Exhibit Captures Olmsted’s Huge Legacy
Villa Terrace offers maps, plans, posters, photographs dramatizing the impact of famed landscape architect in Milwaukee.
This year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, the famed landscape architect who designed New York City’s Central Park as well as several of Milwaukee County’s most popular parks.
To mark this occasion, organizations around the country have hosted celebrations of Olmsted’s legacy. The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors even got in on it, renaming a boulevard in Washington Park for Olmsted.
The exhibition is curated by Annemarie Sawkins and Martha Chaiklin. Sawkins is an independent curator and art historian who previously served as architectural historian and advisor for Historic Milwaukee Inc., and since 2014 has served as the Honorary Consul for Denmark in Wisconsin. Chaiklin is also a historian and an independent curator.
“To convey Olmsted’s remarkable and rich history, the exhibition includes striking historic and contemporary images, along with a wide variety of maps, plans, posters, paintings, photographs, and videos,” according to a description of the exhibition.
“While the legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted can be experienced all over America, the exhibition’s focus on Milwaukee affords the opportunity to take a closer look at both the history and evolution of the county in context, and in relation to cultural and societal change, and to assess our local success and the challenges in maintaining our parks as democratic spaces for all communities to enjoy,” the museum said in a description of the exhibition.
The exhibition has also been a part of Olmsted 200, a yearlong celebration of Olmsted organized by the National Association of Olmsted Parks, which describes Olmsted 200 as “a coordinated national and local celebration, engaging wide and inclusive audiences in examining the foundational principles of Olmsted’s democratic vision, values, and resilient designs.”
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