Russell Page garden: An Endangered Landscape!

The Russell Page Viewing Garden at the Frick museum has been named to Landslide 2014, the annual thematic compendium of threatened and at-risk landscapes and landscape features, spearheaded by The Cultural Landscape Foundation® (TCLF).

TCLF has announced the launch of “Landslide 2014: Art and the Landscape” – with eleven examples, selected from more than 100 submissions, of land-based art threatened with demolition, neglect, poor maintenance, vandalism and lack of funding. The Page garden on New York’s Upper East Side is among them, threatened with destruction by its own steward, the Frick Collection.


“The interrelationship of art and the landscape has yielded diverse, historically significant and irreplaceable representations of our cultural identity; however, they are often fragile, overlooked and threatened,” said Charles A. Birnbaum, TCLF Founder and President.

The inclusion of the Page garden on the TCLF Landslide listing elevates the profile of this urgent advocacy issue. Press outlets from across the country will be sharing the news about their local sites – in New Mexico, Michigan, California, and beyond – and in doing so the threat posed to the Russell Page garden by the Frick will be broadcast to an even greater audience.

On Russell Page and his garden design at the Frick, TCLF writes:

The Frick Collection garden on East 70th Street in New York is a rare surviving U.S. commission by the influential British landscape architect Russell Page (1906-1985) and deemed by the New York Times as one of his “most important works.” The garden was built on a site once slated for an addition to the museum. However, in 1973 those plans were abandoned and Frick officials instead said they planned a “permanent garden” on the site. Page created a viewing garden, designed to be seen from the street and the museum, and not open to the public (though numerous museum events are held there). In 2014 Frick officials, now claiming the garden was temporary, announced new expansion plans that would demolish the site. The museum will need the approval of New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission if the demolition is to take place.

Read more about the Landslide initiative and learn about the 10 other sites nationwide on the TCLF “Art and the Landscape” site (click here).

Share this news with your friends and colleagues! Join in the conversation about these significant yet threatened sites on social media using #Landslide2014.

Photo by David Naraty for TCLF.

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