Viewing Olmsted: Photographs by Robert Burley, Lee Friedlander and Geoffrey James

Publication, October 1996

In 1988, the CCA began a large photographic commission to photograph the present state of the parks, private estates, subdivisions and cemeteries designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903), North America’s most important landscape architect. Photographers Robert Burley, Lee Friedlander and Geoffrey James spent seven years visiting and revisiting Olmsted’s landscapes—from the best known, such as Central Park in New York City and Boston’s Emerald Necklace, to the lesser known, such as Lake Park in Milwaukee and Mount Royal in Montreal. The object was to investigate the place of these parks in the contemporary city, examining them photographically from many different viewpoints and in many seasons. Viewing Olmsted presents a selection of the complex archive of 936 photographs that was formed at the CCA from this commission.

Edited by Phyllis Lambert
Essays by Paolo Costantini and John Szarkowski
Interviews with Robert Burley, Lee Friedlander, and Geoffrey James by David Harris
Graphic design by Katy Homans

Published in French as Frederick Law Olmsted en perspective : Photographies de Robert Burley, Lee Friedlander et Geoffrey James
Co-published with The MIT Press
Softcover, 119 pages


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