Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Thu February 10, 2022

Apr. 26, 2022, marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, the master designer of public parks and a founder of the field of landscape architecture. Join historian and filmmaker Laurence Cotton (originator of and consulting producer to the PBS special Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America) as he does a deep dive into the remarkable life and career of the Renaissance-man Olmsted — writer, philosopher, social reformer, advocate for the preservation of natural scenery and creator of some of the most beautiful public and private parks and gardens in all of North America. In his presentation, Laurence will talk about the influences of design traditions, aesthetics and philosophies that influenced Olmsted's thought — including English garden design, the Hudson River School and Transcendentalism. Laurence will also give a visual tour of representative masterful landscapes designed by Olmsted Sr. as well as his two sons, who together established the Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm. The footprint of their works stretches across the entire continent of North America, with something of a focus on the American West.