America’s Eden – Newport Landscapes through the Ages
PROJECT DIRECTOR – JOHN R. TSCHIRCH
John R. Tschirch, Architectural Historian and Honorary Member, Garden Club of America, is an award winning architectural historian whose thirty-year career in historic preservation has brought him across the globe to study and teach at cultural heritage sites and landscapes. His work has been featured in The Magazine Antiques, The Journal of the New England Garden History Society, Conde Nast Traveler and The New York Times.
The Newport Tree Society announces a new research and publication initiative with historian John Tschirch.
In 1789, Jedidiah Morse described Newport and its environs as the “Eden of America” in the First Geography of the United States. Building on this legendary image of a centuries-old paradise, The Newport Arboretum’s new initiative is dedicated to producing a book entitled America’s Eden: Newport Landscapes through the Ages.
The publication will establish Newport as a cultural landscape of national significance and raise awareness of the garden and horticultural legacy of the city just as The Architectural Heritage of Newport, Rhode Island (1952) did for its landmark buildings.
The comprehensive history from European settlement to the present day will be illustrated by a treasure trove of rare period maps, paintings and photographs by prominent artists, and drawings and sketches by leading designers. It will serve as a critical resource guide encompassing landscape architecture, fine art, tree and plant propagation, and the conservation of natural sites. A rich story of art, design and horticulture awaits readers among the gardens, gazebos and trees of Newport.
Why Undertake this Project?
Establish a comprehensive benchmark
Newport’s landscapes, an extraordinary combination of art and nature, have never been subject to a comprehensive study. America’s Eden will be a first, a benchmark publication bringing the city’s landscape heritage to a broad audience through a treasure trove of paintings, photographs and rare garden documents.
RAISE AWARENESS OF A CULTURAL HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE
America’s Eden will establish the city as a cultural landscape of the highest caliber by featuring the work of legendary figures such as Frederick Law Olmsted and his sons. It will showcase the dramatic natural scenery of Newport as recorded by writers such as Henry James and renowned artists from John Frederick Kensett and John La Farge to the acclaimed photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston.
SUPPORT THE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OF AN ENDANGERED LANDSCAPE
Newport’s landscape heritage is fragile and under constant threat by neglect, development and demolition. America’s Eden will identify historic assets and provide key data on trees, gardens and parks. The book will be a vital reference guide for those engaged in landscape research and preservation planning.
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The Newport Tree Society is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.