Page 1

The Radical Victorians


1_

National, Regional & Local Role ., The Norris Arboretum is one of the great arboreta

of the United States. Located on the northwest edge of Philadelphia, it has 175 acres of gardens, meadows, and natural woodlands, incorporating a

number of carefully planned victorian vistas. It is bordered by one of the nation's largest city park systems as well as by the historic neighborhoods , and gardens of Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, and Germantown.

This area, with over 900 historic

buildings, was originally preferred over williamsburg as a site for the Rockefeller Foundation's historic restorations.

The population within a 15-mile radius of the Morris Arboretum is well over 4 million persons.

New York City and Washington, D.C. are within a 120-mile radius, giving the Arboretum a visitor potential of about 15% of the total population of the United States. Attendance varies at leading institutions that reflect science and nature to public audiences. Characteristically, three-quarters of such visitors are 'casual' in the sense of having general rather than specific professional interests. For example,

the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. attracts half a million persons a year; the Arizona-Sonora Desert :Huseurn in Tucson, Arizona attracts the same number; Longwood Gardens in

Kennett Square, PA attracts 800,000; and the Trailside l1useum and Nature Trails in Bear Nountain,

New York, 600,000 a year.

The l10rris Arboretum's

planning assumes a potential annual visitor attendance in these ranges.

The Horris Arboretum has a plant collection and a historical and natural setting of undeniable quali ty and a ttracti ve'ness; programs and acti vi ties for different audiences; an awareness of public interest and involvement in natural environments; a strong population base; accessibility via private car, bus, and rail transportation; a fine

professional staff complemented by outstanding consultants; a large group of well-trained volunteers to assist in all aspects of operations; and

internal and external leadership committed to the growth and development of the Arboretum as a national resource.

With its traditions and its commitment to meeting present and future needs, the Morris Arboretum is

truly a legacy of the Victorian era.


Background What is today the Morris Arboretum began in 1887 as the private garden of horticulturalists and world travelers John Morris and his sister Lydia. Their country estate, 'Compton', was designed in the tradition of the great English Romantic landscapes. Planted with seeds from a wide range of trees and shrubs collected on the Morris travels in Europe and the Orient, the natural setting of 'Compton' was enhanced with Victorian architectural features, fountains, and statuary. The Morris Arboretum today is a living museum of Victoriana, with one of the most comprehensive collections of Asian plants in the united States. The 175-acre estate was bequeathed to the university of Pennsylvania in 1932. In 1978 its importance as a national treasure was confirmed when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Arboretum presents a constantly changing exhibit, open to the public 364 days a year and viewed by over 25,000 persons last year. with increasing awareness of man's vital and inseparable relationship to his environment, the mission of an arboretum takes on new dimensions. Working together, Morris Arboretum staff, consultants, and advisors have developed a farreaching plan that will reinforce present services, revitalize present collections, add new resources for research and scholarship, and establish the Arboretum strongly on the frontiers of professional and public activity in urban forestry. The Morris Arboretum and its sister institutions, such as zoos and museums of natural history, were founded in a period of scientific, social, and intellectual change. One of those changes was the beginning of an awareness that man must learn to preserve, protect, and live in harmony with his environment. Yet, even today, the environmental challenge remains. Simply put, in the form of a question, it is this: Can the profound and needed commitment, resources, energy, and passion be mobilized in time to permit survival of the planet?


The Radical Victorians ., The dominant intellectual and worldly pursuits of each era in history have been reflected in the art of their landscapes. The exhibits of the restored gardens at Compton will explore and reveal the Victorian world view and its impact in shaping the landscape today. As a public park it will be a celebration of the Victorian garden, designed to delight as well as to educate the visitor. There will be new access and parking facilities, a new circulation system, interpretive programs including

both interior and exterior exhibits, guide books and maps, garden signage, and other support activities that will reinforce the Victorian theme. The Compton gardens, with its architectural features and plant collection, as well as the major preoccupations of the Victorians will provide the exhibit themes. In the restored Morris gardens, the visitor will explore an expansive and contradictory era that still profoundly influences our present attitudes toward plants, gardens, and the landscape as a whole. It was the era of the factory and the industrialist, of Marx, Darwin, and Freud,

of public parks, zoos, and arboreta -- the era which laid the foundation of our modern world. There was great fermentation in all matters intellectual during the Victorian Age. It was a time of radical change that saw a deep clash between the old and the new. Perhaps the most fundamental revolution of the era came in 1859 with the publication of Darwin's Origin of the Species.

To the public's mind, evolution was

heralded as proof of the perfectability of man and his world and progress was seen as a law of the universe. with the increasing specialization of science,

man foresaw an end to hunger and the extirpation of disease and social ills. Yet amid these utopian visions there was also profound doubt. OUr fate now seemed tied to the battleground that was nature, 'red in tooth and claw'. With the freedom to control came responsibility and anxiety. This era, its legacy today, and a magnificent garden provide the themes of the exhibits of Compton at the Morris Arboretum.


1.

Pedestrian Entrance to Compton at Germantown'and Hillcrest Avenues

2路 New

Entrance Drive

3

parki"ng Courts

4

Education Center

Compton Support Systems CIRCULATION ENTRANCES & CONTROL ORIENTATION EDUCATION CENTER PARKING SERVICES INTERPRETIVE EXHIBITS

~" Restored

Historic Gardens

New Interpretive Exhibits


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FAR FLUNG FORAYS -- The explorations of Chinese Wilson and others brought back the plant world of Asia, where the forests parallel our own. Oriental garden styles as well as rare and historic specimens can be seen on the Wilson Loop.

THE SCIENCE OF LIFE -- The renovated Carriage House will provide a period setting to introduce the visitor to the grounds and house complementary exhibits on the art, architecture, and morality of the era. The camera obscura will capture the excitement of the explosion of travel, science, and communication.

THE INVENTIVE MIND -- The fernery, designed by John Morris, provides a jewel-like encapsulation of a time when everything was rethought and complexity was cherished. A miniature oriental garden and grotto are set in a comprehensive collection of ferns.


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THE INHERITORS OF THE AGES -- The Victorians saw themselves

as

the pinnacle of western

civilization and shared the Romantics' love of garden representations of golden ages --

including classical and oriental temples and fountains and an italiannate balustrade.

GREAT EXPECTilTIONS -- Man was seen as the shaper of his own destiny, a Prometheus who could improve upon nature.

The waterworks at Seven Arches represents a flourishing technology,

and the plant collection reflects the passion for collecting and categorizing the exotic.

THE ORGANIZED PURSUIT OF PLEASURE -_. It was an era of inv<?stment in public places where the middle and upper classes could pass their hours of leisure. The carriage drive will reveal to visitors the artful contrivances and vistas of the estate park, woodlands, and gardens.


Calendar of Events .,

EXHIBITS

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

The Radical Victorians, an exterior exhibit which will show the public Victorian gardens as a way of revealing the passions and energies of the Victorian mind, which to a great extent still shapes our view of the world.

Support for on-going lecture and film series, "how to" demonstrations, classes and workshops for adults.

Exterior exhibit themes: Victorian to modern plant exploration; relationships between historic garden styles and the natural environments in which they developed; Asia and European forest parallels to our native American forest; trees for urban use; public park management.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS Special courses and sendnars, for credit, for area college and graduate students, based on Arboretum resources and exhibits.

Special workshops for park and land management.

Interior exhibit themes, to be developed as traveling exhibits: The Garden at Compton; Camera Obscura at the site of the Compton Mansion; The Radical Victorians -Their Science and Art; The Plant Exploration of E.H. Wilson; The Greening of Christmas -- An Historical Survey; Garden Games -- European, Asian, and American; Plant Identification and Classification in Various Cultures; Famous Garden Parties -Activities, Mores, Styles; Famous Gardens of the Delaware Valley.

City park trainee recruitment programs, in conjunction with existing city and state projects, for culturally disadvantaged persons.

SPECIAL EVENTS

SUPPORT ACTIVITIES

A Victorian Field Day. The opening of the Radical victorian exhibit will be celebrated with a field day including balloon ascension, high-wheeler bicycle riding, hurdy-gurdies, and ice cream amid the renovated gardens and features. Development of an evening program for the Arboretum using the techniques of IIsanne et lumiere ll to bring the Victorian garden experience to life. The program would include design of lighting and tape system which could.be overheard at the garden's major features along the tour loop -- including reading aloud from a Victorian novel in the Pergola, an assignation at the Love Temple, wildlife sounds, etc.

Joint programs with other institutions, such as the Arboretum and historical Germantown landscape restoration and management project.

Teacher training and outreach programs for area schools and special interest groups.

Student internships Special evening and weekend workshops for adults and children.

Monthly newspaper column, local and syndicated, on appropriate horticulture notes for the layperson. Support on-going research in horticulture, plant pathology and land management. Active publication of guidebooks and texts based on Arbo{'~'ttim': resources I exhibits I and • • . • ,<

research.


National, Regional & Local Role , The Morris Arboretum is one of the great arboreta

of the United States. Located on the northwest edge of Philadelphia, it has 175 acres of gardens, pastures, and natural woodlands which encompass

the varied geologies of the Whitemarsh Valley and the Wissahickon Formation. Two small streams cross the Arboretum, and it is bordered

by lVissahickon Creek and by Fairmount Park, one of the nation's largest city park systems,

as well as by the historic neighborhoods of Chestnut Hill, Germantown, !'-1t. Airy, Flourtown,

and Whitemarsh. The population within a 15-mile radius of the Morris Arboretum is well over 4 million persons.

New York City and Washington, D.C. are within a 120-rnile radius, giving the Arboretum visitor

potential of about 15% of the total population of the United States. Attendance at leading institutions that reflect science and nature to public audiences varies. Characteristically, three-quarters of such visitors are 'casual' in the sense of having

general rather than specific professional interests.

For example, the U.S. National

Arboretum in Washington, D.C. attracts half a million people a year; the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona attracts the same number; Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square,

PA attracts 800,000; and the Trailside Museum and Nature Trails in Bear Mountain, New York,

600,000 a year.

The Morris Arboretum's

planning assumes a potential annual visitor attendance in these ranges.

The Morris Arboretum has a plant collection and a historical and natural setting of undeniable quality and attractiveness; programs and activities for different audiences; an awareness of public interest and involvement in natural environments; a strong population base, accessibility via private car, bus, and rail transporta-

tion; a fine professional staff complemented by outstanding consultants; a large group of welltrained volunteers to assist in all aspects of operations; and internal and external leadership

committed to the growth and development of the Arboretum as a national resource.


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The Radical Victorians


Background What is today the Morris Arboretum began in 1887 as the private garden of horticulturalists and world travelers John Morris and his sister Lydia. Their country estate, 'compton', was designed in the tradition of the great English Romantic landscapes. Planted with seeds from a wide range of trees and shrubs collected on the Morris travels in Europe and the Orient, the natural setting of 'Compton' was enhanced with Victorian architectural features, fountains, and statuary. The Morris Arboretum today is a living museum of Victoriana, with one of the most comprehensive collections of Asian plants in the United States. The 175-acre estate was bequeathed to the University of Pennsylvania in 1932. In 1978 its importance as a national treasure was confirmed when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Arboretum presents a constantly changing exhibit, open to the public 364 days a year and viewed by over 25,000 persons last year.

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with increasing awareness of man's vital and inseparable relationship to his environment, the mission of an arboretum takes on new dimensions. Working together, Morris Arboretum staff, consultants, and advisors have developed a farreaching plan that will reinforce present services, revitalize present collections, add new resources for research and scholarship, and establish the Arboretum strongly on the frontiers of professional and public activity in urban forestry.

The Morris Arboretum and its sister institutions, such as zoos and museums of natural history, were founded in a period of scientific, social, and intellectual change. One of those changes was the beginning of an awareness that man must learn to preserve, protect, and live in harmony with his environment. Yet, even today, the environmental challenge remains. Simply put, in the form of a question, it is this: Can the profound and needed commitment, resources, energy, and passion be mobilized in time to permit survival of the planet?


National, Regional & Local Role The Morris Arboretum is one of the great arboreta of the united States. Located on the northwest edge of Philadelphia, it has 175 acres of gardens, meadows, and natural woodlands, incorporating a

number of carefully planned Victorian vistas. It is bordered by one of the nation's largest city park systems as well as by the historic neighborhoods and gardens of Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, and Germantown. This area, with over 900 historic buildings, was originally preferred over Williamsburg as a site for the Rockefeller Foundation's historic restora tions.

The population within a 15-mile radius of the Morris Arboretum is well over 4 million persons. New York City and Washington, D.C. are within a 120-mile radius, giving the Arboretum a visitor potential of about 15% of the total population of the United States. Attendance varies at leading institutions that reflect science and nature to public audiences. Characteristically, three-quarters of such visitors are 'casual' in the sense of having general rather

than specific professional interests. For example, the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. attracts half a million persons a year; the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona

attracts the same number; Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA attracts 800,000; and the Trailside Huseum and Nature Trails in Bear Mountain,

New York, 600,000 a year. The Norris Arboretum's planning assumes a potential annual visitor attendance in these ranges. The Morris Arboretum has a plant collection and a historical and natural setting of undeniable quality and attractiveness; programs and activities for different audiences; an awareness of public interest and involvement in natural environments;

a strong population base; accessibility via private car, bus, and rail transportation; a fine

professional staff complemented by outstanding consultants; a large group of well-trained volunteers to assist in all aspects of operations; and internal and external leadership committed to the growth and development of the Arboretum as a national resource.

With its traditions and its commitment to meeting present and future needs, the Morris Arboretum is truly a legacy of the Victorian era.


The Radical Victorians The dominant intellectual and worldly pursuits of each era in history have been reflected in the art of their landscapes. The exhibits of the restored gardens at Compton will explore and reveal the Victorian world view and its impact in shaping the landscape today. As a public park it will be a celebration of the Victorian garden, designed to delight as well as to educate the visitor. There will be new access and parking facilities, a new circulation system, interpretive programs including both interior and exterior exhibits, guide books and maps, garden signage, and other support activities that will reinforce the Victorian theme. The Compton gardens, with its architectural features and plant collection, as well as the major preoccupations of the Victorians will provide the exhibit themes. In the restored Morris gardens, the visitor will explore an expansive and contradictory era that still profoundly influences our present attitudes toward plants, gardens, and the landscape as a whole. It was the era of the factory and the industrialist, of Marx, Darwin, and Freud, of public parks, zoos, and arboreta -- the era which laid the foundation of our modern world. There was great fermentation in all matters intellectual during the Victorian Age. It was a time of radical change that saw a deep clash between the old and the new. Perhaps the most fundamental revolution of the era came in 1859 with the publication of Darwin's Origin of the Species. To the public's mind, evolution was heralded as proof of the perfectability of man and his world and progress was seen as a law of the universe. With the increasing specialization of science, man foresaw an end to hunger and the extirpation of disease and social ills. Yet amid these utopian visions there was also profound doubt. Our fate now seemed tied to the battleground that was nature, 'red in tooth and claw'. With the freedom to control came responsibility and anxiety. This era, its legacy today, and a magnificent garden provide the themes of the exhibits of Compton at the Morris Arboretum.


THE INHERITORS OF THE AGES -- The Victorians saw themselves as the pinnacle of western civilization and shared the Romantics' love of garden representations of golden ages -including classical and oriental temples and fountains and an italiannate balustrade.

GREAT EXPEC:nlTIONS -- Man was seen as the shaper of his own destiny, a Prometheus who could improve upon nature. The waterworks at Seven Arches represents a flourishing technology, and the plant collection reflects the passion for collecting and categorizing the exotic.

THE ORGANIZED PURSUIT OF PLEASURE -- It was an era of investment in public places where the middle and upper classes could pass their hours of leisure. The carriage drive will reveal to visitors the artful contrivances and vistas of the estate park, woodlands, and gardens.


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AR FLUNG FORAYS -- The explorations of Chinese Wilson and others brought back the plant arid of Asia, where the forests parallel our own. Oriental garden styles as well as are and historic specimens can be seen on the Wilson LooPa

IE SCIENCE OF LIFE -- The renovated Carriage House will provide a period se to 1troduce the visitor to the grounds and house complementary exhibits on the art, ,chitecture, and morality of the era. The camera obscura will capture the excitement ~

the explosion of travel, science, and communicationa

"IE INVENTIVE MIND -- The fernery, designed by John Morris, provides a jewel-like 1capsulation of a time when everything was rethought and complexity was cherished. miniature oriental garden and grotto are set in a comprehensive collection of ferns.


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The Compton Gardens Exhibit Themes

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Pedestrian Entrance to Compton at Germantown"and Hillcrest Avenues

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Parking Courts

4

Education Center

Restored Historic Gardens

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New Interpretive Exhibits

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Jompton 'upport 'ystems RCULATION 'TRANCES [; CONTROL IENTATION 'UCATION CENTER RKING 'RVICES 'TERPRETIVE EXHIBITS


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Calendar of Events

EXHIBITS

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

The Radical Victorians, an exterior exhibit which will show the public Victorian gardens as a way of revealing the passions and energies of the Victorian mind, which to a great extent still shapes our view of the world. Exterior exhibit themes: Victorian to modern plant exploration; relationships between historic garden styles and the natural environments in which they developed; Asia and European forest parallels to our native American forest; trees for urban use; public park management.

Support for on-going lecture and film series, IIhow toll demonstrations, classes and work-

shops for adults.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS Special courses and seminars, for credit,

for area college and graduate students, based on Arboretum resources and exhibits. Special workshops for park and land management.

Interior exhibit themes, to be developed as traveling exhibits: The Garden at Compton; Camera Obscura at the site of the Compton Mansion; The Radical Victorians -Their Science and Art; The Plant Exploration of E.H. Wilson; The Greening of Christmas -- An Historical Survey; Garden Games -- European, Asian, and American; Plant Identification and Classification in various Cultures; Famous Garden Parties -Activities, Mores, Styles; Famous Gardens of the Delaware Valley.

Special evening and weekend workshops for adults and children.

SPECIAL EVENTS

SUPPORT ACTIVITIES

Teacher training and outreach programs for area schools and special interest groups. City park trainee recruitment programs, in conjunction with existing city and state projects, for culturally disadvantaged persons.

Student internships

\

A Victorian Field Day. The opening of the Radical Victorian exhibit will be celebrated with a field day including balloon ascension, high-wheeler bicycle riding, hurdy-gurdies, and ice cream amid the renovated gardens and features. Development of an evening program for the Arboretum using the techniques of "sonne et lumiere u to bring the Victorian garden experience to life. The program would include design of lighting and tape system which could be overheard at the garden's major features along the tour loop -- ""including reading aloud from a Victorian novel in the Pergola, an assignation at the Love Temple, wildlife sounds, etc.

Joint programs with other institutions, such as the Arboretum and historical Germantown landscape restoration and management project. Monthly newspaper column, local and syndicated, on appropriate horticulture notes for the layperson. Support on-going research in horticulture, plant pathology and land management. , "

Active publication of guidebooks and texts based on ArboietllJ!i:resources, eXhibits, and research.

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Morris Arboretum The Radical Victorians  
Morris Arboretum The Radical Victorians