A natural chronicler of all things uniquely American, photographer Lee Friedlander here puts his lens to the work of Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903), designer of many of this country’s most iconic public landscapes and the father of North American landscape architecture. Olmsted was responsible for a staggering number of America’s greatest parks, including the Niagara reservation (North America’s oldest state park), Washington Park, the Biltmore Estate, the U.S. Capitol building landscape and entire parkway systems in Buffalo and Louisville. His most famous work remains New York City’s Central Park, a pioneering egalitarian gesture that, at the time, was very unusual for its ready accessibility. This book, published to coincide with The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2008 exhibition, compiles 89 photographs made by Friedlander in Olmsted’s public parks and private estates.
This stunning collection of rich tritones celebrates the complex, idiosyncratic picture-making of one of the country’s greatest living photographers, and also arrives upon the 150 year anniversary of Olmsted’s 1858 design for Central Park. Rambling across bridges and through open meadows and dense undergrowth, Friedlander locates a pure pleasure in Olmsted’s designs—in the meticulous stonework, the balance of exposure to shade and in the mature, weather-beaten trees that attest to the durability of Olmsted’s vision.—the publisher