Peter Wirtz, the Belgian landscape architect whose firm’s work has been featured in Architectural Digest, The New York Times, Le Monde, The Economist, and a host of other influential media, shares his outreach to leadership at the Frick Collection: “As an overseas New York lover and professional landscape architect, I find [the proposal] most surprising and non-understandable for a cultural institution of your status.”
Read the full text of Mr. Wirtz’s letter below.
Mrs. Bogert, Chair of the Board of Trustees
Mr. Wardropper, Director
The Frick Collection
1 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021
February 2nd, 2015
Dear Mrs. Bogert,
Dear Mr. Wardropper,
It came recently to my ears, that the venerated Frick would consider to destroy the Russell Page Garden, which it proudly owns. As an overseas New York lover and professional landscape architect, I find this most surprising and non-understandable for a cultural institution of your status. It reminds me of recent similar news about work of the exceptional US landscape architect Dan Kiley, which is threatened.
Landscape architecture still seems to suffer from a lack of general esteem and consideration as a cultural phenomenon (since Babylonian times!) in North America and Western Europe. The reasons are multiple and some of the blame is deserved by the profession itself. But that is another story!
It therefore only motivates me more to alert you that Russell Page merits attention and respect. He is one of the few English and international landscape architects in the twentieth century that stand out as a beacon and will continue to do so. For a young country, that has to cherish its young cultural heritage for the enjoyment and education of future generations, the conservation of one of the few American projects of this great man, is simply a priority!! There is something of irony about it, that an overseas landscape firm has to protest about it, but so be it! This is all part of Western culture! Long live the American-European cross pollination!