The American Museum & Gardens, in Bath, set to launch £2-million pound ‘New American Garden.’

August 28, 2018 -

The American Museum & Gardens, in Bath, is set to launch a £2-million pound ‘New American Garden.’

The New American Garden will transform the American Museum’s visitor experience and with new landscaping, and planting will provide a horticultural insight into the flora and fauna of the United States.

Designed by Washington DC-based landscape architecture firm OEHME, VAN SWEDEN | OvS, the New American Garden is its first European commission, which includes a series of American-themed gardens and a system of circulation which enhances the existing landscape and views over the Limpley Stoke Valley. The garden will feature many native US plants including trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs and will follow the free-form style made famous by the firm’s founders, Wolfgang Oehme and James van Sweden.

Director Richard Wendorf said “We’re really excited to launch the New American Garden and transformed Mount Vernon Garden. As the only museum outside of the US dedicated to celebrating American culture, we’re constantly seeking new and inspiring ways to showcase American history. Thanks to the generosity of our friends in the UK and US, the New American Garden will extend the experience beyond the doors of our period rooms and galleries. As an American, I’m so pleased visitors will have the opportunity to explore so many wonderful plants from my homeland.”

The garden will see the introduction of a natural amphitheatre which will enable the Museum to host concerts and other events. A new ticket office will serve as the entry point to the Museum and Gardens along with an accessible path providing a winding way through the new features. The work of renowned international sculptor Angela Connor will also feature, with the siting of six larger-than-life portraits of key figures in American history.

Head Gardener Andrew Cannell explains that “The New American Garden is a hugely exciting project with over 12,000 new plants thoughtfully arranged by Oehme Van Sweden in bold, naturalistic swathes. Visitors in September will see the garden at its very beginning and over the years can return to see it grow and develop into something very special.”

Celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh will officially open the New American Garden on Saturday 15 September. The day will feature live music and historical characters in the Mount Vernon Garden giving a flavour of life in 18th century Virginia. Head Gardener Andrew Cannell will be on hand to answer questions about the garden on guided tours.
Visitors will also see the launch of an intimate exhibition of fourteen portrait busts. ‘Face to Face with Angela Conner’ will be on display from the 15 September to 28 October.

The American Museum & Gardens will be free to visit on Saturday 15 September as part of Heritage Open Days.

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Note to Editors

The American Museum in Britain, now the American Museum & Gardens, opened to the public at Claverton Manor near Bath in 1961 with the aim of showcasing the achievements of Americans in the decorative arts and promoting Anglo-American understanding.

It is the only museum outside the United States to showcase the decorative arts of America. The permanent collection includes more than two hundred historic American quilts, exceptional pieces of Shaker furniture, Native American objects, and two hundred historical maps of the New World from the twelfth century to the Renaissance. The museum also has the most significant collection of American folk art in Europe.

The manor house is set within extensive grounds, which include an arboretum of American trees and expansive views across the Bath skyline.

OEHME, VAN SWEDEN | OvS is an award-winning practice of landscape architecture. Their work, shaped equally by art, science, and emotional connections, speaks to their shared passion to reimagine institutions and inspire relationships between people and nature.

Angela Conner is one of Britain’s most prolific sculptors who, for over 40 years, has created Europe’s largest mobile sculptures as well as acclaimed portraits.