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© 2003 The President and Fellows of Harvard College
Repository: Arnold Arboretum Archives of Harvard University, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.
Call No.: I B-1 EA
Creator: André, Édouard François, 1840-1911
Quantity: 0.17 linear feet (1 Box)
Access to Finding Aid record in Hollis Classic or Hollis.
Édouard François André (1840-1911) was a leading landscape architect and horticulturist of the late 19th century. Born in Bourges, France, André, the son of a nurseryman, studied with his father and apprenticed with the municipal horticulturist of Angers, France. Young Édouard spent a year at the Museé d'Histoire Naturelle, and at the age of 20 was appointed head gardener of the City of Paris. André participated in the design team that laid out parks and boulevards that transformed Paris into a model modern city. His planting of the Parc des Buttes Chaumont became his signature piece; his work transformed a municipal dump and gallows site into a spectacular park. In 1866, André won an international competition for the design of Sefton Park, a large urban design in Liverpool, England including adjacent boulevards and building sites. He went on to design numerous parks and gardens across Europe including the transformation of the Citadel of Luxumbourg into a large public garden and the creation of the public garden of Monte Carlo as a showcase for tropical plants. His design philosophy, which has been compared to that of F. L. Olmsted, is summed up in L'Art des Jardins, published in 1879.Monsieur André was a productive horticulturist as well. In 1875, he was sent by the government of France on an expedition to South America that collected 3,400 specimens. He maintained an experimental nursery at his country home, and wrote numerous monographs, with particular expertise on bromeliads. André edited L'Illustration Horticôle and the Revûe Horticôle. In 1892 he was appointed the first Professor of Horticultural and Landscape Architecture at the National School of Horticulture.
The Édouard André letters (1886-1905) reflect the decision of Charles Sprague Sargent to have the illustrations of "Silva of North America" engraved and printed in Paris. André, the famous French Landscape Designer, did Sargent the personal favor of arranging, negotiating, and supervising these "Silva" engravings. The letters include the details of these transactions, and reveal a strong kinship based on their mutual respect for each others writings and significant contributions to horticulture. In the letter of 1912 the son of Édouard, René André describes his fathers herbarium collection of 14,207 specimens and kindly seeks offers from Sargent for the collection. Sargent's reply is included here on page 5. For further analysis of the André letters and biographical information see, Arnoldia vol. 54 #2 1994 pp.11-19 "Mon cher ami: The Letters of Edouard André to Charles Sprague Sargent" by Phyllis Andersen.