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‘Masterly, such as is seldom found….’ The gardens of Peter Joseph Lenné between Silesia and Pomerania

Europe: Heritage Lived Deutsches Kulturforum östliches Europa

Peter Joseph Lenné (1789-1866) was one of the most significant landscape architects of the 19th century. Born in Bonn in 1789 and coming from a family of gardeners, he took up work in Prussia in 1816 and rose to become the sole Director of the Royal Gardens. Lenné was active in Berlin and Potsdam for almost half a century, and was substantially involved in the creation of the landscape gardens at Potsdam, whilst in Berlin he designed the Tiergarten and the Zoological Garden as large public parks. Furthermore, he was responsible for issues of urban design, for the training of gardeners, for tree nurseries, flower growing and landscaping.
As well as in Potsdam and Berlin, Lenné also worked as a garden designer in all the states of historical Prussia, pioneering new styles and leaving a legacy of numerous landmark gardens which still characterise the landscape today. While those of his parklands which are in the Federal Republic are well known and are practically completely recorded and documented, his work in the former German provinces on the other side of today’s border have been largely forgotten.
The bilingual exhibition “Masterly, such as seldom found….’ The gardens of Peter Joseph Lenné between Silesia and Pomerania” invites visitors to rediscover the landscape gardens conceived by him on the other side of the Oder. It offers an overview of landscape garden design in the former Eastern provinces of Prussia in the Poland of today in which Lenné was directly or indirectly involved. Over thirty gardens can be identified, which were developed with his co-operation and that of his closest colleagues. Most of these lie in the Polish province of Woiwodschaften in West Pomerania/ Pomorze Zachodnie, Lower Silesia/ Dolny Śląsk and Lebus/ Województwo Lubuskie. In the exhibition significant parks will be presented and an outline given of their current condition. Whilst the gardens in the Hirschberger Valley in Silesia are already attracting a large number of visitors, other are still awaiting restoration. In recent decades a number of initiatives have arisen in Woiwodschaften, as mentioned above, which have made this their objective.

Format: Exhibition (in two languages: German – Polish)

Exhibition catalogue
A catalogue for the exhibition has been produced in German with articles on those landscape gardens which were either designed by Lenné or influenced by him in the historical Eastern provinces of the Prussian state which now belong to Poland.

Project Leaders
German Culture Forum for Eastern Europe
Institute for Landscape Architecture, Dresden Technical University
Wroclaw/Breslau University of Science and Technology
Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation, Berlin-Brandenburg

Contact person
German Culture Forum for Eastern Europe
Dr Claudia Tutsch
Berliner Str. 135
14467 Potsdam
Tel: +49 (0)331 200 98-14

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