Paige Johnson

2007 joint winner

Paige Johnson is a scientist and garden historian and describes herself as ‘a determined interdisciplinarian with wide-ranging interests in art, design, and history’. She is the founder of a research laboratory in the United States of America. In 2007-2008 she took a year away from the lab to obtain an MA in Garden History from the University of Bristol. The ADAM Architecture Travel Scholarship provided Paige with a perfect opportunity to pursue her interest in the Art Deco movement in the landscape. She was determined to contradict established 20th-century scholars who had told her that there was no such thing as an Art Deco garden. Her research uncovers lost connections between garden forms and the semiotics of light, sound, and electricity that were arising in the early 20th century. Paige undertook archival research and site visits within the UK as well as excursions to private gardens and public parks in France and Belgium.

She presented her work and an accompanying book of contemporary photos and archival illustrations entitled Gatsby’s Garden: In Search of the Art Deco Landscape at the London Art Workers’ Guild in March 2008, and in 2010 published an article of the same title in Apollo magazine. It was the first published work to demonstrate the existence of an Art Deco landscape style and is reproduced here. In 2012, Paige provided garden consultation to the producers of The Great Gatsby film starring Leonardo DiCaprio. A publication linking the garden descriptions in Gatsby to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife Zelda is in development.

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Paige Johnson

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