Arthur Asahel Shurcliff (1870-1957)
Arthur A. Shurcliff (born Shurtleff) was educated at MIT and Harvard's Bussey Institute. He apprenticed at the office of Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. until opening an independent practice in 1904. In 1899-1901 he assisted Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. in establishing Harvard's School of Landscape Architecture, the first four year professional program of its kind. Perhaps best known as the landscape designer for the recreation/restoration of Colonial Williamsburg, Shurcliff's practice encompassed not only private gardens and landscape restorations but also the planning of public parks, roadways, and other recreational facilities. He served as a consultant to the Boston Parks Department for several decades and as Chief Landscape Architect for the Metropolitan District Commission. An accomplished essayist, inventor and painter, Shurcliff's interests in American history, traditional landscape and horticulture richly informed his professional practice.
Shurcliff also prepared several campus plans including those for Amherst and Wellesley Colleges and Brown University and for Deerfield, St. Paul's and Groton among preparatory schools. In 1928 he became Chief Landscape Architect in the restoration of Williamsburg, Virginia, serving until 1941. Later he planned the outdoor museum of Old Sturbridge Village in central Massachusetts. In October 1926 Arthur A. Shurcliff designed the Japanese Garden for the Lasher Family, six years after the completion of their Hearthstone Hall (now Bellarmine Hall).
Vincent M. Appel