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The Art Gallery of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that we are located on Treaty 6 Territory, the traditional land of diverse Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Nitsitapi/Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/Saulteaux/Anishinaabe. We also acknowledge all of the Indigenous, Inuit and Métis peoples who make Alberta their home today.

Genius Loci

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Quotes and anecdotes from landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander

 “Today’s graduating professions all deal with our most precious resource—LAND. Treat it as a finite resource, not as a commodity. Show never-ending compassion for this wonderful land and space that we hold in stewardship. Do not exploit this globe. Our wellbeing on this earth depends on the state of health of the environment. But above all, develop and practice an ethical, aesthetic and caring design and building process.” —Cornelia Hahn Oberlander in her address to graduating class at University of British Columbia, 1991.

ARCH252723
Perspective view for Children’s Creative Centre, Canadian Federal Pavilion, Expo ’67 Montréal, Québec, ca 1967. ARCH 252723. Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander fonds, Collection of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal (CCA). Gift of Cornelia Hahn Oberlander.

 

Oberlander, Cornelia Hahn. Address, Address to the Graduating Class in Agriculture Sciences, Applied Science, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Community and Regional Planning, Forestry, Interdisciplinary Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, May 29, 1991.

 “I think that I’ve always wanted to be in a larger planning field. And of course Peter [Oberlander] was very influential in guiding me. […] I felt that my thrust in those years was to help [build] better environments. I mean just think, Schuylkill Falls, that housing project, had a little vegetable garden and a fruit garden. And so that’s what I saw my career developing into.” —Interview with Cornelia Hahn Oberlander and Charles Birnbaum, 2008.

ARCH280777
View of children playing at Children’s Creative Centre Playground, Canadian Federal Pavilion, Expo 67, Montréal, Québec, ca 1967. ARCH 280777. Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander fonds, Collection of the Canadian Centre for
Architecture, Montreal (CCA). Gift of Cornelia Hahn Oberlander.

Oberlander, Cornelia Hahn. "Pioneers of American Landscape Design Oral History Series: Cornelia Hahn Oberlander Interview Transcript." Interview by Charles A. Birnbaum. The Cultural Landscape Foundation. August 2008. Accessed May 1, 2020. 

In November 1938, Cornelia received a letter from her grandmother that included the following text:

“You have to bring beauty into everything and the new forms that you will give the land and also the people that use it with your whole heart….Whatever you do in your work will be the seed for the next generation.” Cornelia, reciting this letter seventy-four years later in an interview said, “And that’s what I stand for. Isn’t it amazing that she wrote that.” —Interview with Cornelia Hahn Oberlander and Yvonne Gail, 2012.

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Image: View of children playing at Children’s Creative Centre Playground, Canadian Federal Pavilion, Expo 67, Montréal, Québec, ca 1967. ARCH 280292. Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander fonds, Collection of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal (CCA). Gift of Cornelia Hahn Oberlander.

 

Oberlander, Cornelia Hahn. "The Grand Dame of Green Design." Interview by Yvonne Gall. Ideas. CBC. November 8, 2012.

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The Art Gallery of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that we are located on Treaty 6 Territory, the traditional land of diverse Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Nitsitapi/Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/Saulteaux/Anishinaabe. We also acknowledge all of the Indigenous, Inuit and Métis peoples who make Alberta their home today.