Earlier this week, Unite shared news that the Garden Museum in London has written a letter, speaking to the legacy of garden designer Russell Page. Today, another UK-based organization is registering their awareness of the threat posed by the Frick to its Russell Page-designed Viewing Garden on East 70th Street.
The Garden History Society has submitted to our colleagues at The Cultural Landscape Foundation a copy of a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio. In it, they write:
“The Garden History Society is dedicated to raising awareness of the significance of gardens [in the United Kingdom] and abroad, and to encourage people to understand and enjoy them with equal status as the world’s great Art Collections.“
Read the full letter below or click here.
70 COWCROSS STREET, LONDON ECIM DE
Tel: 020 7608 2409
15th November, 2014 // by email
Mayor Bill de Blasio
NY 10007, USA
Dear Mayor de Blasio
THE RUSSELL PAGE GARDEN AT THE FRICK COLLECTION
We have been alerted by one of our American members that development plans for the Museum may affect the garden designed by the English Garden Consultant and Designer, Russell Page.
Page (1906-1985) is an interesting hybrid combining his original training as a painter with horticulture and seeking collaborations with the landscape architects Richard Sudell and Geoffrey Jellicoe.
His book, ‘The Education of a Gardener’ first published in 1962 and reprinted in numerous editions, remains a classic text for anyone training in Garden and Landscape Design, but also as an informative and sensitive read for anyone interested in gardens.
Page was the ‘go to’ Garden Designer in the mid-Twentieth Century and worked all over the world. He was guided by specific sense of place and, like Burle Marx, considered his garden designs to be works of Art in which he could use his extensive plant knowledge as his palette.
His influences include Lutyens, Jekyll, French Formal Gardens and Japanese Gardens — striving towards modernism but firmly rooted in a gardening tradition stretching back thousands of years. The intimate garden at the Frick is an exemplar of his work and, as such, a precious survivor.
The Garden History Society is dedicated to raising awareness of the significance of gardens here and abroad, and to cencourage people to understand and enjoy them with equal status as the world’s great Art Collections.
We are proud to have recently supported a successful campaign to save a Water Garden designed by Geoffrey Jellicoe in 1967 for Hemel Hempstead New Town, near London. Gardens of the Twentieth century are more vulnerable than older gardens because they are less widely acknowledged as classics.
It is so important to value these unique contributions to the Arts and to curate them with care.
cc: Charles Birnbaum, TCLF.