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12 Oxford St. # 373
The Harvard Art Museums, among the world's leading art institutions, comprise three museums (Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler) and four research centers (Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, the Center for the Technical Study of ... more.
Of course, an implicit contemporary question would be to ask about the significance of such scholarly findings today, a possible discussion point when Dr. Zaitzevsky, author of the handsome, oversize and generously illustrated Long Island Landscapes And The Women Who Designed Them," addresses The Meadow Club in Southampton on May 20.
In the book's preface, and in interview, Dr. Zaitzevsky says she was challenged trying to locate materials on some of the women where there were no extant archives, and surprised by some findings. She had expected to find commonalities - "no shrinking violets" among the 18 women featured in the book - six first-generation pioneers, 12 second-generation professionals - but she also discovered they were not as a group necessarily wealthy. Dr. Zaitzevsky also wanted to make sure readers would see the women as women, "see their faces, hear their voices," and so she included portraits of them and relevant quotations from their writings and interviews. As part of her historian's perspective, which took her well beyond questions of personality and gender, she also spent time looking at where they studied and compared curricula (the program at MIT differed dramatically from course work at University of Illinois at Urbana, for example). She came away from her research convinced, as was Dr. Mackay, that the "almost meteor-like entrance of women into a new profession" and the expanded opportunities to design estates on Long Island, signaled that in the development of landscape architecture, Long Island would become, as indeed it did, "a microcosm of activity for the country." Dr. Zaitzevsky teaches at Harvard's Landscape Institute and continues to explore a favorite subject, American parks, with a special interest in New York State which boasts strong advocacy groups and a healthy infusion of private funding. Not incidentally, it should be noted that the Long Island planting-plan drawings augmenting the gorgeous photos in the book are themselves works of art, part of an 18th and 19th century tradition of ink, pastel and gouache works on paper that illustrate formal garden designs, decorative arts and engineering commissions of the past. Dr. Zaitzevsky's lecture, "Long island Landscapes And The Women Who Designed Them," takes place Friday, May 20; 11:30 a.m., lunch 12:30 p.m., The Meadow Club is at 555 First Neck Lane, Southampton All proceeds will benefit the Halsey House herb garden. Lecture $35, Lecture and Lunch $75. The event is being hosted by The Southampton Historical Museum. Call 283-2494 for further information.
Cynthia Zaitzevsky teaches at Harvard University and lives in Newton, Massachusetts.
Cynthia ZaitzevskyCynthia Zaitzevsky, teaches at Harvard University and lives in Newton, Massachusetts.ISBN 13: 978-0-393-73124-8
Cynthia ZaitzevskyCynthia Zaitzevsky teaches at Harvard University.
This isn't the first time people have waged the native-plant- versus-exotic-plant debate, either, according to Cynthia Zaitzevsky, a Harvard University historian and specialist on Olmsted and the Boston park system.