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~THE LANDSCAPE AND ARCHITECTURE OF WELLESLEY COLLEGE: New Book Highlights Design and Planning of One of the Country's Most Beautiful College Campuses~

For immediate release:
January 23, 2001


Mary Ann Hill
(781) 283-2373

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- In addition to being one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States, Wellesley College is renowned for the outstanding beauty and design of its campus. The Landscape and Architecture of Wellesley College, a newly published book by three members of Wellesley's art faculty, details and explains the origins and planning behind this remarkable campus.

In eleven chapters richly illustrated with vintage and contemporary images, the book details the 125-year development of the park-like composition of meadows, woods, and buildings sited on the shore of a characteristic New England glacial lake.

The authors place this story in the wider context of landscape and architectural studies, as well as Wellesley's own institutional development.

"Set in the context of the institution's history and the development of women's education, the landscape and architecture form a moving history of ideals enunciated first by the founders, Henry and Pauline Durant, and continued through the generations since to make Wellesley a place where women could make a difference," note the authors.

"For the non-Wellesley reader, this book should be a revelation, for it will introduce the College's extraordinary campus as well as provide its detailed history," states Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, professor of American Studies at Smith College and a 1963 Wellesley alumna. "The book is a first. No college in the United States has been so carefully delineated by landscape and architectural historians. And no college more deserves to be."

"Anyone who has lived, studied, or worked at Wellesley College for any period of time carries experiences of the campus that are vivid and visceral," explains President Diana Chapman Walsh in the book's foreword. "The story of the campus is a lens through which we can read the story of the College's mission, culture, and values."

Wellesley College has published the book in commemoration of the college's 125th anniversary. It was printed by Cantz in Stuttgart, Germany.

Peter J. Fergusson is the Theodora L. and Stanley H. Feldberg Professor of Art at Wellesley College. A member of the faculty since 1966, he teaches courses in medieval art and architecture, landscape and garden architecture. His most recent book, Rievaulx Abbey: Community, Architecture, Memory, which he co-authored, was published by Yale University Press in the spring of 2000.

James F. O'Gorman is the Grace Slack McNeil Professor of the History of American Art. Widely acclaimed as an author, lecturer, editor, consultant, and historian, he teaches courses in the history of painting, sculpture, and architecture in the United States from colonial times through World War II and seminars in American art and architecture. The subject of his most recent book, Accomplished in All Departments of Art: Hammatt Billings of Boston, 1818-1874, (University of Massachusetts Press, 1998) was the architect of the original buildings at Wellesley.

John Rhodes is a Senior Lecturer in Wellesley's Art Department and Writing Program. A specialist in Western art and architecture from the 18th through the 20th centuries, he has taught a wide variety of courses in these and other areas, including the history of landscape design, theories of ornament and art-historical methodology. Rhodes has published works on avant-garde aesthetics, American vernacular architecture and the history of modernism.

The color photographs were taken by Cervin Robinson of New York City, one of the country's foremost photographers of architecture and landscape, and form a central part of the book.

The book will be available from the Office for Public Information or in the Wellesley College Bookstore, beginning in February.


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  • Office of Public Information
  • Date Created: July 30, 2001
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