From Italy, a Plea to Reverse Course and Be “Champions” of Russell Page’s Legacy

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Emanuele e Raimonda Gamna
Villa Silvio Pellico   •   Moncalieri (Turin, Italy)
tel. +393482220457
info@villasilviopellico.it

Moncalieri, March 16, 2015

Mayor Bill de Blasio
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Meenakshi Srinivasan, chair
Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10007

Dear Mayor de Blasio and Chair Srinivasan:

As stewards of the historic Villa Silvio Pellico in Turin, Italy, whose gardens are deemed to be a masterpiece by Russell Page, we write to express our support of the Unite to Save the Frick campaign. In doing so, we urge you to protect the Frick Collection’s ensemble of landscape and architecture, and to deny any expansion which would include the destruction of the Frick’s landmarked viewing garden or the reception hall pavilion, both on East 70th Street.

News of the proposed destruction of New York City’s only commission by the pre-eminent designer Russell Page has filled us with shock. Worldwide, Page is celebrated for his artistic blending of horticulture, visual arts, architecture, and garden design to create masterful compositions of living art. In Italy, the works of Russell Page are treasurers and points of pride, curated and cared for in the interest of benefiting future generations.

One such garden is the Villa Silvio Pellico, located in Turin. This garden à l’anglaise shares a commonality with the garden at the Frick Collection: both were designed as viewing gardens, best appreciated and experienced from a distance. In Turin as in New York, Russell Page employed his understanding of perspective and materials to construct a composition that is striking and offers an oasis of calm and peace in a bustling city.

You are, by now, already aware that the Garden Museum in London will be exhibiting a retrospective on the work of Russell Page, starting in March. As the international community comes together to celebrate the genius of Russell Page, it is our hope that you, as cultural and governmental leaders, will be champions for preserving his legacy in New York City.

It is not too late.

We thank you for your consideration of this important and urgent matter.

Respectfully,

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Emanuele Gamna and Raimonda Lanza di Trabia
Villa Silvio Pellico
Turin, Italy

Cc: Ian Wardropper, The Frick Collection
Unite to Save the Frick

PHOTO: The breathtaking Villa Silvio Pellico, Moncalieri, Turin, Italy

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