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While visiting the Villa d'Este in 1913, Pierre S. du Pont, the founder of Longwood Gardens, announced, “It would be nice to have something like this at home.” This was a sentiment shared by other wealthy Americans visiting Europe around the same time. American residential landscape design in the late 19th and early 20th centuries—now known as the "Country Place Era"—was driven by these educated and well-traveled individuals who had the desire and means to build elaborate European-style estates at home. Mr. du Pont was developing Longwood Gardens not long after George Washington Vanderbilt II established the sprawling Biltmore Estate; at the same time, William Bowers Bourn II was constructing his country house, Filoli, and John D. Rockefeller was building this hilltop palace, Kykuit.

The Music Men

July 17, 2015
Last Friday, the first of four installments of the Artists & Friends Speakers Series took place with three panelists: Ricardo Rivera, director of Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective and founding member of Klip Collective; composer and musician Jon Barthmus of Sun Airway; and composer and musician Justin Geller of Pink Skull. Guests heard the panelists discuss their varied artistic backgrounds, and they also learned about the lengthy collaboration and development process for the sights and sounds that combine to create the Nightscape installations. The minds behind Nightscape are friends who have worked together on several different projects. When Rivera found out that Klip Collective would be working with Longwood Gardens, he knew right away that relying on Barthmus and Pink Skull for Nightscape’s music would perfectly bind together his video installations in different parts of the Gardens.