Updates from ASLA

Noguchi, Rose, Wright – Modern Masters at Home

Chesterwood also to be subject of a Garden Dialogue.

The Noguchi Museum, New York, NY. Image credit: George Hirose, courtesy The Noguchi MuseumThe Noguchi Museum, New York, NY. Image credit: George Hirose, courtesy The Noguchi Museum

The private homes of Modernist masters James Rose and Russel Wright, and the Noguchi Museum, which Noguchi established, designed and installed, are the focus of three meaty and provocative Garden Dialogues organized by the Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF). The events provide insights into each subject, their design philosophies, and their influence on the practice of landscape architecture. Each event lasts two hours, is limited to approximately 30 people, and 2.0 LA CES™ Professional development hours will be available to attendees, so register now.

On Saturday, September 9, innovative landscape architect, artist, and provocateur Ken Smith, FASLA, designer of MoMA's rooftop garden, will offer his distinct and usually entertaining insights on Isamu Noguchi in this one-time-only event at The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, N.Y., with the museum’s curator of research, Matthew Kirsch.

Smith will examine the artistry and practicality of Noguchi's landscape design, from site planning to material choices and spatial arrangement. He will also contextualize Noguchi's design vocabulary within 20th century landscape architecture and its impact on contemporary practice.

James Rose Book Cover - Cover Design by Jonathan D. Lippincott. Image credit: Frederick Charles 1996James Rose Book Cover - Cover Design by Jonathan D. Lippincott. Image credit: Frederick Charles 1996

James Rose created landscapes mostly throughout the eastern United States, but his most famous work was his own home in Ridgewood, New Jersey---now the James Rose Center for Landscape Architectural Research and Design---a living demonstration of his approach to design as a never-ending process of change and development.

On Saturday, September 23, TCLF president and CEO Charles A. Birnbaum, FASLA, and Dean Cardasis, FASLA, director of the James Rose Center for Landscape Architectural Research and Design, will examine the signature project of James Rose, who along with Garrett Eckbo and Dan Kiley, helped usher the profession of landscape architecture into the modern era.

Rose was as skilled with words as he was with plants and Fiberglas. He incisively critiqued the patterns of post-war suburban land use that were destroying the natural world, while creating alternative designs for integrated houses and gardens that incorporated a conservation ethic into a modern design aesthetic. Inspired by kinetic modern sculpture, Rose called his house-and-garden fusions “Space Sculptures with Shelters.”

Manitoga, Garrison, NY. Image credit: Vivian Linares, courtesy ManitogaManitoga, Garrison, NY. Image credit: Vivian Linares, courtesy Manitoga

Manitoga, in Garrison, N.Y., is a Shangri-La created from an abandoned quarry. On Saturday, October 15, author, landscape designer, and stone aficionado Jan Johnsen will provide her unique insights into how mid-century designer Russel Wright transformed the raw material of this site into his home and studio, which today is a National Historic Landmark.

As natural outcrops or consciously placed, stone is integral to Wright's overall site design concept in both landscape and architecture. In a stroke of genius Wright used a quarry ledge as the floor of the living and dining area, creating a seamless integration of indoor and outdoor space.

Wright and his wife/business partner Mary purchased the 75-acre site in 1942. Over the course of 34 years, he transformed it into a landscape of stream crossed woodlands and steep ravines, profusions of ferns and moss, and various trees and shrub species of the region. Built into the quarry ledge is Dragon Rock, Wright's experimental house and studio.

Exploring this site formed out of close observation over time, Johnsen will identify the passages of Wright’s relationship with the land, connecting it to themes in her most recent publication, The Spirit of Stone - 101 Practical and Creative Stonescaping Ideas for Your Garden. The walk will culminate on the stone terraces of Dragon Rock, overlooking the Quarry Pool.

Chesterwood Stockbridge, MA. Image credit: Paul Rocheleau courtesy of ChesterwoodChesterwood, Stockbridge, MA. Image credit: Paul Rocheleau, courtesy Chesterwood

And on Saturday, September 16, there will be a Garden Dialogue at Chesterwood, the Stockbridge, Massachusetts, home of Daniel Chester French. Though not a Modern master, French, sculptor of the iconic figure of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., was a major artistic influence.

Enjoy a unique and in-depth exploration of Chesterwood, French’s idyllic 122-acre Berkshire summer retreat, with Ellen McClelland Lesser, landscape architect and historic horticulturalist; Grigori Fateyev, architect and independent curator of Turn Park Sculpture Park (West Stockbridge); and Sharon Bates, founding director of the Albany International Airport Art & Culture Program. Facilitated by Executive Director Donna Hassler, the Dialogue will focus on the landscape as a place for respite and earnest art production, as well as a source of continued inspiration for contemporary artists.

Inspired by the spectacular view of nearby Monument Mountain, for more than three decades French perfected his vision for Chesterwood, a three-dimensional living masterpiece. Its encompassing environs, like French’s sculpture, were his own creation, often tended by his own hands. Chesterwood conveys the artistic virtuosity present in French’s large-scale sculpture projects: thoughtful spatial organization, ease of circulation, and meticulous care for detail, proportion, and scale, all with a prevailing sense of harmonious beauty.

Register today; space is limited.

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