The Gardens of Brécy: A Lasting Landscape with Dr. Eric T. Haskell

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 6:00pm
LOCATION: The Galleria, San Francisco Design Center

The Nanz Company
Proud Sponsor of the 2017 Lecture Series

The Gardens of Brécy: A Lasting Landscape
With Dr. Eric T. Haskell

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017
6:00pm ~ Reception & Book Signing
7:00pm ~ Illustrated Lecture
The Galleria, San Francisco Design Center


$35 Members and Employees of Professional Member Firms
$45 Non-Members
$20 Emerging Professionals and Student Members
$20 Students (with valid I.D.)

Brécy is the most dazzling, small-scale formal garden in private hands today in France.  Located near the coast of Normandy and constructed during the second half of the seventeenth century, Brécy’s gardens are contemporaneous with Vaux-le-Vicomte and Versailles.  Formal terraces, intricate parterres, and handsome fountains abound in this somewhat countrified version of grand-siècle gardening with a unique Italianate flair.  Jacques de Lacretelle said of Brécy that it possessed “the finery of an Italian princess thrown over the shoulders of a little Normandy peasant girl.”  Recently restored to its seventeenth-century perfection and now open to visitors on a limited basis, Brécy has been the object of one of the most successful private landscape preservation projects in Europe.  This illustrated lecture, which is also the topic of Dr. Haskell’s book of the same name published in Paris, shores up what La Varande called the “inexplicable magnificence” of Brécy, placing it in the context of European garden history, landscape aesthetics, and the arts of France during the Golden Age of the Sun King’s glory.

ERIC T. HASKELL, Professor of French Studies and Interdisciplinary Humanities at Scripps College (Claremont University Center, California) and Director of the Clark Humanities Museum, received his Ph.D. in French Literature from the University of California, Irvine and studied art history and architecture at the École du Louvre in Paris. At Scripps College, he has been the recipient of eleven Outstanding Faculty Achievement Awards in the areas of Scholarship, Teaching and Service, and he has also received a prestigious Mellon Grant for his work on verbal-visual inquiry. His publications in English and French cover a wide range of topics from nineteenth-century poetry to garden history. Dr. Haskell’s Le Nôtre’s Gardens, accompanied an exhibition he curated at the Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. His recent book, Les Jardins de Brécy: Le Paradis Retrouvé / The Gardens of Brécy: A Lasting Landscape, was published in Paris by Les Editions du Huitième Jour in both French and English. He has curated over a dozen exhibitions, authored numerous exhibition catalogues, and directed sixteen French plays. A frequent guest lecturer, Dr. Haskell has delivered over 550 public lectures and scholarly papers in twenty-eight states and in twelve foreign countries. Selected lecture venues include the J.-Paul Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, San Francisco’s de Young and Legion of Honor Museums, the Museum of Fine Arts-Houston, Fort Worth’s Kimbell Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Walter’s Art Museum in Baltimore, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Central Park Conservancy, and the Royal
Museum of Scotland, as well as the Alliance Française and the French Heritage Society (Vieilles Maisons Françaises). He has also spoken at the botanical gardens of Los Angeles, Denver, Fort Worth, Dallas, Chicago, Cleveland, and Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Haskell has delivered scholarly papers at Stanford, the University of California (7 out of 10 campuses), the University of Southern California, the Universities of Hawaii, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire as well as at Duke, Yale, Harvard and at the Universities of London, Paris, Amsterdam, Zurich, Hamburg, Hannover, Sweden, Tunisia, Ottawa, Dundee (Scotland) and at Trinity College, Dublin. Twice he has spoken at the University of Paris' Institute of Aesthetics, a division of France's Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (C.N.R.S.). In 2013, two of France’s highest honors were bestowed upon Dr. Haskell. By decree of the French Minister of Culture, he was knighted as Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters). Past recipients of this award, in recognition of exemplary contributions toward the promulgation and prestige of cultural heritage, include Marcel Marceau, Audrey Hepburn, Rudolf Nureyev, and the former First Lady of France Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. By recommendation of the French Minister of National Education, Dr. Haskell was also inducted as knight into the Order des Palmes Académiques. Founded by Napoléon, the Order of Academic Palms recognizes distinguished teaching, uncommon scholarship, and extraordinary leadership over the course of a professor’s career. It is the oldest nonmilitarydecoration in France and the most prestigious honor for academics.