4 Ways Milwaukee is Celebrating Frederick Law Olmsted’s Legacy

Events marking the bicentennial of the visionary landscape architect’s birth are taking place in Milwaukee, which has three of his signature parks.


RELATED: The Lasting Legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted and His 3 Signature Milwaukee Parks

1. “In the Park with Olmsted: A Vision for Milwaukee”

VILLA TERRACE DECORATIVE ARTS MUSEUM | APRIL 14-SEPT. 25

This exhibition, the first extensive exploration of Olmsted’s work in Milwaukee, features historical documents and photos, maps, architectural plans and more, crafting a visual history of Olmsted’s three parks. The exhibit opens with a reception on April 14 from 6-8 p.m. at the museum, with remarks from Dede Petri, the president and CEO of the National Association of Olmsted Parks. There will also be film screenings, videos and interactive content through the exhibition’s run. “I think that the fact that we have three Olmsted parks should be common knowledge to people in Milwaukee,” says Annemarie Sawkins, the guest curator of the exhibition.


 

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2. Frederick Law Olmsted: Bringing Nature into the City and Creating Breathing Space for Democracy, An Evening with Historian/Filmmaker Laurence Cotton

MILWAUKEE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING’S DIERCKS HALL | MAY 7

Laurence Cotton, a public historian and a producer of the PBS documentary Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America, will speak about Olmsted’s life, career and ongoing impact on Milwaukee. Since the film aired in 2014, Cotton has been delivering talks on Olmsted across the country.

3. A Virtual Conversation with Author: Hugh Howard

ZOOM WEBINAR | JUNE 15

Boswell Books is hosting this virtual discussion with Howard, the author of Architects of an American Landscape: Henry Hobson Richardson, Frederick Law Olmsted, and the Reimagining of America’s Public and Private Spaces. Howard will be discussing his book and Olmsted’s accomplishments both in Milwaukee and across the country. 

4. Celebrate Frederick Law Olmsted at Lake Park

LAKE PARK | JULY 16

Plans were still taking shape at press time, but Lake Park Friends’ full-day celebration of Olmsted at his biggest Milwaukee park will feature an exhibition at the Marcia Cole Community Room and a photo contest exhibition at North Point Lighthouse, as well as food trucks and beer.


 

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s April issue.

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Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.