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New Ephemera Exhibition: Italian Villa Gardens in America, 1900–1940

Posted On July 29, 2018 | 16:04 pm | by jamesc | Permalink
James N. Carder (May 2018)

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

The Dumbarton Oaks Archives has opened a new exhibition of artifacts from its Ephemera Collection in the Orientation Gallery. Transplanting the Renaissance: Italian Villa Gardens in America, 1900–1940 was curated by Abby Westover, 20172018 Humanities Fellow, and will run between May 1 and August 12. Through postcards, magazine articles, travel brochures, and souvenirs, the exhibition examines the transplantation of Italian villa garden aesthetics to America in the first half of the twentieth century and explores the relationships between popular imagery, landscape design, and cultural identity. The exhibition has special relevance to Dumbarton Oaks as the landscape architect Beatrix Farrand’s design for the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens was in part based on her interest in Italian villa gardens. 

"In Miami Fabulous Vizcaya" Brochure, ca. 1950 (top: exterior; bottom: interior). Dumbarton Oaks Archives (AR.EP.BR.0653).

The Dumbarton Oaks Archives also retains a little-known 1983 poster of the gardens made from a watercolor rendering.

"Dumbarton Oaks The Garden," 1983 poster. Dumbarton Oaks Archives (AR.OB.Misc.083).