World's Fair Gardens (Hardcover)
Shaping American Landscapes
University of Virginia Press, 9780813933115, 244pp.
Publication Date: November 29, 2012
As showcases for dramatic changes in garden style and new technology, world's fairs offered leading landscape designers and nurserymen the chance to tempt visitors to try new garden trends in backyards across the nation. From horticultural innovations to new landscape styles, the wonders displayed at these fairs had a distinct influence on America's largest urban parks.
In World's Fair Gardens, Cathy Jean Maloney offers a lavishly illustrated exploration of the gardens and grounds of America's nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century world's fairs. Maloney describes the landscapes of nine of America's great fairs from the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia to the 1940 World's Fair of Tomorrow in New York, many of whose legacies are still evident.
The fairs also created an arena for intense competition among nations. Foreign plant introductions included English rhododendrons in Philadelphia, Mexican cacti in New Orleans, and Japanese gardens at nearly all the fairs, a feat considering the formidable challenge of shipping live plants great distances in those times. Maloney also explores innovations from the "glazeless putty system" greenhouse in 1884 and cold storage systems in 1904 to modernistic glass fences in 1940.
Complete with more than 50 color and 70 black-and-white illustrations, World's Fair Gardens will appeal to historians, gardeners, urban planners, landscape architects, public park advocates, preservationists, and anyone interested in the history of these global festivals.
Supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts