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Bench and Canopy

Bench and Canopy

On the stair landing between the Rose Garden and Fountain Terrace sits a bench under a lead canopy, or baldachino, designed by Beatrix Farrand in 1925. Guarded by the shade of the hood, the bench affords a contemplative view of the sky punctured by the large oak tree planted along Mélisande’s Allée. In 1974, artisan John Benson designed and lettered a plaque honoring Matthew Kearney, the superintendent of grounds and gardens from 1949 to 1973. The plaque, centered above the bench, reads:

To the memory of Matthew Kearney,
Born in Ireland 1909,
Came to Dumbarton Oaks 1930,
Superintendent from 1949 until his death in 1973,
These Gardens bear witness to his knowledge and devotion. 

The plaque reminds us of the endless dedication of those who steward our gardens and make them the beautiful place we know and love.

Drawing of bench and canopy.
Beatrix Farrand, R.W. Bliss Estate, west wall of Terrace D - Flower Garden showing seat and shelter, 1926. Garden Archives, LA-GD-O-2-02D

Bench and canopy in the Fountain Terrace, 1926.
Measurement, bench with lead hood, photographer unknown, 1926–1932. Garden Archives, LA-GP-18-51

 

Image: Photographer unknown, ca. 2000

 

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