Fletcher Steele

One of the foremost landscape designers of the early twentieth century, Fletcher Steele (1885–1971), created more than seven hundred landscapes, most of them private gardens, over the course of his long career. Steele published frequently in both popular and professional magazines, on topics that ranged from horticulture to conservation, civic improvement, modernism, and space composition. In his built works he deployed his training in classical landscape architecture as a foundation for experimenting with modernist spatial constructs. Shortly after visiting the 1925 Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes in Paris, Steele began working on one of his longest-lasting commissions, Naumkeag, Mabel Choate’s estate in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. His work there and at the Camden (Maine) Public Library inspired several members of the next generation of modernist landscape architects, including Dan Kiley.