Glass lantern slides used extensively in Lowthorpe classrooms

Glass lantern slides were used extensively in Lowthorpe classrooms. Students learned plant identification, design principles, and basic garden history during slide lectures.  How bright and colorful the glass lantern slides must have seemed!  Some were labeled with the name of an estate or garden owner, while others were completely unlabeled. A glass lantern slide is…

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Glass Lantern Slides Bring Lowthorpe Gardens to Life

The use of glass lantern slides as visual aids was very important in Lowthorpe classrooms, especially in garden design and history courses.  Technology at the time allowed the slide to be dropped into a wooden and metal “magic lantern” projector aimed at a screen.  The slides were realistic hand-tinted glass pieces and have an ethereal…

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Strong Lowthorpe Presence in House Beautiful magazine, June 1927

It’s so much fun to comb through the garden magazines of yesteryear.  The advertisements alone are priceless!  We can learn about an era simply by paging through an issue. The June 1927 House Beautiful caught my eye because it’s packed with writing by Lowthorpe School graduates and faculty.  The Colonial Revival style was “it” for…

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Lowthorpe Featured in March 1916 House Beautiful Magazine

Lead photograph in the article, House Beautiful, March 1916. A long feature article on Lowthorpe School appeared in the March 1916 issue of House Beautiful.  Black and white photographs of the school and its students were included.  Modern readers get a glimpse of the hands-on classes at work in the greenhouse and the perennial border. …

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“Studying landscape architecture under ideal conditions”

A combination of hands-on horticulture and rigorous work at the drafting board were indeed the ideal conditions for studying landscape architecture.  Agnes Selkirk Clark ‘18 was so pleased with her Lowthorpe education that she was an enthusiastic spokeswoman for the institution for decades.   Her quote was repeated in the school catalogs, excerpted from an article…

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What happened to the Dutchess County Outdoor Ecological Laboratory?

As we saw in the last blog post, Lowthorpe graduate Elsa Rehmann left Vassar in 1927.  The articles she collaborated on with Edith Roberts about the various plant associations were published in House Beautiful that year.  In 1929 their book American Plants for American Gardens appeared.  With today’s emphasis on native plants and the ecological services…

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Elsa Rehmann Profiled Native Plant Communities 100 Years Ago

Elsa Rehmann, Class of 1911, was one of the first known Lowthorpe graduates.  At this time careers for educated women were a new concept, rather than marriage and motherhood. Yet Rehmann was able to successfully make a career by combining designing, writing, and teaching.  Meeting Edith Roberts at Vassar and observing her cutting-edge teaching landscape…

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A Pioneering Woman Landscape Architect’s Career

While browsing old issues of The Cornell Countryman, I discovered what is probably Lowthorpe faculty member Elizabeth Leonard Strang’s first published article.  The Cornell College of Agriculture’s monthly magazine included it in December 1909.  She graduated from the new four-year Outdoor Art Program in February 1910 and became a pioneering woman landscape architect. Entitled “Landscape…

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Tour Two Grand Estates of the 1910s with the Lowthorpe Women

The Lowthorpe catalogs mention that the curriculum included visits to local estate gardens for study purposes.  Let’s tour two grand estates of the 1910s with the Lowthorpe women, according to a write-up in the Weekly Florists’ Review of May 23, 1912. Lowthorpe students (most likely in the horticulture program) joined 40-plus members of the all-male…

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