ASLA Celebrates Women’s History Month

In commemoration of National Women’s History Month, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) honors the women who made important contributions to the development of the landscape architecture profession in the United States. Women have been active in ASLA since its formation in 1899 and have played major roles in its governance and membership. Renowned American landscape architect Beatrix Jones Farrand was one of the 11 founding members. Female membership in ASLA has grown from 15 in 1899 to 5,301 today.

While by no means comprehensive, the following list features several women landscape architects who were pioneers in their field:

Beatrix Jones Farrand (1872-1959) – American landscape architect (“landscape gardener” by her reference) trained at the Arnold Arboretum in Massachusetts. She was a founding member of ASLA and is known for her work on the Yale University quadrangles and the grounds of Dumbarton Oaks (and the neighboring naturalistic Dumbarton Oaks Park) in Washington, D.C. (See her above and her work below).

Marian Cruger Coffin (1876-1951) – American landscape architect, writer, and lecturer who designed numerous projects on the East Coast. She is known for her work on the gardens of Winterthur, gardens for the New York Botanical Garden, and landscapes for such schools as the University of Delaware. She was elected as an ASLA Fellow in 1918.

Ellen Biddle Shipman (1869-1950) – American landscape architect named “dean of American women Landscape Architects” by House and Garden in 1933. Her notable projects included Longue Vue Gardens in New Orleans, the Cummer Estate (now the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida), and Stan Hywet Hall in Akron, Ohio.

Annette Hoyt Flanders (1887-1946) – American landscape architect, writer, and lecturer who established a major practice in the Midwest. Her work ranged from institutions to small gardens throughout the United States and included the Phipps Estate, the Morven Farm Gardens, and the McCann Estate French Gardens. She was elected as an ASLA Fellow in 1942.

Marjorie Sewell Cautley (1891-1954) – American landscape architect, writer, and lecturer known for her use of native plants and community design projects for middle-class families. Her best known work included four garden city projects in the New York metropolitan area: Sunnyside in Queens, Radburn in New Jersey, Phipps Garden Apartments adjacent to the Sunnyside community, and Hillside Homes in Brooklyn.

Martha Brookes Hutcheson (1871–1959) – American landscape architect, writer, and lecturer who advocated for the landscape architecture profession. She opened her practice in Boston in 1902 and some of her projects included large residential estates, farms, and private gardens in New England and New Jersey. She was elected as an ASLA Fellow in 1942.

To learn more about the women important to the development of landscape architecture, check out Beatrix Farrand: Private Gardens, Public Landscapes by Judith Tankard; Unbounded Practice: Women and Landscape Architecture in the Early Twentieth Centuryce by Thaisa Way, ASLA; Women in Landscape Architecture: Essays on History and Practice by Louise Mozingo, ASLA, and Linda Jewell, FASLA; and Women, Design, and The Cambridge School by Dorothy May Anderson. Also, members can explore the activities of ASLA’s Women in Landscape Architecture Professional Practice Network (PPN).

This guest post is by Karen Trimbath, ASLA Public Relations Manager

Image credits: (1) Beatrix Farrand / Beatrix Jones Farrand Collection (1955-2) Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley, (2) Dumbarton Oaks / Jared Green, ASLA, (3) Marian Cruger Coffin / The Wintherthur Library, (4) Wintherthur / Winterthur Museum, (5) Ellen Biddle Shipman / Stan Hywet Hall & Garden, (6) Moonlight Garden / Shipman, (7) Cloverly Mann / McIntosh, (8) Sunnyside Gardens / TCLF, (9) Maudsley State Park Garden / The Grog

4 thoughts on “ASLA Celebrates Women’s History Month

  1. Ann Komara 03/05/2013 / 9:26 pm

    All great ladies, to be sure, with significant works and practices. Having grown up in Pittsburgh, I’d like to add one of the first female landscape architecture professionals I learned about: Margaret Winters, a founding partner in Griswold, Winters, Swain and Mullin.

  2. Susan Hatchell 03/08/2013 / 10:46 am

    Great article! Some fabulous work, talented women! Thanks!

  3. Claudia Rainey 03/08/2013 / 2:16 pm

    I’d like to add Julia Lester Dillon to the list as well: She was not only one of the first female city landscape architects – for Sumter, SC – she was also deaf. Truly a ground breaker.

  4. taihsian cheng 05/03/2013 / 11:53 am

    “…Female membership in ASLA has grown from 15 in 1899 to 5,301 today.” However, does anyone know the percentage of women membership in ASLA today? thanks.

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