Robert Royston (1918–2008) was one of America's most distinguished landscape architects during the post-war period. His design work and university teaching in the years following World War II helped define and establish California landscape modernism. Royston is best known for his public works, especially city parks, however, the San Francisco–based landscape architect also designed innovative gardens over the course of his long and productive career. These outdoor living spaces were enlivened by the shapes and rhythms of modern art and characterized by fine detail, attention to comfort and beauty.
In this talk, JC Miller will present Royston’s work with an emphasis on his residential projects, including his final commission, a series of gardens for the Palm Springs homes of Brent R. Harris and Lisa Meulbroek. That is a particularly rich design, owing to its dramatic scenic and architectural setting which includes two significant modern homes, one designed by Welton Becket & Associates and the other by Richard George Wheeler, with additions by Albert Frey. Miller will discuss the experience of working directly with Royston on the design of the project and his continued collaboration with the owners through the years.
JC Miller is a partner at Vallier Design Associates in Point Richmond, California, and the former director of the Landscape Architecture Certificate Program at UC Berkeley Extension. He currently teaches the History of the Designed Landscape online for UCLA . He worked for more than a decade in the Royston office and, as a principal, assisted Royston in the design and execution of his final projects. He is coauthor of Robert Royston, a volume in Library of American Landscape History’s Masters of Modern Landscape Design series.
A book signing of Reuben Rainey and JC Miller’s Robert Royston (University of Georgia Press, 2019 in association with Library of American Landscape History) will follow this presentation.
Things to Know
This event is for all ages.
This event is wheelchair accessible.
The organizer of this event is Modernism Week.
Event Check-in Location
Modernism Week CAMP Theater, 575 N Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Photo Credits: (Chinn Garden, San Francisco, CA circa 1950 Photograph by Ernest Braun, used with permission Ernest Braun Archive, Royston designed patio and furniture circa 1955 Photographer unknown, author’s collection, Royston garden, Mill Valley, CA circa 1950 Photograph by Ernest Braun, used with permission Ernest Braun Archive, Wilson garden Mill Valley, CA circa 1950 Photographer unknown, author’s collection.
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