New book explores the history of the Arnold Arboretum in photographs

by Jon Hetman, Director of External Relations & Communications
March 24, 2016


New book explores the history of the Arnold Arboretum in photographs

LisaBookCoverOn Monday, March 21, Arcadia Publishers released the latest volume in their long-running Images of America series—Arnold Arboretum by Lisa Pearson. The 128-page book features nearly 200 historical black and white images that tell the story of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in Boston, from its days as the colonial era estate of Benjamin Bussey, to the founding of the institution in 1872, and its development in the twentieth century as a world-class botanical institution.

Starting at the Arborway Gate, readers enjoy a photographic journey through more than 140 years of history and across 281-acres of landscape. Striking images drawn from the Arboretum’s extensive photographic archives depict scenes of the renowned Lilac Collection over the years, the construction of the Dana Greenhouses, idyllic Bussey Brook, the view of the Boston skyline from Peters Hill, and all points in between. Images also illustrate the Arboretum’s rich variety of science and education programs, profile notable figures like early directors and plant explorers, and highlight the behind-the-scenes work of propagation, cultivation, and care required to preserve the living collections and the Arboretum’s Olmsted-designed landscape.

Author Lisa Pearson works at the Arboretum as the Head of the Library and Archives, and over the years she has cataloged the majority of the images included in the book. An expert in Arboretum history, Lisa highlights the institution’s legacy to botanical science, Harvard University, and the City of Boston. She hopes that the book will illuminate the Arboretum’s mission for readers and encourage visitors to explore its 281-acre landscape in greater depth. The photographs include images by such notable photographers as Thomas E. Marr, Herbert W. Gleason, and Ernest H. Wilson.

Learn more about Arnold Arboretum by Lisa Pearson and the history of the institution it profiles at a book discussion and signing on Saturday, April 16 at 3:00pm in the Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall at the Arnold Arboretum.

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