Brookgreen Gardens, Georgetown County, South Carolina
Visited by thousands of tourists each year, Brookgreen Gardens is known today as a botanical and sculpture garden. Dedicated to the preservation of natural life and sculpture as museum and garden. The gardens are open to the public throughout the year. The Brookgreen Gardens property was part of an early rice plantation system that developed on the banks of the Waccamaw River in the eighteenth century; William Allston (1738-1781) developed the land into a plantation ca. 1760. He was the father of Washington Allston, the well-known American artist. Joseph Alston, buried here, was Governor of South Carolina from 1812 to 1814 and was drawn into the southwestern conspiracy of his close friend, Aaron Burr. Robert F. W. Allston, born here in 1801, was Governor of South Carolina from 1856 to 1858. He was a noted agricultural engineer. Other significant persons associated with the plantations on the Brookgreen property include Joshua Ward, a noted agriculturalist who developed large-grain rice, and Julia Peterkin, a frequent visitor to the plantation and author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Scarlet Sister Mary. In addition, Brookgreen Gardens' founders, Archer Milton Huntington and Anna Hyatt Huntington, were important figures in the development of the American arts.
Brookgreen was sold in January 1930 to Archer Milton Huntington, who with his wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington, developed Brookgreen Gardens as a garden and sculpture museum. Incorporated as an charity organization in 1931, Brookgreen Gardens has
However, the name most intimately associated with Brookgreen Gardens continues to be that of Anna Hyatt Huntington, its co-founder, and the noted premier American sculptress of her time. Aside from her many other accomplishments, Mrs. Huntington was an honorary fellow of the National Sculpture Society, a member of the National Association of Women Artists, the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Academy of Design. Widely recognized in her field, she received many prizes including the Saltus Medal, the Spanish Gold Cross of Alfonso XII and the French Legion of Honor. At Brookgreen, representative examples of Anna Hyatt Huntington's many sculptures include Diana and the Chase (1922), Jaguar Eating and In Memory of a Workhorse. Mrs. Huntington also designed various entrance and garden gates for Brookgreen.
Brookgreen Gardens lies between the Waccamaw River and U.S. Highway 17, in a forest of mixed hardwoods, pines, and semi tropical plants. Designed to preserve the indigenous flora and fauna of the southeast, the Gardens contain close to 1,000 different species and variations of plants. Especially notable among these species are certain rare hollies of the cassia group.
The sculpture garden area was designed by Anna Hyatt Huntington without the aid of a landscape architect. In designing the gardens, Mrs. Huntington used the existing
The Huntingtons’ also designed an unusual water system which was based on the water systems
Archer Milton Huntington (1870-1955) was a poet, scholar, philanthropist and patron of the arts. Independently wealthy and unusually generous, he has been called the greatest benefactor in the history of American sculpture. Huntington made important contributions to at least 37 national cultural institutions, including the American Geographical Society, the American Institute of Arts and Letters and the National Academy of Design. Named Director of the American Academy of the Arts in 1922, Huntington consistently fostered the growth of American cultural institutions and encouraged emerging American artists.
The nominated property includes that part of the area zoned Marshland Preservation
Some of the details on Anna Hyatt Huntington are taken from The Huntington’s, found at the Brookgreen Gardens website at http://www.brookgreen.org/huntington.cfm. The rest is from the National Register of Historic Places documentation on Atalaya prepared by Daniel Ray Sigmon, Historic Researcher for the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism on March 20, 1984, and the National Register of Historic Places documentation on Brookgreen Gardens by Kathy Kelly (Waccamaw Regional Planning and Development Council) John Califf and Julie Burr for the South Carolina. Department of Archives and History, February 4, 1978
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