changing conceptions of landscape since World War II. Speakers range from artist-photographers who have focused on vernacular landscapes to landscape architects employing photography in their design practices to historians and writers examining the use of photography in the evolution of cultural landscape theory particularly by and in the wake of J. B. Jackson. Three complementary exhibitions, film screenings, social events and an optional field trip fill out the program.
The conference will feature the findings of a three-year research initiative at the ENSP on the interface of landscape and photography, and a number of the contributors to Drawn to Landscape: The Pioneering Work of J. B. Jackson, edited by Janet Mendelsohn and Chris Wilson, slated for publication in conjunction with the conference. Helen Horowitz, a contributor in the current issue of Site/Lines of an essay on Jackson, is a conference speaker.
On September 21, 2015, from 4:00 until 6:00, the recently inaugurated the Humanities Institute / LuEsther T. Mertz Library at the New York Botanical Garden will host a celebration in the Mertz Library of this important recent publication. The author will give a short talk about the book, which was published by the New York Botanical Garden in association with the Yale Center for British Art. Following a public discussion, there will be a reception and book signing during which guests are invited to a viewing of the Library’s collection of rare books accompanied by an explanation of their engravings by Vanessa Sellers, director of the Humanities Institute.
Mark Laird is a historic landscape consultant and garden conservator and teaches landscape history at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. Previous books include The Flowering of the Landscape Garden: English Pleasure Grounds, 1720–1800 and Mrs. Delany and Her Circle (Yale). The Foundation for Landscape Studies is proud that this important contribution to landscape history scholarship was given a 2013 David R. Coffin Publication Grant by its awards committee.
The print version of the Foundation for Landscape Studies biannual journal Site/Lines is satisfying to the eye and hand as well as practical to carry in a pocketbook or briefcase. Heretofore we have sent copies of each issue to approximately 2,000 persons presumed to have an interest in our principal subject—place— regardless of whether or not they have responded to our appeal for support. For both budgetary and environmental reasons, beginning with the next issue we will cut back our mailing list. In the future only readers who contribute on an annual basis will receive printed copies of Site/Lines.
If you have not already become a supporter of the Foundation for Landscape Studies and do not wish to stop receiving Site/Lines by mail, please help us go green with your tax-deductible gift to help underwrite its continued publication in paper format. If you are already a donor, please consider increasing your support. If you would like to comment on this or any other matter, please go to email@example.com
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The Foundation for Landscape Studies is pleased to announce this year's J.B. Jackson Book Prize and David R. Coffin Publication Grant winners. For more information about the prizes and the winners, click here.
J.B. Jackson Book Prize, 2015 Winners
Patricia Bouchenot-Déchin and Georges Farhat
André Le Notre in Perspective
Yale University Press, 2014
Vittoria Di Palma
Wasteland: A History
Yale University Press, 2014
Flights of Imagination: Aviation, Landscape, Design
University of Virginia Press, 2014
Place-Making for the Imagination: Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill
Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Making the Modern Landscape
University of Virginia Press, 2014
David R. Coffin Publication Grant, 2015 Winner
The Grid and the River: Philadelphia's Green Places, 1682-1876
Penn State Press, Forthcoming
The Foundation for Landscape Studies is proud to announce the latest publication in its book series: a new translation of Hints on Landscape Gardening by Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, one of the most important treatises on landscape design ever written.
This elegantly designed book, published in association with Birkhaüser, heralds a revival of Pückler’s reputation as Germany’s “Green Prince,” a landscape-design genius on a par with Frederick Law Olmsted. His lifework, Park Muskau, a UNESCO World Heritage site occupying 1.4 square miles spanning the River Neisse in Lusatia, has undergone significant restoration after lying neglected behind the Iron Curtain from the end of World War II until 1991.
Our edition of Hints on Landscape Gardening introduces the reader to this magnificent landscape through Pückler’s own words and the images he commissioned to accompany them. The text of this still-relevant 1834 guide to park design was translated by John Hargraves, and the beautiful colored lithographic plates are reproduced from the original German edition.
The January 2014 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine features the OLIN firm’s work in Philadelphia.
In the lead article, you can learn about the firm Laurie Olin founded forty years ago and its new generation of partners. Five additional articles highlight recent OLIN projects, including the restoration of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway – Philadelphia’s Champs-Elysées; the design, in collaboration with Todd Williams and Billie Tsien, of the landscape surrounding the relocated Barnes Foundation; the restoration of the grounds of the neoclassical Rodin Museum; the dramatization of the slope adjacent to the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of a design for a new outdoor sculpture garden; and the reconfiguration of a Philadelphia transit hub into a pedestrian-friendly public space.
While no longer involved with the firm’s day-to-day operations, Olin’s international reputation keeps him in demand both at home and abroad. In the air, he writes; on the ground, he sketches, recording the various landscapes in which he finds himself. The Foundation for Landscape Studies is proud that he is a frequent Site/Lines contributor. To read his meditations on West Coast landscapes, landscapes of stone, and landscapes of institutions, click here.
The Foundation for Landscape Studies is proud to honor William Christie and Adele Chatfield-Taylor on May 1, 2014, at its annual Place Maker / Place Keeper Awards Luncheon. Please join us in Central Park at the Boathouse!
William Christie, musical director, harpsichordist, and founder of the Baroque music ensemble Les Arts Florrisants, has gained renown worldwide for his concert performances. To further training in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century repertoire, he created an academy for young singers (Le Jardin des Voix) in Caen, France, in 2002. In 2007 he extended his teaching career to include American students, accepting the position of artist-in-residence at the Julliard School in New York City.
A resident of France since 1971, Bill has restored an ancient manor house on his property in the department of the Vendée in the Pays-de-la-Loire region of west-central France. On several acres surrounding the house, he has created a stunning and highly original garden that was designated a monument historique by the French government in 2006. To bring his passion for early music, teaching, and gardening into perfect harmony, in 2012 he launched an annual festival, Dans les Jardins de William Christie. During the festival, laureates of Le Jardin des Voix and Julliard perform throughout the garden.
Bill was named a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 1993 and elected a member of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts in 2008. He is also an officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Adele Chatfield-Taylor was president and CEO of the American Academy in Rome from 1988 until 2013. During her quarter-century tenure, she led the rebuilding of the institution and its gardens. She oversaw the renovation of the Mercedes and Sid R. Bass Garden, located behind the academy’s McKim, Mead & White headquarters building and the redesign of the Secret Garden of the academy’s Villa Aurelia by Laurie Olin, Millicent Mercer Johnsen, and Alessandra Vinciguerra. She increased the academy’s endowment by nearly ten-fold and restored the number of Rome Prize fellowships to thirty. She supervised the restoration of the Arthur and Janet C. Ross Library and established an endowment for the Drue Heinz Librarian.
For her contributions to the city of Rome, Adele was named a Grande Ufficiale dell’Ordine al Merito by the president of the Republic of Italy in 2002. In 2007 she initiated the Rome Sustainable Food Project under the guidance of Alice Waters. In 2010 the National Building Museum awarded her the twelfth Vincent Scully Prize, which is granted for exemplary practice, scholarship, or criticism in architecture, historic preservation, and urban design.
The following authors were chosen as recipients of prizes from among the 30+ titles considered this year:
Francis R. Kowsky
In this book Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts at Buffalo State College Francis R. Kowsky, author of several books on the subject of nineteenth-century American architects and architecture, uses original plans, drawings, photographs, reports, and letters to portray the series of parks and parkways Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed for Buffalo, New York in 1868.
Robert A.M. Stern, David Fishman, Jacob Tilove
Monacelli Press, 2013
In Paradise Planned: The Garden Suburb and the Modern City Robert A.M. Stern, founder and principal of Robert A. M. Stern Architects and author of numerous books on architecture, with co-authors David Fishman and Jacob Tilove trace the history of an important urban-planning phenomenon from its origins in late eighteenth-century England through its twentieth-century development in northern Europe and the United States.
In this richly illustrated book, architectural historian Joseph Manca, Nina J. Cullinan Professor of Art History at Rice University, uses Washington’s personal diaries, correspondence, and visitors’ descriptions of Mount Vernon to portray the first president’s activities as an art collector, amateur architect, and landscape designer.
W.W. Norton & Co., 2013
In Trees in Paradise Jared Farmer, an environmental historian with an interest in the American west, portrays California’s arboreal wealth as a work of history rather than nature by describing how settlers, horticulturists, and civic reformers planted millions of trees to create groves, wooded suburbs, and landscaped cities. He also discusses the consequences of timber cutting, fire, disease, and infestation— causes for the decline of the nonnative redwood and an overall environmental degradation. However, a discussion of the protective laws and sustainable harvesting practices currently being put in place provides an encouraging perspective on the future landscape of the Golden State.
Karen M'Closkey, cofounder of PEG office of landscape + architecture, an award-winning design and research practice based in Philadelphia, outlines how George Hargreaves, founder of Hargreaves Associates, and his longtime associate Mary Margaret Jones approach the design of public places, particularly those that involve the transformation of abandoned sites into topographically and functionally diverse landscapes. Illustrated with more than one hundred and fifty color and black-and-white images, this study includes such important examples of the firm’s work as San Francisco's Crissy Field, Sydney Olympic Park, and the Louisville Waterfront Park.
The Mediterranean sketchbooks of FLS board member Laurie Olin will be on display at the Philadelphia Athenaeum’s Haas Gallery from September 6 until November 15, 2013. Internationally renowned as an award-winning landscape architect and teacher, Olin is also an inveterate artist who takes a sketchbook with him wherever he goes. For this exhibit he has culled a selection of his watercolor and pen-and-ink images of Egypt, Greece and Italy.
To learn more about the exhibition “Sketchbooks of the Mediterranean,” please click here.
The National Association for Olmsted Parks and its partners will present a multidisciplinary, two-part symposium on the legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.
Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.: Inspirations for the 21st Century
National Building Museum, Washington, D.C.
October 10-11, 2013
Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.: A Vision for the American West
March 27-28, 2014
The symposium will explore Olmsted Jr.’s legacy through presentations by historians, public agency representatives, and professionals in city, regional, and environmental planning and landscape architecture. Participants will gain an understanding of how Olmsted Jr.’s designs, writings, organizational leadership, and politically astute collaborations offer insights and models for solving complex contemporary issues.
Another Las Vegas? This is the reaction that distinguished author and accomplished photographer Betsy Rogers gets when she explains what her most recent book is about.
Unlike its famous Nevada namesake, this Las Vegas is a small town that was once one of the most thriving cities of the American West. Sited on the cusp of the southernmost range of the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains, it was named by its Hispanic founders after the big meadows – las vegas grandes – that define its unique location at the point where travelers on the Santa Fe trail stopped before continuing on the last leg of their journey through the Glorietta Pass. With the coming of the Atchinson, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad in 1879, Las Vegas became a major rail hub for freight as well as passenger transportation. Because of the millions of sheep that grazed on the spacious nearby grasslands, it was for a time the wool capital of the nation. The legacy of this era when Jewish merchants established a vital mercantile economy can be seen in the town’s handsome commercial structures and the mansions and charming Victorian houses that line its tree-shaded streets.
Both its current Hispanic and Anglo residents prefer to consider their town in opposition to Santa Fe, New Mexico’s famous center of international culture. Deep-rooted traditions and home-grown art and entertainment are this community’s cultural mainstays. In the diverse voices of its inhabitants the reader learns about the meaning of place in their lives. An accomplished photographer as well as a distinguished author, Rogers accompanies her narrative with a portfolio of stunning photographs and numerous illustrations.
Here is how one reader summarizes Roger’s achievement:
“Elizabeth Barlow Rogers’s heartfelt and sometimes bittersweet portrait of Las Vegas, New Mexico is an instant classic of Western Americana. Learning Las Vegas reveals the many faces, aspirations, and also tenacity of a Southwestern railroad boomtown that has weathered the storms of history, conquest and injustice, yet boasts rich traditions of culture and picturesque architecture. Masterfully combining the perspectives of a journalist, anthropologist, landscape historian, and photographer, Betsy Rogers’s compelling narratives and conversations with local residents reveal a community at the nexus of the American and Mexican frontiers, sometimes trapped by one or the other and sometimes transcending both.”
– Elmo Baca, author and historic preservationist
Robin Karson, executive director of the Library of American Landscape History, is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the outstanding publishing organization that she founded. LALH has seen many significant expansions of its program over this period, including the launch in 2012 of two new book series – Designing the American Park and Critical Perspectives in the History of Environmental Design – and a new film series, North America by Design. Visit lalh.org to learn more.
Kenneth Helphand, FASLA, Knight Professor of Landscape Architecture, retired from the University of Oregon after forty years of teaching history, theory, and design. On May 25 a symposium, “Landscape Thinking,” was held in his honor in Eugene. The symposium brought together top scholars of landscape architecture to enlighten, delight, and inspire students, professionals, faculty members, practitioners, alumni, and friends. The speakers included Anne Spirn, Walter Hood, Marc Treib, Laurie Olin, Ben Helphand, Cynthia Girling, Alisa Braudo, Tal Alon Mozes and Liska Chan. Helphand’s books include Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime (2006), which won several awards, including the Foundation for Landscape Studies 2007 J. B. Jackson Prize; and Dreaming Gardens: Landscape Architecture and the Making of the Israeli Landscape (2002).