Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy 150th birthday, Jens Jensen!

Today, September 13th, marks the 150th anniversary of Jens Jensen’s birth! Festivities and events are planned internationally to celebrate this remarkable year. The Clearing in Ellison Bay, Wisconsin is celebrating not only the sesquicentennial of Jensen’s birth, but also the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Clearing. The Jens Jensen Legacy Project of the Chicago Park District has a flotilla of special events celebrating this anniversary year. Celebratory events continue across the ocean with additional events and a conference planned in his native country, Denmark.

Interested in learning more about Jensen? Consider stopping by the Sterling Morton Library and reading some of these selected writings about Jensen, his work -- including the creation of the Clearing:
Grese, Robert E. Jens Jensen : maker of natural parks and gardens, 1992.
Eaton, Leonard K. Landscape artist in America : the life and work of Jens Jensen, 1964.
Fulkerson, Mertha. The story of the Clearing : a Door County legend, 1972.
Bachrach, Julia Sniderman. Inspired by nature : the Garfield Park Conservatory and Chicago’s West Side, 2008.

Find out more about Jensen through his own thoughts and words in Siftings (published in 1939) and The Clearing, “a way of life” (published in 1949). Find out more about Jensen through the eyes of his great grandson, Woody Wheeler, in this essay about Jensen's contributions and work.

In addition to these previously mentioned sources, the Sterling Morton Library has extensive collections relating to the life and work of Jensen. Landscape plans, photographs, correspondence and other assorted documents create a rich resource for researchers and others interested in this “landscape architect, maker of parks, [and] conservationist.”

Over the coming weeks, visit some of the landscapes familiar, preserved, created and revered by Jensen -- and celebrate his important legacy!

“The plains speak of freedom—earth and sky meet on the far horizon. There is nothing to intercept the vision from the infinite.”
-- Jens Jensen in Siftings

No comments: