In BEATRIX FARRAND'S AMERICAN LANDSCAPES, Lynden B. Miller explores the life and work of America's first female landscape architect, Beatrix Farrand.
BEATRIX FARRAND'S AMERICAN LANDSCAPES follows award-winning public garden designer Lynden B. Miller as she sets off to explore the remarkable life and career of America's first female landscape architect, Beatrix Farrand. Farrand was responsible for some of the most celebrated gardens in the United States and helped create a distinctive American voice in landscape architecture.
Although she created gardens for the rich and powerful, including John D. Rockefeller, Jr., J.P. Morgan, and President Woodrow Wilson, she also was an early advocate for the value of public gardens and believed strongly in the power of the natural world to make people's lives better.
Through the documentary, Miller journeys to iconic Farrand gardens, engaging designers, scholars and horticulturists in a spirited dialogue about the meaning and importance of this ground-breaking early 20th-century woman. Lynden Miller's experience as New York City's most prominent public garden designer is woven into a wide-ranging biography of Farrand's life and times.
Directed by Stephen Ives
Produced by Lauren DeFilippo, Karen Smythe, Anne Cleves Symmes
Editor: Kent Bassett
Cinematography: Buddy Squires
Sound Recording: John Zecca
Original Music: Peter Rundquist
Narrator: Lynden B. Miller
An Insignia Films Production
"A work of art chronicling the intersection between garden history and now. We're talking a deftly researched script tracing Farrand's evolution from her New York City socialite roots to her courageous horticultural education shadowing Arnold Arboretum's first director, Charles Sprague Sargent, at a time when women were emphatically not admitted into the field."
Tovah Martin, New England Home
"Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted dismissed her as a 'dabbler.' No university would accept her. Her own friends thought her professional ambition was 'a sort of mild mania.' Yet Beatrix Farrand, who lived from 1872 to 1959, persisted. And she became the first female landscape architect, leaving her mark in gardens, parks, and other public landscapes across the country."
Becky Pritchard, Mount Desert Islander
"Lynden Miller's ability as a natural educator and her lifelong career as an award-winning public space designer made her the perfect guide to host the film viewer's journey through some of Farrand's gardens. The juxtaposition of sharing her own process of redesign and restoration of some of the parks and gardens that many of us enjoy today, inspired by Farrand's insight, marries a modern viewpoint to the historic focus of a bygone era."
Madaline Sparks, Rural Intelligence
"We must listen to the voices of the people in this important film. If we listen, and hear, we will learn about our history and about our world today. If we listen, and learn, we will be able to create better tomorrows."
Wendy E. Chmielewski, George R. Cooley Curator, Swarthmore College Peace Collection
"The superbly made documentary matches its heroine's sense for perfection in all details: aesthetic refinedness and technical prowess do wonders in bringing to life Farrand's whole age, while showing her visionary landscapes. The smart intermixing of original photos and 19th-century reels of New York City make for a fascinating story from beginning to end."
Vanessa Sellers, New York Botanical Garden Plant Talk