National Mall, Washington, DC

John Beardsley – Curator of The Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize

Posted: Mar 24, 2020

Author, educator, and curator, John Beardsley is the inaugural independent curator for the Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize for The Cultural Landscape Foundation. Trained as an art historian, he earned an A.B. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He is the author of numerous books on contemporary art and design, including Earthworks and Beyond: Contemporary Art in the Landscape (fourth edition, 2006) and Gardens of Revelation: Environments by Visionary Artists (1995), as well as many titles on recent landscape architecture. He has taught in the departments of landscape architecture at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, 1985–96; the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1989–92; and Harvard University, Cambridge, where he was an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Design from 1998 to 2013, teaching courses in landscape architectural history, theory, research, and writing.

Beardsley’s exhibitions include “Black Folk Art in America” (Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1982); “Hispanic Art in the United States” (1987); and "The Quilts of Gee's Bend" (2002; both for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston). In 1997 he was curator of the visual arts project "Human Nature: Art and Landscape in Charleston and the Low Country" for the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. From 2008-19, Beardsley served as Director of Garden and Landscape Studies at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington, D.C., where his initiatives included a series of installations of contemporary art in the institution’s historic gardens, as well as a new Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded program in urban landscape studies.