Frank Lloyd Wright Garden Symposium: His Southern California Work and Legacy


Hollyhock House east facade, photo by Joshua White, JWPictures.com. Courtesy of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs

April 13, 2024
Symposium at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in
Los Angeles, 10-4pm

April 14, 2024
LA garden tours

Registration
$50 students | $150 Members | $175 General

The price of admission includes continental breakfast and a boxed lunch.

Purchase a ticket

The Garden Conservancy organizes public programs that bring leading thinkers and practitioners within the world of gardening to audiences throughout cities in the US. Since 2018, we have brought scholars, authors, and experts in the fields of design, history, research, and preservation, to numerous locations so that their work can be shared with the public. Education is a key component of our mission, and through these events, we aim to inspire and engage those who have a passion for gardens and want to know further about the benefits that they bring to our lives.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Garden Symposium will examine how Frank Lloyd Wright and other early twentieth-century architects responded to the Southern California landscape and climate and how they invite us to think about contemporary issues in gardening.


THE SYMPOSIUM

Perhaps no architect has been more written about than Frank Lloyd Wright, but his designs for gardens remain less studied and understood, despite how important landscape and nature were to his thinking. Los Angeles is home to one of Wright’s crowning achievements, Hollyhock House (1916-21), a residence originally designed as “half house and half garden.”

Wright embraced landscapes and plants of many types and climates, including native plants, an interest shared with his friend and landscape architect, Jens Jensen. Wright’s appreciation of landscape was also enriched by his love of Japanese culture. Having designed Hollyhock House while in Japan, Wright relocated to Los Angeles in 1923 and began working with his son, Lloyd Wright, a gifted landscape designer who had worked for the Olmsted Brothers in California. Wright spent only a few years in Southern California, yet he created remarkable work in the Hollyhock, Ennis, Storer, and Freeman houses.

Completed over one hundred years ago, Wright’s houses in Southern California are being revitalized as the region changes beyond what he could have anticipated, impacted by drought, pollution, and climate change. The Frank Lloyd Wright Garden Symposium will examine how he and other architects of the period responded to the local landscape and climate and how they invite us to think about contemporary issues of the 21st century.

The symposium will feature landscape architects, historians, curators, and stewards of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed houses. The event will be of interest to all gardeners, designers, architects, and students who are passionate about history and design and what they can teach us about gardening today.


KEYNOTE ADDRESS



Laura J. Martin

“THE PAST AND FUTURE OF ECOLOGICAL GARDENING”

Dr. Laura J. Martin is a historian and ecologist who studies solutions to the global biodiversity crisis. She is author of Wild by Design: The Rise of Ecological Restoration. Her work has been featured in venues including The New York Times, The Atlantic, TIME, and The Washington Post. She is currently Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Faculty Affiliate in History at Williams College in Massachusetts.


SPEAKERS

Abbey Chamberlain Brach
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House

"HOLLYHOCK HOUSE: A GARDEN HOUSE & ART PARK"

Abbey Chamberlain Brach is Director & Curator at Hollyhock House, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. She manages interpretation and preservation, including a major restoration of the Residence A guest house begun in 2017. Previously Abbey worked at LACMA in the Decorative Arts and Design curatorial department.

Kenneth Breisch
Emeritus Professor of Architecture

"THE LEGACY OF FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA"

Ken Breisch holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and is Professor Emeritus in the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California, where he taught architectural history for twenty-two years with an emphasis on Southern California architecture and landscapes. 

Jenny Jones
Terremoto of LA

"REWILDING THE MODERNIST GARDEN & CITY"

Jenny Jones is a landscape architect and principal at Terremoto's Los Angeles office. Jenny co-leads Terremoto's Test Plot projects and their Land & Labor working group, in addition to working on many historic gardens throughout LA. She studied Landscape and Planning at the University of Virginia.

Janet Parks
Architectural historian

"FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT: A PERSONAL DISCOVERY OF HIS LANDSCAPE DESIGNS"

Janet Parks was Curator of Drawings and Archives at the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library for nearly 40 years. Her last project was the move of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives to Avery. She is currently on the board of directors of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.

Safina Uberoi
Filmmaker

"THE ACCIDENTAL GARDENER"

Safina Uberoi is an award-winning filmmaker who has written and directed prime-time documentary films for the BBC, ABC, SBS, and ESPN. Safina grew up in India and worked extensively in Australia before moving to the US. Safina is an active member of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.

 

DISCUSSION MODERATOR

Joseph Marek
Landscape architect

Joseph Marek is a landscape architect and a board member of the Garden Conservancy and Ganna Walska Lotusland.  As principal of Joseph Marek Landscape Architecture, he applies the same fundamental principle to every project: the creation of timeless spaces that combine the grace of classical design with a modern sensibility. In each of his designs, he draws on a lifelong interest in plants and a wealth of experience to convey the sensibility of a “garden”. 


The Garden Conservancy educational programs are made possible in part by the Coleman and Susan Burke Distinguished Lecture Fund, Courtnay and Terrence Daniels, the Lenhardt Education Fund, and Susan and William McKinley.

Additional support is provided by The Celia Hegyi Matching Challenge Grant,
Mrs. Ritchie Battle, the Antonia Breck Fund, Camille Butrus, Michelle and Perry Griffith,
Rise S. Johnson, The Krehbiel Family Foundation, Sleepy Cat Farm Foundation, and
John S. Troy, FASLA.

Program Sponsor:

The Ebell of Los Angeles

Cultural Sponsors:
The Garden Club of America, Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Hancock Park Garden Club, Hollyhock House, Ganna Walska Lotusland