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Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence

In the 19th century, France experienced a horticultural boom that transformed lands both public and private. Various royal properties became parks, and Baron Haussmann’s grand modernization of Paris greatly increased its green spaces, which became an integral part of urban life. At the same time, ships were bringing in all sorts of exotic plants from far-flung places, leading to the creation of new hybrid specimens. All of this spurred an interest in gardening that not only trickled down to individual homeowners but also influenced the fine and decorative arts, with Monet being perhaps the most celebrated artist-gardener of that era. Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence examines this prolific melding of art and nature through some 150 contemporary photographs, Impressionist paintings, flower vases, and other works.