John Beardsley will organize the first Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize


The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, has appointed writer and art historian John Beardsley as curator of the Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Prize. The biennial award is the first-ever international landscape architecture award to offer recipients a cash prize of $100,000 and two years of public engagement activities.

Named after Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, a German-born landscape architect based in British Columbia, the first prize will be awarded in 2021.

Beardsley, who holds degrees from Harvard University and the University of Virginia, is the author of several books, including Earthworks and Beyond: Contemporary Art in the Landscape (2006) and Gardens of the Apocalypse: environments of visionary artists (1995), the latter featuring Helen Martins, Simon Rodia and many others. From 1974 to 1978, Beardsley was curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. and at the Corcoran Gallery, also in Washington, from 1981 to 1989. He curated and co-curated many acclaimed exhibitions, including Gee’s Bend Quiltsexhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Fine Art Houston.

In addition to his curatorial roles, Beardsley has held teaching positions in the landscaping departments of Harvard, the University of Virginia, and the University of Pennsylvania. More recently, Beardsley served as Director of Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks Library and Research Collection in Washington, D.C.

In his new role as curator of the Oberlander Prize, Beardsley will develop the intellectual content of the prize, support the judging process and play a critical role in developing public engagement programs. As TCLF notes, these programs “are essential to achieving the goal of increasing the recognition, visibility, and readability of landscape architecture as a global, cultural, and professional practice.”

“I am delighted that John Beardsley has agreed to serve as curator of the Oberlander Prize,” Elizabeth K. Meyer, chair of the Oberlander Prize Advisory Board, said in a statement. Press statement. In addition to developing the role of Inaugural Curator and selecting Beardsley to fill it, the committee will assist Beardsley in his various responsibilities.

“The Oberlander Prize Advisory Board quickly and unanimously agreed that he would be the ideal person to lead the Prize process in its early years,” Meyer added. “John’s knowledge of the cultures of landscape studies, the history of landscape architecture and the contemporary practice of landscape architecture is both broad and deep. The landscape architecture community and landscape cultures are indebted to John for undertaking this momentous new program. »


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