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Frederick Law Olmsted/U.S.A. (1822-1903)

October 21, 1972 – January 7, 1973
Ground Floor, Central Gallery, Gallery G-8, Corridor between Storerooms A and B, Foyer, West Stair Hall, 7th Street Lobby

Installation view of Frederick Law Olsmted/U.S.A. (1822-1903), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Gallery Archives


This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: The exhibition to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the landscape architect's birth (1822-1903) included original plans, photographs, and memorabilia covering more than 30 Olmsted projects for national parks and urban parks in the United States and Canada. In the octagonal entry area was John Singer Sargent's monumental 1895 portrait of Olmsted, lent by Biltmore House and Gardens. The highlight of the exhibition in the 7th Street lobby was the circlescan theater-in-the-round, a cylindrical screen 31 feet in diameter and 10 feet high on which 37 full-circle color panoramas were projected; continuous showings repeated every 15 minutes. The narrative was by Roderick MacLeish. This show was organized by the Olmsted sesquicentennial committee with the American Federation of Arts, to coincide with an exhibition on Olmsted's work in and around New York held at the Whitney Museum. This was the eighth in the series of exhibitions by American artists.

Organization: David W. Scott, assisted by Jane C. Loeffler, urban planner, coordinated the exhibition, which was organized by William Alex, Olmsted scholar. Exhibits designer Kathleen Haven installed the show for the Gallery. An edited version was later circulated to other museums throughout the country by the American Federation of Arts.

Attendance: 86,894

Catalog: Frederick Law Olmsted/U.S.A., by Jane Canter Loeffler. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1972.