Frederik Law Olmsted Exhibition Opens at Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

Last week, Villa Terrace’s newest exhibition, In the Park with Frederick Law Olmsted: A Vision for Milwaukee, opened. The exhibition, which runs until September 18, 2022, coincides with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, the “Father of American Landscape Architecture.” Olmsted’s legacy on urban development stretches from the creation of Central Park and the World’s Columbian Exposition grounds in Chicago to the influence he had on the formation of Milwaukee’s Park System.

Olmsted grew up in Hartford, Connecticut, where his passion for nature blossomed. During his life, Olmsted took on a variety of jobs including journalist and director of the U.S. Sanitary Commission. In 1850, he took a walking tour of Europe which inspired him to begin plans for the creation of a parks system in the United States.

After his retirement, his sons John Charles and Frederick Jr. carried on the work of the Olmsted Firm, the organization Olmsted created with architect Calvert Vaux in 1857. The Olmsted Firm’s 100-year heritage is responsible for the creation of 6,000 landscapes across North America and is considered the developer of the landscape architecture profession.

The exhibition spans the life and legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted and has a variety of programming on topics of environmental justice, the Milwaukee Parks Foundation mission and values, and democracy. Tickets to view the exhibition can be purchased here (