Beginning in the late nineteenth century, new fortunes in the United States made it possible for many city dwellers to commission country estates. Rising cultural aspirations, a widespread belief in the salutary benefits of country life, the availability of beautiful land, and growing numbers of landscape practitioners set the stage for thousands of such places.
From the 1890s to the waning years of the Great Depression, legions of American estates were constructed on the outskirts of cities, in resorts, and in scenic locales throughout the nation. Taken together, they comprise an important movement in the history of North American landscape design. Seven examples, are the subject of this photographic exhibition: Gwinn, Cleveland, Ohio; Stan Hywet, Akron, Ohio; Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.; Winterthur, Winterthur, Del.; Ford House, Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich.; Val Verde, Santa Barbara, Calif.; and Naumkeag, Stockbridge, Mass.