Larry Lederman takes readers on a privileged photographic tour through the Rockefeller family gardens in the Hudson Valley and Maine.
The Rockefeller family is synonymous with great wealth, extraordinary philanthropy, and exceptional stewardship of unspoiled landscapes. In their private world, the Rockefellers have created extraordinary gardens. Over the course of a century, their grounds have matured and evolved to reflect the layered visions of three generations of the Rockefeller family. At Kykuit in the Hudson Valley, John D. Rockefeller valued broad expanses of lawns with a noble forest of evergreens at the perimeter. His son—John D. Rockefeller Jr.—molded this landscape into a more formal Beaux-Arts garden design. This garden was later enhanced by Nelson A. Rockefeller’s addition of an extensive collection of twentieth-century sculpture, which is still in place today.
In The Rockefeller Family Gardens, photographer Larry Lederman gives readers unprecedented access to the two Kykuit gardens—the expansive Beaux-Arts–style garden and a little-known Japanese garden, brought to life by Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. This book also takes readers inside the garden at Eyrie, the family summer retreat in Seal Harbor, Maine. There, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller collaborated with noted designer Beatrix Farrand to design a walled garden inspired by Asian aesthetics at the perimeter and filled with traditional perennials.
Lederman’s photographs capture the beauty of these gardens in all seasons, focusing on the geometry of the designs and the color and light that animates them. This tour through the spaces is accompanied by text from Todd Forrest of the New York Botanical Garden, Cassie Banning of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden, and Cynthia Bronson Altman of Kykuit to provide commentary on the design and plant materials featured in this captivating collection of photos.