The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) is set to present the traveling photographic exhibition, the Landscape Architecture Legacy of Dan Kiley, created in collaboration with TCLF’s Landslide program of threatened and at-risk landscapes.
“When the 100th anniversary of Dan Kiley’s birth came and went last year and nothing happened, TCLF decided to mount a tribute to this great Modernist landscape architect,” said TCLF founder and president, Charles A. Birnbaum. “We have received tremendous support from the artists, who donated their time and work.”
The exhibition features 45 newly created photographs by noted artists including Marion Brenner, Todd Eberle, Millicent Harvey and Alan Ward, that document the current state of 27 of Kiley’s more than 1,000 designs including the Miller House and Garden, the Art Institute of Chicago’s South Garden and one of his final residential projects, Patterns, a garden for Governor and Mrs. Pierre S. "Pete" du Pont IV in Delaware.
“I am challenged to render the subtle beauty of these landscapes in photographs and, at the same time, be as inspired as a landscape architect,” said Ward, who recently photographed three sites in the exhibition.
This exhibition is meant to prompt questions and discussions about responsible stewardship, which is central to TCLF’s mission. While some Kiley designs are dying quiet deaths, others are extremely well maintained or require modest attention to once again achieve their brilliance.
What the exhibition cannot illustrate are Kiley’s designs that have been lost or severely altered, such as Lincoln Center in New York City and Dulles Airport outside of Washington, D.C., which architect Jacquelin Robertson says was, “in some ways the most lyrical piece of large-scale landscaping that I know of in this country.”
A companion 72-page gallery guide includes exhibition images, brief site descriptions and site plans, and experts from recently gathered personal recollections from colleagues.
Dan Kiley's children from left: Chris, Caleb, Grace and Timothy at the opening of the exhibition
The exhibition debuted last week at Boston Architectural College and will be on view there until December 31. It will then move to the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. from February to May, and additional venues thereafter.