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Inventory of the Robert Tetlow Collection, 1949-1987 (bulk 1953-1985)
2003-5  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Project Index

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Robert Tetlow collection
    Dates: 1949-1987
    Dates: 1953-1985
    Collection number: 2003-5
    Creator: Tetlow, Robert, 1922-1988
    Collector: Environmental Design Archives
    Collection Size: 34 oversize folders, 15 manuscript boxes, 1 roll
    Repository: Environmental Design Archives

    College of Environmental Design
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, California
    Physical location: Environmental Design Archives

    University of California, Berkeley

    Berkeley, California 94720-1820
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in the collection should be discussed with the Curator.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of Item], Robert Tetlow Collection, 2003-5, Environmental Design Archives. College of Environmental Design. University of California, Berkeley.

    Biographical Note

    Robert Tetlow (1922-1988)
    Robert Tetlow was an accomplished landscape architect and a dedicated professor, known for his love of art, music, and literature. He particularly loved to paint and sometimes exhibited his landscape watercolors around the Bay Area. In addition to exhibiting his own work, he co-curated a photographic exhibit in 1956 called "Man's Impact on the Bay Area Landscape" with landscape architect David Abergast. He also authored several books, articles, and research studies focused on landscape design and its relationship to the natural environment.
    Born in Astoria, Oregon, Tetlow briefly attended Oregon State University before joining the United States Navy in 1941 and serving in the Pacific. After leaving the military, he attended the University of Oregon graduating in 1949 with a degree in landscape architecture. To further his education, he moved to the Bay Area to study at the University of California, Berkeley, receiving a master's degree in landscape architecture in 1951.
    His professional career began with the city of San Jose, but he soon switched to teaching when he joined the faculty at UC Davis in 1952. In 1954 he once again returned to UC Berkeley, this time as a professor. He was a professor of landscape architecture for 34 years, including a stint as chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture from 1977 to 1981.
    As a practicing landscape architect, Tetlow designed the gardens for several private residences. He also designed the remodel of his own home and did most of the carpentry himself. His most noted work was for the Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. In 1959, he wrote the master plan for the gardens in which he stated that the major considerations for the development of the land should relate to "the fundamental nature of the terrain that the design will appear to have been dictated by the ground form rather than the reverse." This philosophy of minimizing human impact on nature ran throughout his work. He also felt it important to integrate the mature garden with new developments and to maintain a balance between open space and densely planted areas. He supervised the implementation of his plan and served on the Strybing Board of Trustees between 1967 and 1981.
    Tetlow authored and co-authored many works, including the "Sunset Patio Book" (1952); a National Water Commission study, entitled "The Role of Water in the Landscape: A Design Overview"(1971); and a report for British Columbia's Ministry of the Environment, entitled "Visual Resources of the Northeast Coal Study Area, 1976-1977." He worked on two important exhibitions in 1956: a nationwide traveling exhibit, entitled, "Landscape Architecture Today: An Introduction" and the photographic exhibit entitled, "Man's Impact on the Bay Area Landscape." This exhibit was said to draw "attention to environmental problems and helped prepare the way for environmental activism in the Bay Area in the 1960s."

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Robert Tetlow Collection spans the years 1928-1987 (bulk 1953-1985) and concentrates mainly on Tetlow's work as a landscape architect, an author, and professor. The collection includes textural documentation, photographs, and drawings that have been organized into four series: Personal Papers, Professional Papers, Faculty Papers, and Project Records.
    The vast majority of his Personal Papers consists of slides of his various travels. Some slides appear to be vacation images, but others could be landscape scenes meant for professional research or reference. Of note in this series are two photographs of Robert Tetlow and a few of his student drawings.
    Tetlow's literary contributions and studies on ecology and design are included in the Professional Papers. There are two folders that contain the work of other landscape architects and architects including Thomas Church; Louis Barragan; the firm of Eckbo, Dean, Austin, & Williams; the firm of Sasaki, Dawson, Delay & Associates; Eckbo & Royston; Lawrence Halprin; and many others. Included are two folders of various types of plants in their natural environment. Tetlow's writings included in the collection are "Garden Ideas from California, Report of the Master Plan Committee of the City of Davis", "The Role of Water in the Landscape," "Subject Classification Model," "Sunset Patio Book," and "Visual Unit Concept." The exhibit he co-curated, entitled "Man's Impact on the Bay Area Landscape," is found in this series and includes the original photographs from the exhibit.
    The Faculty Papers Series provides a great starting point for any researcher interested in Robert Tetlow as it contains his tenure portfolio, featuring many of his personal and professional interests and accomplishments. This series also contains slide images for the classes he taught, including from LA 102 (Spring 1985) and LA 134. Also included are student work from his landscape architecture students in LA 203 and LA 134. Some of the slides exemplify his philosophy on design and composition in landscapes with views from Charleston, West Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; and Savannah, Georgia. Other slides were used for teaching color and drawing techniques in different mediums.
    The majority of Tetlow's projects, as found in the Project Records, are residential. Of notable interest is his work on the Strybing Arboretum for the City of San Francisco.
    Sources: Laurie, M. (1992). "75 years of landscape architecture at Berkeley." Department of Landscape Architecture: Berkeley.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.
    Landscape architects--California.
    Landscape architecture--California.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Landscape architecture records.
    Landscape architecture drawings.
    Landscape architecture photographs.

    Project Index

    The following is a list of architectural projects from the Robert Tetlow collection. For instructions on interpreting the Project Index, see The Guide to the Project Index at http://www.ced.berkeley.edu/cedarchives/pindex/guide.htm .
    The Project Index list is arranged alphabetically by Project/Client Name and contains information, where available, about the location, date, project type, architect, collaborators, photographers, and formats for each project in the collection.

    Project/Client Name (location, date, project type, architect) Collaborator (role), Photographer [Format - Ms=Manuscripts, Dr=Drawings, Ph=Photographs]

    • Allard ( Davis , CA ; 1953 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Barovetto ( Davis , CA ; 1953 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Brooks, Reid ( Davis , CA ; 1954 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Brown ( Berkeley , CA ; 1950 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Bureau of Parks and Recreation: Irrigation Plans for Municipal Pool and Washington Park ( Eugene , OR ; 1949 ; governmental ) [ Dr ]
    • C.A.L.A. Exhibit (1955 ; cultural ) [ Dr ]
    • Carter, Harold ( Berkeley , CA ; 1955 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Clement, L.J. ( Davis , CA ; 1954 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Damanske, A.B. ( Davis , CA ; 1952 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Emory, C.A. ( Berkeley , CA ; n.d. ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Gerbode, Gertrude ( Piedmont , CA ; 1955 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • George, Alex ( Davis , CA ; 1952-1954 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Gibson, D.A. ( [Davis] , CA ; 1953 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Goelzer ( El Cerrito , CA ; 1955 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Lowe, H.E. ( [Berkeley] , CA ; 1956 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • McLucas, J.D. ( Hood River , OR ; n.d. ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Nestor, B.L. ( Berkeley , CA ; 1957 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Raski, Dewey ( Davis , CA ; 1954 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Ramsey, Warren ( Berkeley , CA ; 1958 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • San Francisco, City and County of, Department of Public Works: Strybing Arboretum ( San Francisco , CA ; 1949-1965 ; recreational ) [ Ms, Dr ]
    • Stoddard, K.B. ( Berkeley , CA ; [1954] ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Struck, James ( Parkdale , OR ; 1956 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Tetlow, Robert ( Berkeley , CA ; n.d. ; residential ) [ Dr, Ph ]
    • Thode, E.N. ( [Berkeley] , CA ; 1958 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Thomas, W.R. ( El Cerrito , CA ; 1958 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • University of California (UC): Blake Gardens ( Kensington , CA ; n.d. ; educational ) [ Dr ]
    • University of California (UC): A Subdivision ( Berkeley , CA ; 1958 ; educational ) [ Dr ]
    • University of Oregon ( Eugene , OR ; 1949 ; educational ) [ Dr ]
    • U.S. Corps of Engineers, San Francisco: Shelters for Tilden Park ( Berkeley , CA ; 1964 ; recreational ) [ Dr, Ph ]
    • Watson, David F. ( Piedmont , CA ; 1958 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Warne, Herbert ( Davis , CA ; 1954 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Wells, Rutherford ( Winters , CA ; 1956 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
    • Wilson, E.E. ( College Park , CA ; 1954 ; residential ) [ Dr ]