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Repository: Special Collections, Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University
Call No.: DES.1981.0001.000603275
Title: Shurcliff, Arthur A. and Shurcliff, Sidney N., papers.
Date(s): 1900 - ca. 1981
Creator: Shurcliff, Arthur A. (Arthur Asahel), 1870-1957; Shurcliff, Sidney N., 1906-1981.
Quantity: 100 linear feet
Quantity: Extent is approximate
Abstract: Drawings, plans, manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, slides and ephemera related to the landscape design practice founded by Arthur A. Shurcliff and its successor firms.
Arthur A. Shurcliff (born Shurtleff) was educated at MIT and Harvard’s Bussey Institute. He apprenticed at the Olmsted office until opening an independent practice in 1904. In 1899-1901 he assisted Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. in establishing Harvard’s School of Landscape Architecture, the first professional program of its kind. Perhaps best known as the landscape designer for the recreation/restoration of Colonial Williamsburg, Shurcliff’s practice encompassed not only private gardens and landscape restorations, but also the planning of public parks, roadways and other recreational facilities. He served as a consultant to the Boston Park Dept. for several decades and as chief landscape architect for the Metropolitan District Commission. An accomplished essayist, inventor and painter, Shurcliff’s interests in American history, traditional landscape and horticulture richly informed his professional practice.Arthur A. Shurcliff was a founding member of the American City Planning Instititute and was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1905; he served as ASLA’s president, 1928-1932.Sidney N. Shurcliff (who received both his undergraduate and graduate education as a landscape architect at Harvard) joined his father in practice in the 1930s. Shurcliff continued his father’s practice and expanded its scope; the firm was ultimately to be known as Shurcliff, Merrill & Footit. An enthusiastic sportsman and filmmaker, Sidney Shurcliff was also notably active as a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
The Shurcliff Collection includes drawings and plans related to firm projects, as well as professional and personal correspondence. Also included are miscellaneous manuscript and printed materials, an early billbook, a personal diary and hundreds of photographs and slides. These visual materials relate not only to firm work, but served as research images in the Shurcliff office.
The Shurcliff Collection is composed of Series A (Drawings and Plans), Series B (Professional correspondence), Series C (Photographs), Series E (Slides), Series F (Correspondence/Personal Papers of Arthur A. Shurcliff) and Series G (Correspondence/Personal Papers of Sidney N. Shurcliff).