Center for Culture: The Bradley Property and the Olmsted Garden

April 7, 2013 – January 5, 2014

History Gallery

  • Evening dress
    ca. 1912-1918
    silk, crepe, beads
    Gift of a Friend of the Museum 2009.54.1

    Elizabeth Bradley, daughter of W.C. Bradley, wore this elaborately beaded silk evening gown as a young woman. Click here for more information

  • Architectural drawing, 1912
    Gift of a Friend of the Museum 2012.61.7

    This architectural drawing shows the front of the Brick Miller/W.C. Bradley home designed by Atlanta architect A. Ten Eyck Brown. Click here for more information.

  • Fish pond in summer, ca. 1933
    Courtesy of the W.C. Bradley Company Archives
    This informal fish pond and rustic bridge were just two of the naturalistic features of W.C. Bradley’s Olmsted garden.

  • Center for Culture Installation
    Artifacts from the Museum’s founding, one of the Museum’s first acquisitions, and rare images of its founding families are on view.

  • Center for Culture Installation
    Items worn or used by members of the W.C. Bradley family in their Wynnton Road home are featured in the exhibition.

  • Center for Culture Installation
    Center for Culture features original architectural plans and artifacts from the 1912 house that is now part of the Museum.

View our Gallery Guide online.

The Bradley Olmsted garden is the focus of this exhibition celebrating the Museum’s 60th Anniversary. Designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm of Boston, which was founded by noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the property’s garden was completed with substantial involvement by homeowner William C. Bradley. Of the thirteen residential projects the Olmsted firm worked on in Georgia, including others in Columbus, the Bradley garden is widely recognized as the most significant. Its design typifies the more naturalistic gardens that became popular in the 1920s, while also incorporating innovative technology into its ponds and outbuildings.

This exhibition provides a history of the Museum and grounds and their role in the cultural history of the city of Columbus. In addition to the garden, the exhibition explores the legacy of businessman and philanthropist W.C. Bradley, his home in which the Museum was founded and the Wynnton area in which it is located, and the uses of the Bradley property over the years for such institutions as the public library and the administrative offices of the Columbus school district. It includes a variety of images, blueprints, clothing, and other objects associated with the history of the Museum and grounds, as well as home videos featuring the Bradley family during their ownership of the property.

This exhibition is made possible by the generous funding of SunTrust Bank, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Y. Bradley, Mr. and Mrs. J. Madden Hatcher, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. William C. Huff, Mr. and Mrs. Jack B. Key, Jr., Mrs. David G. Lewis, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Alan C. Ramsey, Jr., Mrs. Rose H. Steiner, Mr. and Mrs. Sam M. Wellborn.


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