DESIGNING THE LANDSCAPE THAT MADE AMERICA: 

CALVERT VAUX AND HIS PEERS IN THE HUDSON VALLEY

SYMPOSIUM SPEAKERS & PARTNERS

Francis Kowsky – Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts at the State University of New York Professor, Fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians. Professor Kowsky has published widely on nineteenth-century American architecture and architects, including Calvert Vaux, Frederick Withers and H. H. Richardson, as well as the architecture and landscape of Buffalo and northwestern New York State. His Country, Park & City: The Architecture and Life of Calvert Vaux (2003) is the principal Vaux biography. He is currently writing The Dual Career of Calvert Vaux, Architect and Landscape Architect, to be published by the Landscape of American Landscape History in 2023. He has served on the New York State Board for Historic Preservation, the Board of Directors of the Preservation Coalition of Erie County, New York, and is currently a trustee of the National Association for Olmsted Parks. He holds a Ph.D from The John Hopkins University.

Emily T. Cooperman – Architectural and landscape historian and historic preservation consultant, Dr. Cooperman serves as an Architectural Historian at PS&S Architecture & Engineering. Cultural Resources team in 2017. Dr. Cooperman has nearly three decades of experience and is an expert in identifying and evaluating the historical significance of buildings and landscapes. Her published work includes William Birch: Picturing the American Scene, with Lea Carson Sherk (2010). Together with PS&S colleague Kyle Toth, she has recently completed the Historic Narratives for a Cultural Landscape Report for The Point. Dr. Cooperman holds a M.S. in Historic Preservation and a PhD in History of Art and Architecture with a concentration in both architectural and landscape history from the University of Pennsylvania.

 

 

 

Harvey Flad – Emeritus Professor of Geography at Vassar College, Senior Associate Fellow of the Association of American Geographers. Professor Flad’s career has focused on cultural and historic landscapes and environmental and urban planning. He has published widely on 19th C. landscape design theory and practice, including the influence of the Hudson River School of Art in environmental preservation and the role of Andrew Jackson Downing on domesticating the cultural landscape, such as at the National Historic Landmark “Springside” in Poughkeepsie. He been a consultant to the Smithsonian and other museums and galleries, including with the New York Botanical Garden and New York Historical Society for their major exhibit “Hudson Rising: 1825-2025” (2019). He has also consulted on testimony regarding the impact on community character of development proposals in New York State, including the determination to deny the proposed St. Lawrence Cement Plant which would have had a negative visual impact on Olana State Historic Site. His recognition includes Manitoga’s Russel Wright Award for Environmental Preservation.

Judith Major – Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture/Regional and Community Planning in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Design at Kansas State University. Professor Major has published and lectured extensively on 19th-century American landscape architecture, including To Live in a New World: A. J. Downing and American Landscape Gardening (1997) and The Evolution of a Landscape Critic in the Gilded Age: Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer (2013). She holds a BS in Languages from Georgetown University, a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D in Architecture with a specialization in the History & Theory of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.

Sean Sawyer – Washburn and Susan Oberwager President at The Olana Partnership. Dr. Sawyer has served as Executive Director of The Royal Oak Foundation, the American partner of the National Trust of England, Wales & Northern Ireland and as Executive Director of the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum in Brooklyn. He was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Alliance. He has taught at Columbia, Fordham and Harvard universities, as well as The Parsons/New School Master’s Program in the History of Decorative Arts & Design. He holds a B.A. from Princeton University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Kyle Toth  – Architectural and landscape architectural historian at PS&S Integrated Services where his projects include architectural surveys, design guidelines, photographic documentation, and public interpretation. Mr. Toth served as Principal Investigator for a Historic Narrative for a Cultural Landscape Report of the Point, on a PS&S team team including Dr. Emily Cooperman and PS&S archaeologists and historic preservation specialists. Mr. Toth received a B.A. from Vassar College and a M.S. in Historic Preservation with a certificate in landscape studies from the University of Pennsylvania. His master’s thesis, Bringing the Public Back to the Park: Analysis of Springside Landscape’s Preservation Maintenance Plan analyzed the existing management plans for Matthew Vassar’s Springside in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Calvert Vaux Preservation Alliance

Symposium Committee

Pieter Estersohn, Chair

Silvia Callegari

Jeffrey Kosmacher

Brian Lange

Jon Lawson

Nicole Lawson

Michael Mueller

Graphic Design: Dairo Chamorro

 

Classical American Homes Preservation Trust

Co-Sponsor 

Kevin Cherry, Vice President

Classical American Homes Preservation Trust (CAHPT) was founded by Richard H. Jenrette in 1993 with a mission to preserve, protect, and open to the public examples of classical American residential architecture with their surrounding landscapes and scenic trails, as well as fine and decorative arts of the first half of the nineteenth century. CAHPT maintains four sites in three states. It seeks to inspire learners of all ages and to educate the next generation of preservation professionals and craftspeople through hands-on research, applied preservation and inspiring interpretation.

The Garden Conservancy

Supporting Partner

James Brayton Hall, President & CEO

The nonprofit Garden Conservancy preserves, shares, and celebrates America’s gardens and gardening traditions to educate and inspire the public. Founded by Frank Cabot in 1989, the organization helps new and emerging public gardens become community-based public resources, and contributes to the welfare of existing public gardens, so they can manage both natural and manmade challenges. The Conservancy has hosted its signature Open Days at more than more than 4,000 private gardens, welcoming more than 1.3 million visitors in states across the country. Its work includes partnerships with garden owners, gardeners, communities, horticulturists, garden designers, and historians.

About Calvert Vaux Preservation Alliance

Calvert Vaux Preservation Alliance (CVPA) works to restore and find sustainable uses for the Vaux-designed Hoyt House and landscape at The Point in Staatsburg, NY, as well as the site’s 20th-century barn complex and gentleman’s farm. We work to expand awareness of the pivotal role played by Vaux in American architecture and landscape design, and to make The Point a place where his work can be experienced and enjoyed. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, CVPA serves the Mid-Hudson economy by developing sustainable uses for The Point’s many structures, drawing visitors to Mills Norrie State Park, and creating greater appreciation for the many exciting Vaux resources throughout the region. We serve all Americans by helping to forge a more complete narrative of our nation’s cultural history.