Free webinar on Frederick Law Olmsted and sons on Feb. 14 (90 minutes)

James Lewis's picture
February 14, 2022
United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Biography, Environmental History / Studies, Historic Preservation, Urban Design and Planning

This April 26 marks the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, the master designer of public parks and a founder of the field of American landscape architecture. To help mark the occasion, the Forest History Society presents a free webinar with historian and filmmaker Laurence Cotton (originator of and consulting producer to the PBS special “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America”) on Feb. 14. This webinar begins with a 50-minute deep dive into the remarkable life and career of the Renaissance-man Olmsted—writer, philosopher, social reformer, advocate for the preservation of natural scenery, and creator of some of the most beautiful public and private parks and gardens in all of North America. The presentation will also include a visual tour of representative masterful landscapes designed by Olmsted as well as his two sons and the Olmsted Bros. landscape architecture firm, as the footprint of their works literally stretch across the entire continent of North America. This event will conclude with a Q&A session and is scheduled for 90 minutes total. This is part of the Forest History Society's "Conversations in Forest History" webinar series. 

It's highly recommended that before the webinar, you watch the 55-minute PBS film "Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America" that Laurence consulted on, available through Amazon Prime Video or for free here: Classroom instructors will also find free related education materials on the website, including bonus videos and interviews.

A practicing public historian, and writer/producer of historical films for PBS, Laurence Cotton was trained as a cultural anthropologist and brings that lens to bear on much of his work. He has worked with the tribal populations throughout the Columbia River watershed and has also worked on open space acquisition and the designs of parks and trails in Pacific Northwest. He also brings training as an interpretive naturalist, and is an avid birder and photographer.

Registration for the free event is at


Contact Info: 

Jamie Lewis