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Home » Uncategorized » A. J. Downing Symposium: October 24th, 2015

A. J. Downing Symposium: October 24th, 2015


The Worlds of Andrew Jackson Downing:

A Bicentennial Celebration 

Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015

8:00     Registration, coffee and pastries

9:00     Morrison Heckscher, Fleischman Chair Emeritus, American Wing, Metropolitan Museum of Art, symposium chair (pending availability)

9:05     Introductory Remarks: Thomas Wermuth, Dean of the Faculty and Director, Hudson River Valley Institute, Marist College

9:15     Downing and American Culture:  Aaron Sachs, Cornell University

9:55     The Social History of the Hudson Valley during Downing’s Lifetime: Thomas Wermuth

10:35   break

10:55   Downing’s Newburgh: William Krattinger, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation

11:35   Downing and the American Home: Caren Yglesias, architect and author

12:15   lunch

1:15     Downing and the American Landscape: David Schuyler, Franklin & Marshall College

1:45     Matthew Vassar’s Springside: Harvey Flad, Professor of Geography Emeritus, Vassar College

2:25     Downing’s Legacy: The Careers of Calvert Vaux, Frederick C. Withers, and Frederick Law Olmsted: Francis R. Kowsky, SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Buffalo State College

3:05     break

3:25     Honoring A. J. Downing: the Downing Monument by Withers and Downing Park by Olmsted and Vaux: Arleyn Levee, Independent Scholar

4:05  The View from American Art: Downing’s Importance Into the Twentieth Century: Kerry Dean Carso, SUNY New Paltz

4:45     Closing Remarks: J. Winthrop Aldrich, New York State Office of Historic Preservation, emeritus

5:15     Reception: Marist College Boat House


Morrison Heckscher is the Lawrence Fleischman Chair of the American Wing emeritus, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Thomas Wermuth, Vice President for Academic Affairs and director of the Hudson River Valley Institute at Marist College, is author of Rip Van Winkle’s Neighbors: The Transformation of Rural Society in the Hudson River Valley, 1720-1850 (2001).

Aaron Sachs, associate professor of history at Cornell University, is author of The Humboldt Current: Nineteenth-Century Exploration and the Roots of American Environmentalism (2006) and Arcadian America: The Death and Life of an Environmental Tradition (2013).

William Krattinger, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, is coordinator of the National Register for northern New York.  He wrote the National Landmark designation nomination for A. J. Davis’s Dutch Reformed Church in Newburgh.

Caren Yglesias, an architect, is author of The Complete House and Grounds: Learning from Andrew Jackson Downing’s Domestic Architecture (2012) and teaches in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

David Schuyler, Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of the Humanities and American Studies at Franklin & Marshall College, is author of Apostle of Taste: Andrew Jackson Downing, 1815-1852 (1996) and Sanctified Landscape: Writers, Artists, and the Hudson River Valley, 1820-1909 (2012), among other works.

Harvey Flad, Professor of Geography emeritus at Vassar College, is co-author, with Clyde Griffen, of Main Street to Mainframes: Landscape and Social Change in Poughkeepsie (2009).  He has written extensively on Springside, Downing’s most intact landscape design.

Francis R. Kowsky, SUNY Distinguished Professor of the Fine Arts at Buffalo State College emeritus, is author of The Architecture of Frederick Clarke Withers and the Progress of the Gothic Revival in America after 1850 (1980), Country, Park & City: The Architecture and Life of Calvert Vaux (1998), and The Best Planned City in the World: Olmsted, Vaux, and the Buffalo Park System (2013).

Arleyn Levee, a landscape designer and landscape historian, is completing a biography of John Charles Olmsted.

Kerry Dean Carso, associate professor of Art History at SUNY New Paltz, is author of American Gothic Art and Architecture in the Age of Romantic Literature (2014) and is working on a second book, Landscapes of Nationalism: Garden and Park Architecture in America, 1776-1876.

  1. Winthrop Aldrich was for many years deputy commissioner for historic preservation in the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation.

Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015

Tours of landscapes and buildings designed by A. J. Downing and his partners Calvert Vaux and Frederick Clarke Withers…

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