films: North America by Design

Ruth Shellhorn: Midcentury Landscape Design in Southern California

Ruth Shellhorn,a documentary film in the LALH North America by Design series

Over the course of her nearly sixty-year career, modernist landscape architect Ruth Shellhorn (1909–2006) created close to four hundred landscape designs and collaborated with some of the most celebrated architects in Southern California.Today she is best remembered for her Bullock’s department store designs—lush gardens and fountain-filled courtyards that lured shoppers with the promise of the “Southern California experience.” Shellhorn also worked to preserve the region’s coastline and native landscape and helped lay out Disneyland, conferring with Disney on circulation and plantings. Shellhorn’s many private gardens in Los Angeles and Pasadena were elegant, exotic, and among the most horticulturally distinctive of their day.

Created by LALH in association with Florentine Films/Hott Productions, Inc.

This film was made possible by generous gifts from:

The Aurora-Viburnum Foundation at the California Community Foundation
advised by Sarah L. Turner

The Blackhaw Fund at the Calvert Foundation
advised by James Turner and Dede Delaney
Susan L. Klaus

The Douglass-Wilhite Fund at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation
advised by Ann and Clayton Wilhite
Janine Luke

Azby Art Fund, advised by Thomas Lemann
Mr. and Mrs. Craig Barrow III
Haagen Family Fund, advised by Charals Haagen
Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. Royce
Margaret D. Sullivan, in honor of Robin Karson

Jeff Allen, ASLA
Natalie Shivers, AIA
Southern California Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects

Belinda Bolterauer
George Curry, FASLA
Thomas Eddy, ASLA
Lisa Gimmy Landscape Architecture
Erik Katzmaier and James Kehr
Keith N. Morgan
Darwina L. Neal, FASLA
Deborah Nevins
Mark Resnick
Robert A. M. Stern Architects, LLC
Nesta and Walter Spink
Nancy B. Taylor
Thomas Randall Young

Mrs. Walter F. Ballinger
Wendy Barensfeld
Carolyn Doepke Bennett
Judith Bronowski and Grant Loucks
Nancy Carol Carter
Ann Christoph, FASLA
Natalie Evans, in memory of Morgan “Bill” Evans
Nancy Fee, in honor of Dr. Mark Brack
Liz Goodfellow
Carol Grove
Shannon Hackett
Steven Keylon
Francis R. Kowsky
Mike Lofchie and Hudson Lofchie
Don Marquardt
Flora May W. Nyland
Michael O’Brien
Paula Panich and Bill Linsman, in honor of Kelly Comras, ASLA
Jon Powell, ASLA and Jeri Deneen
Roy and Laurie Regozin
Mike and Marcia Schoettle
Pamela Seager
Marcus and Staci Silverberg
in memory of Stuart Manroel, Martha Manroel, Helen Fisher, and Martin Rubin
Alexis Slafer, ASLA
David Streatfield
Patricia Swope and Kathryn Bingham
Mark and Sally Zelonis, in honor of Kelly Comras, ASLA

Leslie and Mitch Aiken, in honor of Kelly Comras, ASLA
Chris and Zoey Bond
California Garden & Landscape History Society
Cathi Comras, in honor of Kelly Comras, ASLA
Patricia Evans
Tom Fox, in memory of Ruth Shellhorn
Lynn Gammill
Lita Greenberg, in memory of Robert M. Fletcher
Isabelle Greene, FASLA
Judy M. Horton
Marjorie Howard-Jones
Beth Jacobs
Dr. Anne and Mr. Charles Kittrell
Dr. Ben and Mrs. Barbara Kohn, in honor of Kelly Comras, ASLA
Cindy Mediavilla
Lynn and John Murdock
Shirley Shapiro, in honor of Kelly Comras, ASLA
Barbara Shear