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Garden Palaces in Glass: A History of Conservatories with John Tschirch, Architectural Historian

October 6, 2018, 11:30 am12:30 pm
The cast iron Gothic Conservatory at Carlton House, London in circa 1811

The cast iron Gothic Conservatory at Carlton House, London, ca. 1811

John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Theater

The history of conservatories: It is a story of taste, travel, and technology. By the mid-18th century, industrial technology produced the iron and glass necessary for the full-scale development of conservatories. Empress Josephine received the Tsar of all the Russias in her glass palace, where she exhibited the finest specimens of roses, orchids, palms, and other delicate blooms. The trend was followed by countless aristocrats and the newly minted millionaires of the 19th century each created conservatories to grace their estates.

In the United States, the vast resources of a continent made their way into the design and improvement of conservatories throughout the Victorian Age. Conservatories appeared in the houses of the wealthy but also in public gardens and parks, for any city with civic pride and cultural aspirations.

This illustrated lecture will feature conservatories across Europe and America in both private houses and public gardens. Period paintings, illustrations, and photographs will bring these structures to life.

Ticket Information

Free for American Decorative Arts Forum Members; $20 public admission. Tickets can be purchased at the door


Contact Information

American Decorative Arts Forum of Northern California
adaf@famsf.org
(415) 750-3593