Scope and Content
Collection Title: Mary Rutherfurd Jay Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1905-1945
Collection Number: 1955-3
Jay, Mary Rutherfurd, 1872-1951
Extent: 4 boxes, 3 flat boxes, 1 oversize volume, 4 flat file drawers, approximately 10 tubes
Repository: Environmental Design Archives. College of Environmental Design. University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, California
Collection is open for research.
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in the collection should be discussed with the
[Identification of item], Mary Rutherfurd Jay Collection, (1955-3), Environmental Design Archives. College of Environmental
Design. University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, California
Landscape architecture--Northeastern States.
Women landscape architects.
Landscape architects--Northeastern States.
Reef Point Gardens Library
Mary Rutherfurd Jay was born in Fair Haven Connecticut to the Reverend Peter Augustus and Julia Post Jay. Her family descended
from John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States. She studied architecture at MIT and Harvard's Bussey Institute* in
Forest Hills, Massachusetts. Her first commission was planting a plaisance on the grounds of a friend living in Connecticut.
She began her practice in New York in 1908 and referred to herself as a garden architect. Most of her work was residential
for clients in New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, with some in New Jersey and Massachusetts. She spent an extended period
travelling around the world in 1912 and throughout her life presented illustrated lectures related to international gardens.
At the close of World War I, she was in charge of the farmerettes working with the U.S. Army Garden Service in Versailles,
a member of the American Committee for devastated France, and with the American Red Cross.
M.R. Jay was a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society in London and held membership in numerous horticultural societies
and garden clubs She was the author of The Garden Handbook, published in 1931. Her numerous commissions included a Japanese
garden for Honerable G.W. Wickersham's Long Island estate and a New York City roof garden for the New York Times. She died
October 4, 1953.
Who's Who in America v.25, 1948/1949
* Bussey Institution was established by Harvard in 1869 as a school of agriculture and horticulture on land donated by Benjamin
Bussey; construction began in 1871. In 1907, Bussey changed from an undergraduate school to an institution for advanced instruction
and research, and became part of the Graduate School of Applied Science.
Scope and Content
The Mary Rutherfurd Jay collection documents Jay's career as a landscape architect, her lectures on gardens, and her involvement
in the profession. Research notes and images on gardens around the world and architectural drawings form the bulk of the collection.
There are also photographs of her commissions but no textual project files. The collection is arranged into four series: Personal
Papers, Professional Papers, Project Records, and Art and Artifacts.
Jay's personal papers relate to her education at Harvard's Bussey Institute and include a photograph album of a vacation to
Quebec, Canada with family and friends. Her professional papers include notes, research materials, and photographs related
to her travel to gardens worldwide and her illustrated lectures about these gardens. Her most common specialty appears to
have been Japanese gardens. This series also includes scrapbooks of clippings about her lectures, and copies of her published
Jay's project records consist primarily of architectural drawings and photographs. The collection also contains horticultural
plant cards and a plaque about her collection from the Reef Point Library. This collection was given to the University of
California, Berkeley as part of the Reef Point Gift of Beatrix Farrand. Originally included in the Jay Collection was a collection
of @ 2800 lantern slides which were transferred to the CED Slide Library and converted to 35mm. A list of these images is
available upon request.
Title: Mary Rutherfurd Jay lantern slide collection,
Contributing Institution: College of Environmental Design Slide Library