Corliss Knapp Engle (1936-2009), born in Flushing, New York, was a passionate horticulturalist who was closely involved with numerous groups and initiatives relating to horticulture and gardens. As a resident of Brookline, Massachusetts, she was actively involved in the Chestnut Hill Garden Club and the Tree Planting Committee of the Town of Brookline. Corliss Engle was also involved, in varying capacities, in the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, and the Garden Club of America (GCA). She was a trustee for both the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the New England Wild Flower Society. Engle was a recipient of a GCA Achievement Award and four GCA Beattie Medals. The Begonia Society honored her by naming a begonia in her name. As a self-taught photographer she was instrumental in developing a photography program for the Garden Club of America and was particularly involved with the GCA's Garden History and Design Committee which is instrumental in the documentation of gardens for the Garden Club of America Collection at the Archives of American Gardens. Engle's writings and photographs were published in local and national publications including The Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts' publication, "Mayflower," and the "White House History" journal.
The Corliss Knapp Engle slide collection contains 35mm slides of gardens, garden features, flower shows, and flora photographed by Corliss Engle, a self-taught photographer and horticulturalist. Much of the collection is comprised of photographic documentation of numerous private and public gardens that she visited throughout the United States. Of particular note are images of Engle's own garden in Brookline, Massachusetts, spanning three decades; they provide excellent insight into the development and evolution of a garden over time. Portions of the collection highlight Engle's involvement with the Garden Club of America and the GCA's Garden History and Design Committee. The collection also includes various notes, lecture scripts, brochures, programs and articles on garden and plant-related themes generated or compiled by Corliss Knapp Engle.
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens