Arthur Shurcliff Bird's-Eye View Pencil Sketches

Dublin Core


Arthur Shurcliff Bird's-Eye View Pencil Sketches


Shurcliff, Arthur A. (Arthur Asahel), 1870-1957
Landscape architecture - Virginia - Williamsburg
Williamsburg (Va.) - Buildings, structures, etc.
Landscape drawings


Arthur A. Shurcliff [ne Shurtleff] (1870 – 1957) was the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s first landscape architect. A student of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., considered the father of landscape architecture in America, Shurcliff’s Williamsburg gardens are recognized as consummate examples of the Colonial Revival style.

Arthur Shurcliff arrived in Williamsburg in 1928 to join the Williamsburg office of architects Perry, Shaw and Hepburn. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, Shurcliff worked in the office of well-known landscape architects, Charles W. Eliot and Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. in Brookline, Massachusetts between 1896-1905. He then opened his own landscape design practice and received commissions for many landscape projects in Boston, such as the grounds of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Charles River Esplanade, and the Franklin Park Zoo. Between 1928 and 1941, Shurcliff oversaw the planning and layout of gardens at Colonial Williamsburg, as well as of traffic patterns, parking, and street curb design, and continued to advise in a consultant capacity until just before his death in 1957.

Shurcliff’s series of pencil sketches on tissue paper are conceptual views, many from a bird’s-eye perspective, that he and his associates designed to serve as illustrations for discussions about how guests would access the overall Historic Area, as well as specific gardens, and navigate through them. Some also offer ground level views of vistas and landscape features to show the strengths and weaknesses of several variations for a particular design concept.


138 drawings

Collection Items

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Shurcliff, Arthur 1932
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Shurcliff, Arthur 1936
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Shurcliff, Arthur 1935?
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Shurcliff, Arthur 1935
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Campbell, W.M. 1932
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Shurcliff, Arthur 1932
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Shurcliff, Arthur 1935
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Shurcliff, Arthur 1935
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Shurcliff, Arthur 1935
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Shurcliff, Arthur 1939
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Shurcliff, Arthur 1939
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Shurcliff, Arthur 1939
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Shurcliff, Arthur 193?
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Shurcliff, Arthur 193?
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Shurcliff Arthur 193?
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Shurcliff, Arthur 1939
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Campbell, W.M. 1931
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Shurcliff, Arthur 1931
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