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The Cultural Landscape Foundation Launches New Pioneers Oral History about Shlomo Aronson – One of Israel’s Most Important Landscape Architects


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The Cultural Landscape Foundation Launches New Pioneers Oral History about Shlomo Aronson – One of Israel’s Most Important Landscape Architects

Oral History Filmed on Location in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Caesarea and Elsewhere

Washington, D.C. (November 28, 2012) -- The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) today launched its eighth illustrated, online Pioneers Oral History, this one focused on the Israeli landscape architect Shlomo Aronson. For more than four decades Aronson has been one of the most influential landscape architects to shape the modern nation of Israel. He has worked at some of its most historically important sites including the Dung Gate entrance into Jerusalem’s Old City, the 2000-year-old port city of Caesarea, the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and many others. The oral history was filmed on location at Aronson’s home and studio in Ein Kerem (outside of Jerusalem), as well as sites in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva, Ein Gedi (at the Dead Sea), Caesarea and elsewhere. In 25 segments totaling more than one hour Aronson discusses his life, influences, and philosophy – his studies at Berkeley and Harvard, the influence of Lawrence Halprin and other career highlights.

The Aronson Oral History includes a downloadable transcript of the interviews featured on the Web site. Also available are reflections by his friends, family, colleagues, collaborators and co-workers about Aronson’s life, career and legacy.

The series is an outgrowth of the Pioneers of American Landscape Design Project and currently includes oral histories with Edward Daugherty, Stuart Dawson, M. Paul Friedberg, Lawrence Halprin, Carol Johnson, Cornelia Oberlander and James van Sweden. Collectively, these histories document and preserve the unique, first‐hand perspectives of renowned landscape practitioners, and makes them available free of charge to present and future generations of stewards, designers, researchers and others interested in the field.

The series format examines the designer’s personal and professional history, their overall design philosophy and how that approach was carried out in their most emblematic projects. Richly edited, the video segments include never before seen archival footage, new photography, and on‐location videography. Oral histories are currently in production about Laurie Olin and Joseph Yamada.
“Shlomo Aronson has been called the Olmsted of Israel,” said Charles A. Birnbaum, TCLF founder and president, “and this oral history will help introduce his considerable career and body of work to a wider audience.”

It is because of Dr. Nurit Lissovsky at the Technion in Haifa that TCLF embarked on this oral history, and it is because of the unwavering and invaluable support of the Aronson family that we could bring it to a conclusion. Nurit and the Aronsons – his wife Sandra, his daughter-in-law Barbara and his son Ittai – provided exceptional access to Shlomo’s work along with key insights about Shlomo’s life and career and the practice of landscape architecture in Israel that helped shape the narrative of this project. We are grateful to Sandra and the Aronson office for hundreds of wonderful family and project images that they provided, making the project more robust. A special thank you goes to Nurit who also handled innumerable logistical details, and provided us with a deeper understanding of Israel’s cultural complexity, rich history and landscape diversity. TCLF is grateful for the financial support of the Technion R&D Foundation, Michael and Judy Steinhardt, Safdie Architects, Fleur Harlan, The Nathan and Fannye Shafran Foundation and Dr. Carl Steinitz. The Pioneers Oral History series is the recipient of a 2009 National Endowment for the Arts Design Arts grant. The American Society of Landscape Architects is an official education partner for the series with outreach to more than 36,000 landscape architects nationwide.

About The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF)
The Cultural Landscape Foundation provides people with the ability to see, understand and value landscape architecture and its practitioners, in the way many have learned to do with buildings and their designers. Through its Web site, lectures, outreach and publishing, TCLF broadens the support and understanding for cultural landscapes nationwide to help safeguard our priceless heritage for future generations.