Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted are best known for designing landmark landscapes in New York City and across the country, most notably Prospect Park and Central Park. Both men had wildly different lives and careers before their collaboration began, and yet they found incredible chemistry and creative energy together, though later their lives again diverged. This program will look closely at the biographies of both men and how their life experiences and outlooks are reflected in the spaces they created together.
From Coney Island to DUMBO, this virtual program will look at Brooklyn’s surviving historic carousels. We will delve into the history of the art form of carousel design, discuss Brooklyn’s own unique style of carousels, and we will have a special focus on the 1912 carousel in Prospect Park, created by master carver Charles Carmel, and the restoration work done to this masterpiece of carousel design over the years.
Brooklyn Navy Yard-based artist Paul Campbell started to experiment with painting with his children’s toys in 1998 and has since explored the tension and balance between chaos and control. His abstract paintings that start with unpredictable patterns on the canvas created by the movements of toys, including remote control cars, tiny motorcycles, and koosh balls. Paul will share his work from his recent exhibitions in Wuhan, China and Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island, and share techniques for how people can draw inspiration from his creative process and use toys and other household objects to create their own paintings at home.
Prospect Park is not just 585 acres for people, but animals, too. We’ll share stories of the furry, feathery, scaly, and slimy inhabitants of the park throughout history, including the livestock that used to work in the park, the inhabitants of the various zoos over time, the dogs that roam the meadows during off-leash hours, and the many wild fauna that thrive in the park today.
Celebrate Earth Day by virtually exploring Brooklyn’s largest forest with us and Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist Howard Goldstein. We will learn about some of the park’s 30,000 trees, ongoing forest maintenance and restoration projects, and how the the Alliance is adapting to challenges like climate change, invasive species, pests, and extreme weather events.
April 1 is Census Day, so we’re discussing the importance of the 2020 Census, and delving into the history, from the first federal census of 1790 to the present day. First, we will speak with Kathleen Daniel, NYC Census Field Director about this year’s census and what is at stake for delivering vital services and funding to our communities. Then, we will be joined by Nalleli Guillen, historian and project manager of Brooklyn Historical Society’s Revealing Long Island History project, who will discuss how historians, genealogists, researchers, artists, and tour guides utilize this rich well of information. This session is being presented in partnership with NYC Census 2020, and with the Brooklyn Historical Society and Prospect Park Alliance, organizations which have been partners in raising awareness about the census in Brooklyn.
While you can still appreciate the beauty of the park for brief respites of fresh air with appropriate social distancing, the Prospect Park Alliance is encouraging visitors to head online to explore the green space with a new resource.
Virtual Prospect Park includes resources from educators, historians, gardeners and others to allow a look into Brooklyn’s backyard while following the directive to stay indoors as much as possible during the crisis.
See and learn about Prospect Park’s little-known corners and hidden treasures, including the Rose Garden, Lookout Hill, and the park’s historic archways. Led by two engaging guides, this virtual experience will use photos of the park today and from the archives of the Prospect Park Alliance to illuminate the layers of history still visible in the landscape.
Presented by the Center for Architecture, Archtober is an annual festival of lectures, tours, exhibitions, and films that celebrate all things architecture in New York City. These special tours of Prospect Park will focus on the park’s historic design and contemporary restoration, including an Art & Architecture Tour, a close look at the park’s water system and recently-restored 1869 Wellhouse building, and a tour with a special focus on the park’s east side, including the Rose Garden, Flatbush perimeter, Children’s Corner, and Lakeside.
icon-gears Art & Architecture Tour // FRI, Oct 11, 4pm
Waterways & Wellhouse Tour // SUN, Oct 13, 10:30am
icon-leaf Exploring the East Side Tour // SAT, Oct 26, 1:30pm