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Movie Screening – The Life and Gardens of Beatrix Farrand

September 18, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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Join us for a movie screening of The Life and Gardens of Beatrix Farrand followed by a Q&A with its the director, Karyl Evans, and a guided tour of Hill-Stead’s Beatrix Farrand-designed historic Sunken Garden!  This event will sell out, so secure your seats today!

Museum Members  |  $10
Non-Members  |  $15
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This is the first documentary ever produced about the life and gardens of Beatrix Farrand, the most successful female landscape architect in early 20th century America and one of the founders of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

This compelling film chronicles the life of Beatrix Farrand (1872-1959), the niece of Edith Wharton, who grew up in the privileged world of the East Coast elite and fought through the challenges of working in a male-dominated profession to design over 200 landscape commissions during her remarkable 50-year career.

The documentary takes viewers on an inspiring journey across the country as we explore her personal story and many of her most spectacular gardens, including Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C.; the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden; Garland Farm in Bar Harbor, Maine; the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Bar Harbor, Maine; and her California gardens.

The narrative is recounted through interviews with Farrand scholar Diana Balmori, landscape historian Judith Tankard, and landscape architect Shavaun Towers. Current photographs and footage of more than 50 Farrand-related sites along with archival images from the Beatrix Farrand Archives at the University of California Berkeley are woven together to bring to life Beatrix Farrand’s extraordinary story, reminding us why her awe-inspiring work is still relevant to this day.


Six-time Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Karyl Evans has combined her two most important professional interests – landscape architecture and filmmaking to create the documentary film, The Life and Gardens of Beatrix Farrand. Karyl Evans, who earned her undergraduate degree in horticulture with an emphasis in landscape architecture and a masters degree in filmmaking, has produced the first documentary film ever produced about the historically significant gardens of Beatrix Farrand. For the past three years, Evans has focused her attention on researching Farrand’s life and gardens as many Farrand gardens were being rediscovered and restored, visiting over 50 Farrand-related sites from Maine to California and Washington D.C. to photograph and videotape the gardens and to talk with curators, scholars, and volunteers. In addition, Karyl conducted research at the Beatrix Farrand Archives at the University of California at Berkeley where she discovered never-before-published material now included in her film. Karyl Evans is the owner of Karyl Evans Productions in North Haven, CT, she was a full-time professor at Southern Connecticut State University for two years, and is currently a Yale Fellow.

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