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1927 Map of the Arboretum

Olmsted: Bicentennial Perspectives

The Harvard University Graduate School of Design, in partnership with the Arnold Arboretum, is hosting a two-day academic conference as part of the national Olmsted 200 celebration. While Olmsted was central to the conceptual formation of the degree program in landscape architecture at Harvard University and the design of the Arnold Arboretum, the interpretive ambitions of the conference are anything but parochial.

Day 1 of the conference (Friday, October 14) will occur at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, 48 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA 02138. Learn more about the full program. Registration is still open for Day 1.

Day 2 of the conference (Saturday, October 15) will take place at the Arnold Arboretum’s Weld Hill Research Building, 1300 Centre St, Boston, MA 02131. Registration is full for Day 2 of the program, but you can view the livestream at the GSD’s website.

Program at the Arboretum on Saturday, October 15:

Panel 1: A Clearing in the Woods

  • William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Arnold Arboretum at 150—Looking Ahead to the Next Century
  • Rosetta Elkin, Out of Place: Landscape Advocacy at the Arnold Arboretum
  • Mary Kuhn, Approaching Olmsted’s Forests

Panel 2: Roads, Barriers, and Democratic Vistas

  • Sara Jacobs, Landscapes of Racialization: Visualizing Race, Nature, and Urban Landscapes after Olmsted
  • Tim Davis, FLO in the Driver’s Seat: The Primacy of Roads in Olmsted’s Vision of Parks, Cities and Society
  • Kathleen John-Alder, The Promised Land: Security, Democracy, and the National Mall

Panel 3: The Several Selves of Frederick Law Olmsted

  • Edward Eigen, Papering Over Olmsted
  • Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, Seeds, Grafts, and Offshoots: Olmsted on (and off) Staten Island, 1848–1857
  • Charles Birnbaum, The Road to the Olmsted Renaissance