The weekend of March 18 & 19th I had the very good fortune to attend a University of Pennsylvania School of Design Department of Landscape Architecture Symposium on Garden History. The symposium was titled Foreign Trends on American Soil and it was wonderful! There 16 main speakers, a number of moderators and a welcome by Dean Marilyn Jordan Taylor. A sampling of papers include the following: From Capability to Peculiarity: Adapting British Principles to American Practice;
Kubota Gardens and Bloedel Reserves: Two Japanese Gardens, Two Inscriptions; Traveling Landscapes: Richard Neutra as a Landscape Architect; “Tree Foreigners” in Nineteenth-Century America. Speakers were from all over the U.S and London, Paris, Italy and Scotland and each was as interesting as the other. The audience was asked to participate and I tell you it is a thrill to be able to ask some of the best minds in Landscape Architect a question. I loved the informality of the event where there were no nametags, everyone was treated as an individual.
The main reason I went was to hear John Dixon Hunt speak. He is Emeritus Professor at UPenn. He is a prolific writer, I have all his fascinating books. I had the opportunity to speak to him privately during a break and he was very gracious and generous, which I was thrilled about after the fact because I wasn’t so sure what he would be like to speak with. But I told him I used a lot of his ideas in my last paper and he replied that was the whole point, to take ideas and to use them in a new way. A true gentleman and scholar. I would love to learn more from this man.
The next Garden History Symposium I plan to attend is at Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown. It is entitled “Landscape and Technology”. I will keep you posted.