Dan Kiley (1912–2004) was one of the most important and influential Modernist landscape architects of the 20th century. During his extensive career, he worked with equally significant architects, including Eero Saarinen, Louis Kahn and I.M. Pei, to create internationally acknowledged design icons.
An exhibit celebrating his vision and work will be opening at the National Building Museum on February 8, and will run through March 18.
Kiley’s design vocabulary, influenced by André Le Nôtre, the 17th century French landscape designer and gardener to King Louis XIV, was often based on grids and allées that could be manipulated to create both intimate enclosures and sprawling expanses. The order, geometry, and endless sweep of landscapes at Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte are the conceptual underpinning of Kiley’s oeuvre.
Many of his projects are significant publicly accessible commissions including the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, MO (which features the Gateway Arch designed by Eero Saarinen); the Miller House and Garden in Columbus, IN (another collaboration with Saarinen, assisted by Kevin Roche and interior designer Alexander Girard); the Ford Foundation in New York, NY; and the Art Institute of Chicago, South Garden, Chicago, IL. There are also several private residences including Kenjockety, the Westport, NY country home of artists Joel Shapiro and Ellen Phelan, and Patterns, the Delaware home of Gov. and Mrs. Pierre S. “Pete” du Pont IV.
This traveling photographic exhibition and retrospective features vibrant photographs, which chronicle a selection of significant public and private commissions from Kiley’s more than 1,000 projects worldwide.
This exhibition is organized by The Cultural Landscape Foundation.
The National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW, Washington, D.C. Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission: adults, 8; youth, students and seniors, $5.