Discover the philosophical roots of The Morton Arboretum’s landscape and explore how landscape history shapes nature at the Arboretum and in Chicago today.
2022 marks the 100th anniversary of The Morton Arboretum, and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, a master designer of public parks and a founder of the field of landscape architecture. Join historian and filmmaker Laurence Cotton (originator of and consulting producer to the PBS special “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America”) and Arboretum landscape architect Susan Jacobson, for a deep dive into how Olmsted’s pioneering ideas set the stage for the work of O.C. Simonds, who designed the Arboretum.
Learn about the remarkable life and career of the Renaissance-man Olmsted: writer, philosopher, social reformer, advocate for the preservation of natural scenery, and creator of some of the most beautiful public and private parks and gardens in all of N. America. Through the talk and examples from the landscape architecture collections from the Sterling Morton Library, discover the influences of design traditions, aesthetics, and philosophies that influenced Olmsted’s thought and ultimately, the landscape O.C. Simonds designed for the Arboretum. The program will touch on English garden design, the Hudson River School, and Transcendentalism, how those aesthetics and philosophies are being carried forward into Olmsted’s work, and the Arboretum’s future landscape.
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