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In the Park with Olmsted: A Vision for Milwaukee

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April 14, 2022 – September 25, 2022

(Happening Now)

The Friends of Villa Terrace present In the Park with Olmsted: A Vision for Milwaukee at the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum. This exhibition, guest curated by Annemarie Sawkins and Martha Chaiklin, will profile the significant contribution Frederick Law Olmsted, widely regarded as the “Father of American Landscape Architecture,” made toward inclusive, accessible parks systems across the United States. The scheduling of the exhibition is timed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Olmsted (April 26, 1822), a date that is being celebrated internationally to honor Olmsted’s legacy.

While most notably recognized for designing New York City's Central Park, Boston’s Emerald Necklace, and the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Olmsted is locally regarded for his design of Milwaukee’s Lake, Riverside and Washington parks, as well as Newberry Boulevard. To convey Olmsted’s remarkable and rich history, the exhibition includes striking historic and contemporary images, along with a wide variety of maps, plans, posters, paintings, photographs, and videos.

While the legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted can be experienced all over America, the exhibition’s focus on Milwaukee affords the opportunity to take a closer look at both the history and evolution of the county in context, and in relation to cultural and societal change, and to assess our local success and the challenges in maintaining our parks as democratic spaces for all communities to enjoy. While broad in its scope, the exhibition is the point of departure for a rich series of programs at the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum and at partner institutions across Milwaukee that expand on Olmsted’s democratic ideals.

To purchase tickets to the exhibition, click here

For additional information on this exhibition and for a schedule of exhibition-related programming, please visit


This exhibition would not be possible without the support of...


Presenting Sponsors: 

Lead Sponsor: Joseph R. Pabst Fund - Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Exhibition Sponsor and Supporters:

       Mary L. Nohl Fund


 Shorewest, REALTORS® Northshore Office

Exhibition Events

14 Apr

Opening Reception for In the Parks with Olmsted: A Vision for Milwaukee

April 14, 2022 | 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Join us in celebrating the opening of In the Parks with Olmsted: A Vision for Milwaukee, an exhibition presented by the Friends of the Villa Terrace.

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20 Apr

Virginia Small: Olmsted's Enduring Green Legacies in Milwaukee

April 20, 2022 | 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Frederick Law Olmsted contributed far more to greater Milwaukee than the design of three parks and a green boulevard linking two of them.

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26 Apr

Frederick Law Olmsted and “Parks for All”: Democracy, Equity, and Environmental Justice Panel Discussion

April 26, 2022 | 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

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7 May

Frederick Law Olmsted: Bringing Nature into the City and Creating Breathing Space for Democracy

May 07, 2022 | 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Event location: Diercks Hall, MSOE

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11 May

Milwaukee Parks Foundation: Mission and Vision

May 11, 2022 | 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Newly Formed Milwaukee Parks Foundation Shares Their Mission & Vision.

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18 May

Milwaukee County Parks - Challenges and A Path Forward

May 18, 2022 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

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15 Jun

A Virtual Presentation & Conversation with the Author: Hugh Howard

June 15, 2022 | 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

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