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Alan Ward Gifts His Photographic Archive to The Cultural Landscape Foundation

Washington, D.C. – WEBWIRE
Naumkeag, Stockbridge, MA, 1983. Photo by Alan Ward, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation
Naumkeag, Stockbridge, MA, 1983. Photo by Alan Ward, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation

The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) announced that it has been gifted the digital photographic archives of the preeminent landscape photographer and landscape architect Alan Ward, a principal at Sasaki and a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. 

The news has been featured in the New York Times, ArchDaily, Archinect, and more. 

The Alan Ward Portfolios of Designed Landscapes (“Portfolios”), currently will include 110 individual Portfolios, each averaging fifteen to 30 images, for a total of approximately 2,500 photographs of parks, estates, memorials, gardens, university campuses, cemeteries, museums, botanical gardens, and other sites throughout the United States and twelve countries – Austria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, and Slovenia – taken over the space of nearly 50 years. The initiative begins with the posting of twenty Portfolios (detailed below), and it continues to grow – Ward recently photographed France’s iconic garden at Vaux-le-Vicomte. The digital archive, largely black and white photographs, will be the first to be housed at TCLF.

The Portfolios will be accessible through the Alan Ward Portfolios of Designed Landscapes section of TCLF’s website and as part of the “Related Content” section of the individual site entries that make up the What’s Out There database, which currently features more than 2,600 cultural landscapes (and 13,000 images). 

The Portfolios and individual images are available for license and/or purchase by any third party; contact for details. 

Statement from Alan Ward on the bequest: “I chose The Cultural Landscape Foundation to donate this archive of images because the foundation has prominent visibility in making known significant designed landscapes, educating people about the importance of the legacy of designed landscapes, as well as being a leading voice when these landscapes are threatened. I envisioned The Cultural Landscape Foundation expanding on its tradition – by using this archive of photographs to help make known these significant gardens, parks, arboreta, and other sites. In comparison, I imagined donating the archive to an educational institution where the work would be filed away – materially and digitally – amidst large volumes of other materials, perhaps lost from view.” Additional details about Ward and the Portfolios are included in a Q&A with the artist.

At launch, TCLF will unveil twenty separate Portfolios – fourteen sites in the U.S., four sites in the U.K., and two sites in France – each of which will include an introductory “Notes on the Making of the Photographs,” a list of the photographs with captions, and the year(s) of their creation. Below is a list of the twenty sites, their locations, (landscape architects, designers, architects, etc.), year(s) of the photographs; and the number of images in the Portfolio: 

  • Biltmore, Ashville, N.C. (Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., Olmsted Brothers, and others, landscape architects; Richard Morris Hunt, architect); 1996, 2022; 30 images
  • Blenheim Palace Gardens, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, U.K. (Lancelot “Capability” Brown, landscape gardener; John Vanbrugh, Nicholas Hawksmoor, architects); 2007, 2014, 23 images
  • Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island, WA (Richard Haag, landscape architect); 1996; 20 images
  • Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C. (Beatrix Farrand, landscape gardener, and others; Frederick H. Brooke, architect); 1984, 2022; 31 images
  • Fountain Place, Dallas, TX (Dan Kiley, Peter Ker Walker, landscape architects; I.M. Pei & Partners, architects); 2013, 2022; 19 images
  • Gwinn, Bratenahl, OH (Warren Manning, Ellen Shipman, landscape architects, Charles Platt architect); 1996; 17 image
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (multiple designers); 1977, 1996, 2022; 27 images
  • John Deere Administrative Center, Moline, IL (Stuart Dawson, landscape architect; Eero Saarinen, Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo, architects); 1996; 18 images
  • Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX (George Patton, Harriet Pattison, landscape architects; Louis Kahn, architect); 2008, 2023; 22 images
  • Miller Garden, Columbus, IN (Dan Kiley, landscape architect; Eero Saarinen, Kevin Roche, architects; Alexander Girard, interior designer); 1976, 1978, 1996; 33 images
  • Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA (Jacob Bigelow, Alexander Wadsworth, Henry Dearborn, and others, designers and landscape architects) 32 images, 1977-87; 32 images
  • Naumkeag, Stockbridge, MA (Fletcher Steele, Nathan Barrett, landscape architects; McKim, Mead & White, architects); 1983, 1996; 31 images
  • Pčre Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France (Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart, architect); 1985-1991; 27 images
  • Places des Vosges, Paris, France; 1985, 1991-1993, 2009, 2023; 21 images
  • Riverside, Riverside, IL (Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., Calvert Vaux, landscape architects); 1977, 1996; 17 images
  • Rousham, Rousham, Oxfordshire, U.K. (William Kent, landscape architect and architect); 1985, 1997, 2014; 29 images
  • Sissinghurst, Cranbrook, Kent, U.K. (Vita Sackville-West, Harold Nicholson, owners and landscape designers); 1999, 2003; 32 images
  • Stan Hywet Hall, Akron, OH (Warren Manning, Ellen Shipman, T.R. Otsuka, landscape architects; Charles Sumner Schneider, architect); 1984-1996; 27 images
  • Stourhead, Stourton, Wiltshire, U.K. (Henry Hoare II, owner and landscape designer; Colen Campbell, Francis Cartwright, William Wilkins, Charles Parker, architects); 1985, 2007, 2014; 28 images
  • Vizcaya, Miami, FL (Diego Suarez, landscape architect; Francis Burrall Hoffman, architect, Paul Chalfin, artistic advisor); 1980-1981, 2000; 28 images.

In his introduction to Alan Ward’s 1998 book American Designed Landscapes: A Photographic Interpretation, landscape architect Gary Hilderbrand, founding principal of Reed Hilderbrand and Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture, Peter Louis Hornbeck Professor in Practice, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, wrote: “As an artist, Ward makes a two-dimensional abstraction of light, atmosphere, objects, and surfaces – itself an artwork; at the same time, he interrogates the whole of the work of designing landscapes, making and collecting views that reflect critically on landscape architecture’s wide field of production.”

In a December 6, 1998 review in the New York Times, Verlyn Klinkenborg wrote of Ward’s book: “[I]t’s a reminder of how powerful black-and-white photography can be … and how well it captures rhythmic effects in the landscape. …The boundary between garden and landscape is not a clear one, and Ward exploits the ambiguity.” 

“Making visible great works of landscape architecture and the often-invisible hand of the landscape architect are integral to our mission of connecting people to places,” said Charles A. Birnbaum, TCLF’s President and CEO. “We are deeply honored to be selected as the home of the Alan Ward Portfolios of Designed Landscapes, which contains exceptional works of art that interpret frequently ephemeral works of art.”

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