The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Announces Landscape Architects for “Bobbie’s Garden”
Amherst, MA (February 2, 2017)—The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is proud to announce that it has selected two firms, working in partnership, to create a garden on the grounds of the Museum in memory of co-founder Barbara Carle: Meyer + Silberberg Land Architects of Berkeley, California and Klopfer Martin Design Group of Boston. A groundbreaking date has been set for June of this year.
Barbara Carle, co-founder with her husband Eric Carle, passed away on September 7, 2015. With Mr. Carle’s blessing, the Museum’s board of trustees committed to creating a memorial garden in her name and spearheaded a fundraising campaign. Since Mrs. Carle was affectionately known as Bobbie, the project quickly became known as “Bobbie’s Garden.” More than 100 friends and family members contributed to the effort.
From the beginning, the idea for a garden felt just right to the board and staff. Mrs. Carle loved gardens and was a lifelong environmentalist. She was an educator. She was passionate about The Carle as a place for community members to enjoy art, gather, talk, read, and play.
“Bobbie was the force behind this Museum,” says Christopher B. Milne, chairman of the board. “She was our first board chair, and it was her steady leadership, gentle guidance, and nurturing personality that set the stage for all of us. We want to create a garden that can be part of Bobbie’s legacy of generosity and beauty.”
The appointment of Meyer + Silberberg Land Architects and Klopfer Martin Design Group is the culmination of a yearlong process, which included proposals from eleven firms from around the country and Canada. The hiring committee was made up of trustees, staff, and Earl Pope, the Museum’s principal architect, now retired, from Juster, Pope, Frazier Architects in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Meyer + Silberberg and Klopfer Martin distinguished themselves throughout the process with a clear understanding of the Museum’s mission and programs, a deep appreciation for the building design and grounds, and design ideas that the hiring committee embraced. Ramsey Silberberg will be the principal designer on the project and Mark Klopfer and Kaki Martin will see that the garden is built to specifications.
“The staff is working closely with the landscape team to define our goals for the garden and to create something that will be inviting to guests of all ages,” says Milne. “We’re very fortunate to have Earl Pope as part of this process, ensuring the garden enhances this already stunning Museum and its classic apple orchard. I know Eric is so touched to see this project underway, a testament to how much Bobbie’s spirit lives on at the Museum.”
“There is so much to draw upon,” says Ramsey Silberberg of Meyer + Silberberg. “In my mind, the garden should celebrate both the apple orchard and the artistry of picture books. It will be a different type of an experience for visitors, becoming an outdoor space that is beloved by children and adults alike.”
“This project is unique,” she adds. “When we first met with the Museum team, there was an immediate chemistry. We knew we could forge a strong collaboration and together envision a garden that honors Bobbie’s incredible life.”
Sunday, June 25, 2017: A groundbreaking ceremony will kick off The Carle’s Annual Children’s Book Festival, a public event that will be themed, “building.”
Saturday, June 23, 2018: The garden’s ribbon-cutting ceremony will be the opening event for the 2018 Annual Children’s Book Festival, themed around “gardens.”
ABOUT THE MUSEUM
The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. The only full-scale museum of its kind in the United States, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.
Eric Carle and his wife, the late Barbara Carle, co-founded the Museum in November 2002. Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Since opening, the 40,000-square foot facility has served more than half a million visitors, including 50,000 schoolchildren. The Carle houses more than 11,000 objects, including 7,300 permanent collection illustrations. The Carle has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country and Master’s degree programs in children’s literature with Simmons College. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 noon to 5 p.m. Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children under 18, and $22.50 for a family of four. For further information and directions, call (413) 559-6300 or visit the Museum’s website at www.carlemuseum.org
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