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RUTH SHELLHORN: MIDCENTURY LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

  • September 19, 2017
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Marin Art & Garden Center • 30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Ross, CA 94957

Tuesday, September 19, 2017  •  6:00 -7:30 pm

$15 admission includes wine reception and book signing

at Marin Art & Garden Center  •  30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Ross, CA 94957  (415) 455-5260


Author Kelly Comras will present a fascinating glimpse into the life and career of landscape architect Ruth Shellhorn, who helped define the distinctive mid-century regional aesthetic of Southern California.

Best known for her work on the Bullock’s department stores and Fashion Square shopping centers, projects that redefined the commercial genre as a relaxing and entertaining activity, and for her work with Walt Disney on the original design of Disneyland, Shellhorn also designed a landscape master plan for the University of California at Riverside and other campuses, as well as a number of private gardens and estates for movie stars and the business and financial leaders of the Los Angeles region. She created landscape designs that refined the indoor-outdoor living concept, and she developed a palette of plant materials that perfectly expressed the exuberance and optimism of the post-war era, which became known as “the Southern California look.”


Kelly Comras met Shellhorn when she was in her 90’s and had the remarkable opportunity to explore her professional archives and discuss her life and career one on one. These conversations and extensive research led to the publication of Ruth Shellhorn: Midcentury Landscape Architecture in Southern California, which was published by the University of Georgia Press and Library of American Landscape History in 2016, and the production of a 15-minute documentary.


This lecture and film presentation is co-sponsored by the California Garden & Landscape History Society. Author and landscape architect Kelly Comras, past president of CGLHS, presented this program earlier this year as part of the CGLHS lecture series at the Huntington Library & Gardens.



The Marin Art & Garden Center is an 11-acre historic site and garden located in Ross, Marin County, just 10 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Founded in 1945 on a former estate property, MAGC is a lively center for learning, cultural programs, and celebrations. Majestic specimen trees highlight a landscape rich in flowering shrubs and seasonal plantings. Classes, lectures, and workshops are held year round. MAGC is open to the public, free of charge, seven days a week. For more information, go to www.magc.org


Tickets available at www.magc.org