Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Spring 2011 Landscape Visions Lectures Continues Exploration of Gardens and the Urban Environment Saturday afternoon series features Alexander Reford and Amale Andraos, concludes with a program by Chris Reed on the landsc
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s popular Landscape Visions lecture series continues its 2010-11 season—entitled CITY.GARDEN.NOW—this spring with three new talks on gardens and the urban environment. The series will be presented off-site this season (at Simmons college in January and February and at a location as yet to be determined in March) while the museum works to restore the historic Tapestry Room to its original orientation as a grand gallery for viewing tapestries according to Gardner’s original intent.
Since the Gardner Museum opened its doors on January 1, 1903, horticulture has been an integral part of the visitor experience. Gardner was herself an urban pioneer, choosing to build her museum at the turn of the century in the Fenway neighborhood, a new section of Boston that had been recently transformed by Frederick Law Olmsted from a tidal marsh into the parks of the Back Bay Fens. The Gardner Museum was one of the first buildings in the Fenway, an area which today remains an important and vibrant example of the value of urban landscape.
The past century-plus, however, has seen a dramatic evolution in Boston’s urban environment, the museum itself, and ideas about gardens and landscape design. Today, the complexity of urban organization and new thinking about the urban landscape are changing the field of landscape design.
The 2010-11 Landscape Visions series is directed by Chris Reed, landscape architect for the Gardner Museum’s Extension and Preservation Project, who has assembled an outstanding array of landscape architects, artists, and activists at work in today’s cities, gardens, and landscapes.
The season began in fall 2010 with programs by landscape architects Laurie Olin and Eelco Hooftman. This spring, the series continues with special guest lecturers Alexander Reford on January 22 and Amale Andraos on February 19; and concludes on March 19 with Chris Reed, who will discuss the design for the Gardner Museum’s new landscape.
On January 22 at Kotzen Meeting Center (located at Simmons College, a short walk from the Gardner Museum), Alexander Reford discusses 100 Gardens: Conceptual Gardens and New Landscapes. Reford is the director of Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens—created by his great-grandmother Elsie Reford on the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec—and the founder of the International Garden Festival, an annual event that has become one of the leading contemporary garden design events in the world. He will present a selection of the 100 conceptual gardens exhibited as part of the festival since its inception in 2000 and will reflect on the ways in which they have reinvigorated his traditional gardens, offered new experiences to a new generation of visitors, and contributed to the renewal of garden design and design thinking.
Next, Amale Andraos presents a program entitled Nature Revisited on February 19 at Kotzen Meeting Center (Simmons College). A co-founder of WORKac in New York City, Andraos examines how the meaning of nature has changed in the face of today’s realities of global urbanization, exploding populations, and shrinking resources. Using recent projects by WORKac—whose work has included a master plan for the new BAM cultural district in Brooklyn; the redesign of a section of Hua Qiang Bei Road in Shenzen, China; the installation ‘Public Farm 1’ at PS1/MoMA; and the first Edible Schoolyard New York City with Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Foundation—Andraos explores the need to reinvent nature for the twenty-first century.
The season-long exploration of gardens and the urban landscape concludes on March 19 (location TBD) with a program titled The Gardner’s New Gardens. Chris Reed (stossLU), landscape architect for the Gardner Museum’s Extension and Preservation Project, will discuss the designs for the museum’s new exterior landscapes, along with other projects created by Stoss Landscape Urbanism. The Gardner Museum is currently constructing a new wing located behind the historic museum building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano. Featuring a fully transparent first floor of glass with direct views across newly landscaped gardens towards the historic museum, the project will increase the transparency of the Gardner Museum at work and connect the site and its interior gardens more directly with the surrounding landscape of the Emerald Necklace. More information on this lecture will be available in early 2011.
Landscape Visions Programs At-A-Glance
Saturday, January 22, 1:30PM at Kotzen Meeting Center, Simmons College
100 Gardens: Conceptual Gardens and New Landscapes
Alexander Reford, Director, Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens (Quebec)
About the Speaker ▪ Schooled as an historian, Alexander Reford is an honorary member of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. In 2009, he was awarded the Frederick-Todd Prize by the Association des Architectes Paysagistes du Québec. In the same year, the Montréal Botanical Garden bestowed the Henry-Teuscher Prize on Alexander Reford and Elsie Reford (posthumous) for their contribution to horticulture in Québec.
Saturday, February 19, 1:30PM at Kotzen Meeting Center, Simmons College
Amale Andraos, Co-founder, WORKac (New York City)
About the Speaker ▪ Amale Andraos is a visiting professor at Princeton University’s School of Architecture and has taught at numerous institutions including Harvard and Columbia Universities, the University of Pennsylvania, Parsons School of Design, and the American University in Beirut. She was born in Beirut, Lebanon. She has lived in Saudi Arabia, France, Canada and the Netherlands prior to moving to New York in 2002. She currently serves on the Architectural League of New York’s Board of Directors.
Saturday, March 19, 1:30PM – Location TBD (in the Fenway area)
The Gardner’s New Gardens
Chris Reed, Principal, stoss landscape urbanism (Boston)
About the Speaker ▪ Chris Reed is the principal and founder of Stoss Landscape Urbanism (Boston) and the landscape architect for the Gardner Museum’s Extension and Preservation Project. Stoss has distinguished itself internationally for a hybridized approach to public works projects rooted in infrastructure, functionality, and ecology, and was recently honored by being named one of two Finalists in the Landscape Design category of the Smithsonian/Cooper Hewitt Museum’s National Design Awards. Reed is an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a design critic at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
$15 General Public; $12 Seniors; $5 Members; FREE College Students. Lecture attendees are encouraged to bring their tickets to the museum for free admission before or after the program.
Tickets may be purchased by phone through the museum’s box office at 617 278 5156 (open Tues.-Sun., 10am-4pm), online via www.gardnermuseum.org, or in person at the museum’s entrance at 280 The Fenway (Tues.-Sun., 11am-4pm).
Will-call tickets for the January and February programs will be available for pick-up at the Kotzen Meeting Center. Tickets will be available for purchase on the day of each lecture at the Gardner Museum's front desk (pending availability). Please note that capacity is limited, and advance ticket purchase strongly encouraged.
Location and Directions
The spring 2011 Landscape Visions lectures will be held a short walk away from the Gardner Museum while the museum restores the historic Tapestry Room. The January and February programs will take place at the Kotzen Meeting Center at Simmons College, a short walk from the Gardner Museum. The Kotzen Meeting Center is located in Lefavour Hall on the Simmons College Campus. From the Gardner Museum's front entrance, cross Palace Road and walk through the Simmons College quad (behind the main building). Lefavour Hall is located on the far side of the quad. Maps will be sent with all tickets purchased in advance and available at the Gardner Museum’s front desk on the day of each lecture.
The March program will take place at a nearby location, to be announced in early 2011. Check online for more details at www.gardnermuseum.org.
Lecture attendees are invited to bring their tickets to the museum before or after the program for FREE admission to explore its three floors of galleries and take in the beauty of the ever-changing interior courtyard.
Landscape Visions Lecture Series
Rooted in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s rich landscape tradition, the museum’s Landscape Visions lectures focus on a common theme each season, offering challenging, engaging discussions by noted speakers from various branches of the landscape arts. This season, the series—titled CITY.GARDEN.NOW—explores gardens in the urban landscape through conversations with landscape architects, landscape artists, and activists.
Landscape at the Gardner
The art of landscape has always been central to the Gardner Museum. Reflecting Isabella Stewart Gardner’s passion for horticulture and design, the museum’s interior courtyard is itself a work of art, combining plants, sculpture, and architectural elements into a sun-filled oasis at the heart of the museum experience. On view through December, A Holiday Garden features dark forest greens punctuated by red and silver highlights: flowering jade trees, holly topiaries, dark red poinsettias, red and ivory amaryllis, and silver Artemisia. Beginning in early January, the Midwinter Tropics display fills the courtyard with many shades of green, featuring masses of lush tropical and subtropical plants along with flowering jade, yellow jasmine, and brightly colored orchids, bromeliads, and amaryllis.
In addition to the courtyard displays, the museum continues Isabella Gardner’s horticultural legacy today through its Landscape Visions lectures, which illuminate timely topics in landscape design, as well as Ask the Gardener hours and tours for garden clubs, which provide further opportunities to explore the changing courtyard displays and the story of landscape at the Gardner.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum • 280 The Fenway Boston MA 02115 617 566 1401 www.gardnermuseum.org • Tue.-Sun., 11 am-5 pm • $12 adults; $10 seniors; $5 students; $2 discount w/ same day Museums of Fine Arts admission; FREE for members, children under 18, all named Isabella, and everyone on their birthday • Modeled after a 15th-century Venetian palazzo with an interior courtyard garden, the Gardner Museum houses a collection of fine art spanning 30 centuries and featuring Titian, Rembrandt, Botticelli, and Sargent, as well as changing contemporary and historic exhibitions, classical concerts, lectures, and special events.