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Exhibition Showcases Designs of Legendary Landscape Architect

"The Gardens of Fletcher Steele"


SYRACUSE,NY—The life work of renowned landscape designer Fletcher Steele, the "father of modern landscape design," will be on display at the Lorenzo State Historic Site inCazenovia,N.Y.through November 2004.

A special preview of this exhibition, titled The Gardens of Fletcher Steele, is being offered to the public by the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry [SUNY-ESF], from6 to 8 p.m. on June 17, 2004 at Lorenzo.

The Gardens of Fletcher Steele is designed to appeal to a wide audience, from the general public to gardening enthusiasts to professionals and students interested in Steele's contribution to the field of landscape architecture. The exhibition focuses on Steele's garden imagery in a narrative context, addressing his design process and the dreamscapes he produced, making creative use of images that were last seen nearly half a century ago.

Robin Karson, author of the first critical biography of this pivotal figure in the field of landscape architecture, will speak at the preview event. She will discuss her new book Fletcher Steele, Landscape Architect: An Account of the Gardenmaker's Life, 1885-1971,recently selected by the American Horticultural Society as one of the "75 Great American Garden Books."

Born inRochester, N.Y. in 1885, Steele practiced landscape architecture for 60 years as a fine art, designing nearly 700 gardens from Boston to Detroit and from New Brunswick, Canada, to Asheville, North Carolina. Many consider Steele's work to constitute the essential link between nineteenth-century Beaux Arts formalism and modern landscape design.

The exhibition is a 60-piece, visually-oriented collection of large format facsimile reproductions, didactic panels and vintage black and white and color photos that depict his major projects, including the Charlotte Whitney Allen House in Rochester, N.Y.; Naumkeag and the Mabel Choate Estate, both in Stockbridge, Mass.; Ancrum House on Lake Delaware in Delhi, N.Y.; the Standish Backus House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich.; the Turner House in Pittsford, N.Y.; and Lisburne Grange in Garrison, N.Y.

The exhibition consists of Steele's own design sketches, final drawings and rare and dramatic vintage photographs of his clients' gardens that were donated to SUNY-ESF in 1974. The College assembled The Gardens of Fletcher Steele and first launched it in 1989 atMemorial Art Gallery in Rochester, N.Y. It later toured the country, spending six weeks in New York City at PaineWebber Art Gallery.Considered the most comprehensive collection of Steele's work in the world, it hasn't been displayed in New York State for more than 10 years.

"SUNY-ESF is remounting the exhibition not only to reacquaint lovers of gardens and natural beauty with Fletcher's work and introduce him to a new generation, but also to raise money for the school's scholarship and academic programs", said Richard Hawks, chairman ofSUNY-ESF'sFaculty of Landscape Architecture, considered to be one of the top three programs of its kind in the United States.

The exhibit will be artfully installed in the rear wing of Lorenzo - the 1807 neoclassical home of John Lincklaen situated along the south shore ofCazenovia Lake. Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the beautiful historic mansion. The event will also feature a tasting of fine wines and a hors d'oeuvre reception provided by the Craftsman House of Fayetteville, N.Y.

"This special preview of our Fletcher Steele exhibition will give admirers of landscape architecture, gardening and art in general an exclusive opportunity to view one-of-a-kind images of some of the most strikingly beautiful modern gardens ever created in the equally stunning surroundings of Lorenzo," Hawks said. "Participants can also take satisfaction in the fact that they're helping SUNY-ESF to keep its Landscape Architecture program the best in the nation."

Reservations for the exhibition are recommended by June 11. Tickets may be purchased online at www.esf.edu/steele or by phone at (315) 470-6683 at a cost of $15 per person, $10 for students.

Special Limited Edition Commemorative Event Posters Available

A limited edition series of three 16 x 24-inch fine art posters featuring famous garden design elements from the Charlotte Whitney Allen estate, Naumkeag and the Mabel Choate Estate have been produced to commemorate the 2004 Lorenzo exhibition.

Suitable for framing, the posters will be available for sale at the June 17 event. The price is $25 for one, $45 for two, or $60 for the complete set of three. The posters are also available for purchase online at www.esf.edu/steele or by phone at (315) 470-6683, or at the Lorenzo gift shop, while supplies last.

Designed and produced by Eric Mower and Associates and printed by Canfield & Tack Printers, 100% of the proceeds from the posters' sales also benefit the College's scholarship and academic programs.

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