That admirable institution, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, under the strong-willed leadership of Phyllis Lambert, has taken up the task of recording the fate of several of Frederick Law Olmsted’s landscape creations in North America.1 The CCA hired three of our leading landscape photographers—Robert Burley, Lee Friedlander, and Geoffrey James—to assess the status of Olmsted’s works. What has emerged are an exhibition and a book that tell us a great deal more about the photographers’ concerns than about Olmsted’s.

The handsomely printed catalogue to the exhibition provides us with plenty of information about the photographers, their works, and their approaches. The book includes a superb, if too-brief, essay by John Szarkowski on “The Photographer in the...

 
Popular Right Now