Dumbarton Oaks (Hardcover)

By Susan Tamulevich, Ping Amranand, Philip Johnson

The Monacelli Press, 9781580930697, 224pp.

Publication Date: April 15, 2002



The Dumbarton Oaks Research and Study Center in Washington, D.C., administered by Harvard University, is a famed museum and study center specializing in pre-Columbian art, Byzantine studies, and garden history and design. Long known for its museum pavilion, designed by the noted architect Philip Johnson, Dumbarton Oaks sits within one of the most spectacular gardens in America.

The founders of Dumbarton Oaks, Mildred and Robert W. Bliss, were important American philanthropists; the garden was developed between 1920 and 1965 by Mildred Bliss. She worked with several designers, the most significant of whom was the American landscape gardener Beatrix Farrand. The romantic but disciplined design, a series of small individual terraces and winding walkways, reflects the character of Mildred Bliss: her place in society, her travels, and her spiritual ideals. Cool formality, joyful opulence, and feelings of intimacy, reticence, and artlessness are all present in the garden. Private, public, and utilitarian areas coexist within the integrated whole.

This volume, the first to present the gardens of Dumbarton Oaks, features more than one hundred color photographs of the garden in all seasons. Photographer Ping Amranand has documented the garden over the course of more than a decade, and his exceptional images capture all aspects of the garden. Susan Tamulevich's text details the original conception of the garden, its implementation over the course of half a century, and its continuing inspiration as an unparalleled American landscape.

About the Author

Susan Tamulevich is a writer based in Connecticut.

Ping Amranand is a photographer based in Thailand.

Philip Johnson, who died in 2005, was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century.