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Dean Cardasis to lecture on James Rose, mid-century modernist landscape designer

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The UGA College of Environment and Design welcomes spring, the perfect time of year for a little iconoclasm in the garden. The new season allows us to throw fate to the wind and explore new ways of seeing, new ways of design, and new experiences in the built environment. It is also a chance for students of design to learn about the unique elements of modernism and the mid-century response to convention.

James Rose, who practiced landscape design during much of the middle of the last century, was expelled from Harvard in 1937 for refusing to design in the Beaux-Arts style. He is the subject of a new book by Dean Cardasis—published in 2017 by the Library of American Landscape History and the UGA Press— who will lecture on Rose on March 7th in Room 123 of the Jackson Street Building at 5 p.m. The lecture is sponsored by the Eleanor Ferguson Vincent fund at the College of Environment and Design and is free and open to the public. The lecture accompanies an exhibit about Rose and his work in the Circle Gallery, also in the Jackson Street Building.

Along with two other design rebels of the era, Dan Kiley and Garrett Eckbo, James Rose wrote a series of essays that would become a manifesto for developing modernist landscape architecture. Using models and on-site inspiration, Rose paved a new path in landscape design, both for the creators and the users of his spaces. Fences and panels made from found materials and evoking Zen gardens and zendos encouraged the visitor to explore the inside/outside experience; rooms literally bring the garden indoors and vice versa. He authored four important books of the landscape design canon: Creative Gardens, Gardens Make Me Laugh, Modern American Gardens, and The Heavenly Environment. Students in the College of Environment and Design will construct an installation in the Circle Gallery that explores Rose’s vision.

Dean Cardasis is a landscape architect, professor at Rutgers University, and director of the James Rose Center in Ridgewood, N.J. An opening reception at the Circle Gallery will accompany the lecture.

James Rose by Dean Cardasis wins The John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize.

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Named in honor of one of the founding figures of American landscape studies, the J. B. Jackson prize is awarded to a distinguished book published in the English language within the past three years on a subject pertaining to landscape studies.  Only books based on original research and those that break new ground in method or interpretation will be considered. The purpose of this prize is to reward contributors to the intellectual vitality of garden history and landscape studies. The jury considers each submission on the basis of its success in expanding the field to new areas or increasing knowledge within an existing branch of the discipline. It seeks to support authors with an ability to write for a general readership as well as for a scholarly audience.”  The Foundation for Landscape Studies.

OPENING: May 1st, 2018!

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On Tuesday, May 1st, 2018, the James Rose Center will be opening to the general public. The Center is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 AM – 4 PM. While visitors are welcome to plan spontaneous visits, large parties or visitors with tight timetables are encouraged to email in advance (director@jamesrosecenter.org or assistantdirector@jamesrosecenter.org) so we can best accommodate you.

James Rose Later Works


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Due to popular demand, the James Rose Center will extend its open days from May 15th through November 18th! Hours of operation are Tuesday – Sunday, 10 AM – 4 PM. Click HERE to schedule an appointment for a guided tour (recommended contribution of $10) or just stop by!

Ridgewood Library Talk

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At 7pm Monday, October 2nd, come to the Ridgewood Public Library and join Professor Dean Cardasis as he shares the story of James Rose, the famed “James Dean” of landscape architecture. Based on his recent book, James Rose: A Voice Offstage, Professor Cardasis’s talk will put Rose’s ideas in the context of his times and present some of Rose’s important alternatives to conventional suburban residential design, with a special focus on Rose’s own home in Ridgewood.  All welcome, no registration required. A tour of the James Rose Center will immediately follow the lecture.


Garden Dialogues 2017: James Rose Center

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CLICK HERE to join us September 23rd for The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s Garden Dialogues 2017: The James Rose Center (hurry, sign up today before this event is sold out!)

“TCLF president & CEO, Charles A. Birnbaum, and Dean Cardasis, Director of the James Rose Center for Landscape Architectural Research and Design, will examine the signature project of James Rose, who along with Garrett Eckbo and Dan Kiley, helped usher the profession of landscape architecture into the modern era.”