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Garden Perspectives

An online exhibit to accompany an installation of archival and contemporary photographs of the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in the Catalogue House, on view beginning November 20, 2015.

The seventy-fifth anniversary of the gift of Dumbarton Oaks from Robert and Mildred Bliss to Harvard University provides an opportunity to exhibit archival photographs of the garden beginning with its early design and development in the 1920s by Beatrix Farrand and Mildred Bliss through numerous and varied changes over the course of its life.

Within the Catalogue House, with its unique historical setting in the garden and adjacent to Dumbarton Oaks Park, historic images will be paired with contemporary images taken from approximately the same perspective. Related documents including early maps, drawings, and correspondence from the online Garden Archives will fit the photographs into context and illustrate further the garden’s evolution. The installation will be on view beginning November 20, 2015, and is coordinated by Gail Griffin, Director of Gardens and Grounds, and Linda Lott, Librarian, Rare Book Collection.

This online exhibit, a companion to the installation in the Catalogue House, overlays a selection of paired archival and contemporary photographs, allowing users to witness the transformation of several garden areas. To reveal the current perspective, simply mouse over the historic photographs from left to right. Both images are also available as exhibit items, with further information. A brief introduction to each garden room is excerpted from the fuller entry in the Garden Archives, and, where available, links to additional photographs and drawings are provided.


Exhibit Sections