Join us at The Branch Museum for a lecture by legendary architect and illustrator, Carlton Abbott, on the design and history of The Blue Ridge Parkway. An exhibit of Abbott’s work, “Carlton Abbott: 50 Years of Architectural Drawings” is currently on view in the main galleries of The Branch Museum through Jan. 7th, 2017.
This exhibit spans Abbott’s entire career and celebrates his unique ability to affect his community in a profound way. More specifically, this exhibition holds a notable series of drawings which depict some of the buildings along the Blue Ridge Parkway. These images hold precedence due to Abbott’s father, Stanley Abbott, being the primary designer of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
On June 30, 1936, Congress formally announced the establishment of the Blue Ridge Parkway; it was placed under the jurisdiction of the National Parks Service, and Stanley William Abbott was officially named the Resident Landscape Architect and the Acting Superintendent. He was only 25 years old. He remained as the lead designer of the Parkway and its Superintendent until the outbreak of WWII when he was called into service for the war effort.
Stanley Abbott’s youth was not a deterrent to his appointment by two of the founders of parkway design, Jay Downer and Gilmore D. Clarke. Abbott was already well-known in the small circle of landscape architect professional, and saw this new and expansive project as an opportunity to extend his vision of an environmentally sensitive design plan that would preserve the cultural history of Appalachia. His vision and genius produced a parkway that remains one of the most significant examples of landscape architecture in the country.
Carlton Abbott’s career began after he graduated from the University of Virginia and finished his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Fontainebleau, France. After this, Abbott went on to become an artist and architect. Though primarily known for his landmark museums and high-profile structures, Abbott is also an accomplished artist.
Join us! Light refreshments from 5:30 – 6:00 PM; lecture 6:00 – 7:00 PM. Free for Branch Museum members; $10 for non-members. Advance registration required HERE.