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Landscape Lecture

Picturing Social Reform

Thursday, September 12, 2019
7 pm
Throughout the Museum

Big Plans examines the role of visual images in support of progressive social reform in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The exhibition features large-format urban plan drawings and small-format documentary street photographs. Big Plans considers the urban planning proposals developed in the service of social reform by Frederick Law Olmsted and Charles Eliot in relation to the political picture-making of Lewis Hine, and the cultural place-making of Isabella Stewart Gardner. The exhibition presents the invention of landscape architecture as a progressive response to the social and environmental conditions for working-class immigrants in the industrial metropolis and raises contemporary questions as to who advocates for the social, cultural, and environmental health of the city today.

Join us for a discussion of urban plans as cultural works and the role of cultural imaginaries in progressive urban reform, featuring presentations by and conversations with:

Anita Berrizbeitia, Harvard University
Toni Griffin, The Just City Lab
Nikil Saval, Reclaim Philadelphia
Sara Zewde, Dumbarton Oaks

Introduced and moderated by Charles Waldheim, Ruettgers Curator of Landscape

The lead sponsors of Big Plans: Picturing Social Reform are Gwill York and Paul Maeder. Additional support is generously provided by the Wallace Minot Leonard Foundation. The Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives support from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.