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Transplanting the Renaissance: Italian Villa Gardens in America, 1900–1940

Orientation Gallery | Examines the transplantation of Italian gardens in the United States and explores the relationships between popular images, landscape design, and cultural identity

By the early twentieth century, gardens designed with statues, urns, terraces, and fountains, all arranged in a geometric and orderly manner, had become a common occurrence in the United States. Landscape architects designed Italianate Renaissance gardens across the country for private estates, smaller homes, and public parks. Simultaneously, Americans were met with a barrage of images of Italian villa gardens thanks to travel and the distribution of popular images. Postcards, magazine articles, and travel brochures circulated across the Atlantic as well as within North America.

This exhibit uses objects from the Dumbarton Oaks Ephemera Collection to examine the transplantation of Italian gardens in the United States and to explore the relationships between popular images, landscape design, and cultural identity. It will be on display in the Orientation Gallery until September 2, 2018.

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