Monday, March 4, 2013

London Squares And Parks Fit For A Queen

THE LONDON SQUARE:
GARDENS IN THE MIDST OF TOWN.
By Todd Longstaffe-Gowan.
Published by Yale University Press, 2012.
One of Britain's brightest stars in gardening, Todd Longstaffe-Gowan will make a rare U.S. appearance in Memphis on March 9, 2013.  In addition to being a landscape architect and garden historian, Todd is Gardens Advisor to Historic Royal Palaces, and has responsibilities at five royal palaces in greater London.  He is author of several books on historic gardens.  Sponsored by Decorative Arts Trust in association with The Royal Oak Foundation, there will be two aspects of his talk at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, this Saturday at 10:30 am, free with museum admission.
Todd Longstaffe-Gowan.
The history of London's squares, the green enclaves laid out to be surrounded by houses, will be discussed, along with the designers including Humphry Repton, Charles Barry, and Edwin Lutyens.  Mr. Longstaffe-Gowan will speak on the history, evolution and social implications of the squares and how they played a crucial role in the development of urban life.

Kensington Palace Garden.
In the second part of the lecture, Todd will discuss his presentation of the design of the pleasure grounds at Kensington Palace, the largest new garden to be laid out at a British Royal Palace for over a century.  Kensington Palace was built in the late 17th century for William III and Mary II, and has been a favorite place of residence for various members of the royal family including Queen Victoria, Prince Charles and Princess Diana.  Soon, it will be the London home of Prince Harry and Prince William & Princess Catherine.

This will be the last Decorative Arts Trust public event at the museum during my four terms as President.  Be sure to say hello if you are able to attend.
__ John J. Tackett



6 comments:

  1. oh fascinating, how I wish I could be there!

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    1. Stefan, Todd, who has spoken to our group previously, is a great resource, especially concerning royal gardens for which he is an advisor. If you ever have the opportunity, I hope you'll attend a presentation.

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  2. I enjoy this book also and would consider myself fortunate to meet you at the Museum. Compliments on your tenure and best wishes for this exciting occasion.

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    1. Thank you, Laurent. It was indeed a special occassion and a wonderful time was had by all.

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  3. The pity of this is I cannot attend as we're already booked for the weekend. The book remains on my "to buy" list.

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    1. Blue, Todd is such an authority on the subject that I am sure you will enjoy the book. It was especially interesting that the "pea soup" climate of London before the 1950 clean air act contributed to the scraggly landscape of the squares that is depicted in the accounts of the last half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries.

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