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Farrand, Beatrix, 1872-1959. Papers of Beatrix Jones Farrand, 1938-1953 (inclusive): A Finding Aid.

Archives of the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University


The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: IV A-4 BJF.
Repository: Archives of the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University
Creator: Beatrix Jones Farrand,
Title: Papers of Beatrix Jones Farrand, 1938-1953 (inclusive).
Date(s): 1938-1953 (inclusive).
Quantity: 1 boxes
Abstract: The Beatrix Farrand papers include biographical material, obituaries, correspondence (1938-1953) and some published works, which were mainly acquired during the years of her employment as a landscape garden consultant (1946-1950) at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Jamaica Plain, MA.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Provenance: The majority of the Beatrix Farrand papers were acquired during her tenure as consultant to the Arnold Arboretum from ca 1946-1950 and later accessioned into HOLLIS #008206440. The biographical materials were added by library staff. This file # is ajp00006.

Processing Information:

Processed: June 1999.

Conditions Governing Access:

Researchers seeking to examine archival materials are strongly encouraged to make an appointment. The Director, or an office of origin, may place restrictions on the use of some or all of its records. The extent and length of the restriction will be determined by the Director, office of origin, and the Archivist and will be enforced equally for all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use:

The copyright is held by The President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Arnold Arboretum Archives of Harvard University. The copyright on some materials in the collection may be held by the original author or the author's heirs or assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining written permission from the holder(s) of copyright and the Arnold Arboretum Archives prior to publishing any quotations or images from materials in this collection.
Photocopies may be made at the discretion of the Arnold Arboretum Archives staff. Permission to make photocopies does not constitute permission to reproduce or publish materials outside the bounds of the fair use guidelines.

Biographical / Historical

Beatrix Jones Farrand (1872-1959) was one of the most important American landscape architects of the twentieth century. She has the distinction of being the only woman among the eleven founding members of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Farrand trained with private teachers before setting up a practice in New York City in 1895. Her principal teacher wasCharles Sprague Sargent, the first director of the Arnold Arboretum. Under Sargent's tutelage, she studied plant identification and planting design on the Arboretum grounds and had use of Sargent's comprehensive library, then housed at Holm Lea, his estate in Brookline, Massachusetts. Farrand served as a consulting landscape gardener to the Arnold Arboretum from 1946 to about 1950. She produced several designs for the Arboretum grounds during her years of professional practice, including major renovations of Bussey Hill and Peters Hill, and planting beds along the entrance drive. Her views on landscape changes at the Arboretum are described in an article she wrote for Arnoldia (November 1, 1946).
Farrand was born into a distinguished New York family that included her aunt, the writer Edith Wharton. Her early years included extensive European travel, experiences she drew upon in her later professional life. She married Max Farrand, the distinguished Yale historian in 1913. Farrand specialized in private gardens and estates. Her best known and most widely admired design is for the garden of Dumbarton Oaks, the Washington D.C. estate of Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, now a museum and study center affiliated with Harvard University. Another well preserved Farrand design is The Eyrie, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller garden in Seal Harbor, Maine. She also did extensive college and university campus designs including work at Yale University, Vassar, and the University of Chicago. Her extensive experimental gardens at Reef Point, her summer home in Bar Harbor, Maine, are unfortunately lost. Farrand's papers and private library are now in the Library of the College of Environmental Design at the University of California at Berkeley.


The collection is organized into the following series: I. Biographical Material; II. Correspondence; III. Publications; IV. Photographs.

Scope and Contents

The Beatrix Farrand papers include correspondence (1938-1953) primarily to Arboretum administrators Paul C. Mangelsdorf, E. D. Merrill, Karl Sax, and horticulturist Donald Wyman during and after her years as consultant landscape gardener to the Arboretum. Farrand was the first who consulted on a wide array of projects at the Arboretum from replanting hemlocks on Hemlock Hill to the rejuvenation of boundary plantings. Also a moving force behind the establishment of the "Friends of the Arnold Arboretum," Farrand herself was a generous contributor to the institution. Included in the correspondence are plant lists for the administration building and various locations in the Arboretum garden. Some publications written by Farrand are included from Arnoldia, Reef Point Gardens Bulletin, and the Bulletin of Popular Information. A general file folder is also included with some biographical material and obituaries.

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