The landscape architecture legacy of Dan Kiley

Photo courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial St. Louis, Mo. 2013.

The Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History in Middlebury, in partnership with the Vermont Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Cultural Landscape Foundation of Washington, D.C., and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation will host a retrospective exhibit to honor and recognize influential and internationally-acclaimed Vermont landscape architect Daniel Urban Kiley (1912-2004) from May 14 to Sept. 1. Kiley’s practice and home were in Charlotte, where he was inspired by the fields, forests and magnificent waters of the Lake Champlain Valley. 

Following the 100th anniversary of Kiley’s birth, the Cultural Landscape Foundation created the exhibit which consists of four dozen large photographs, both color and black and white, of his more celebrated landscapes, plus biographical information and interpretive analysis. While the exhibit has been featured at multiple museums and universities across the country, most recently at the University of California at Riverside, this is the first time that the exhibit will be presented in Vermont, where Kiley lived and worked and where he and his wife, Anne, raised their eight children. The exhibit provides the only venue in Vermont to view his stunning creations.

Some of Kiley’s most notable designs include the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Dulles Airport in Virginia, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, the Chicago Art Institute, Fountain Place in Dallas, the Henry Moore Sculpture Garden in Kansas City and the St. Louis Arch Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. 

The Kiley firm designed La Dalle Centrale, now known as L’Esplanade du Général de Gaulle, a pedestrian promenade in Paris. In New York City, the Ford Foundation’s 12-story enclosed atrium garden, designed by Dan Kiley, was the first of its kind in the United States and profiled in a New York Times article as a “slice of Eden in the city.”

Kiley was characterized by The New Yorker Magazine in an article by critic Calvin Tomkins as “the leading American landscape architect” of the late 20th century. Architect Kevin Roche, the former Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, commented in the New York Times that Kiley “was the most distinguished landscape architect of the 20th century.” 

In Vermont, Kiley’s designs include the grounds of the Immaculate Conception Church in Burlington, the Twin Farms Resort in Barnard and the Currier Farm in Danby.  He also had landscape architectural consultations with Middlebury College and the University of Vermont.

During the exhibit, several talks and tours related to Dan Kiley are planned. 

For more information, visit henrysheldonmuseum.org.


Kiley exhibit reception

Join the staff and trustees of the Sheldon Museum, 1 Park Street, Middlebury, for a reception Friday, June 7, 5 to 7 p.m. View the exhibit “The Landscape Architecture Legacy of Dan Kiley” and enjoy creative floral arrangements by local gardeners and florists, inspired by Kiley’s landscape designs. Free and open to the public.

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