Beatrix Farrand Documentary

 

One of the most influential and pioneering women of the early 20th century was not a campaigner for women’s suffrage, or a writer, or a socialite, but a landscape architect -- one of the most innovative designers of gardens and public spaces in American history.

Now the Beatrix Farrand Garden Association is raising funds for the production of a one-hour film entitled Beatrix Farrand. This vibrant and engaging documentary will explore the ideas and designs of a groundbreaking artist who helped create a distinctive American voice in landscape architecture.

During her rich and astonishingly varied fifty-year career, Farrand received commissions from some of America’s richest families like the Rockefellers and the Morgans, Ivy League colleges such as Princeton and Yale, botanical gardens, municipalities -- even the White House. Farrand’s work combined artistic invention, classical references and horticultural expertise. Not only did she shape the tastes of the Gilded Age elite but profoundly influenced public attitudes about the value of landscapes all across America.

The host of our film will be Lynden Miller. The catalyst and visionary behind the acclaimed renovation of the Conservatory Garden in New York’s Central Park, the revitalization of Bryant Park (at the New York Public Library), and the driving force behind a post-9/11 effort to plant millions of daffodils throughout the five boroughs, Miller is a nationally recognized authority on public landscapes. Her passion and fascination with the work of Beatrix Farrand has been the inspiration for her distinguished career. Our film will revolve around Miller’s deeply personal journey as she seeks to understand the ways in which Farrand has inspired her own career in public horticulture and left an enduring legacy for future generations.

The Beatrix Farrand documentary will be produced and directed by architectural historian, and accomplished film director Judith Paine McBrien of The Archimedia Workshop. Her most recent film, Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City, was hailed by Chicago’s New City Film as “a fine study [of Burnham’s] monumental achievements,” and was chosen as an official selection of the Newport Beach Film Festival.

The Executive Producer of the film is Stephen G. Ives, whose award-winning documentaries have been some of the most watched films in PBS history.