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Charleston -- McGee Garden

Landscape architect:
Briggs, Loutrel W.  Search this
Werlimer, Shelia  Search this
Master iron worker:
Simmons, Philip, 1912-2009  Search this
Avert, Rich  Search this
Former owner:
Kohne, Elizabeth  Search this
Leslie, Charles  Search this
Walker, Amalia Mrs.  Search this
Williams, Rodney  Search this
Garden designer:
Hartledge, Richard  Search this
Rivers, Beverly  Search this
Provenance:
The Palmetto Garden Club of South Carolina  Search this
The Palmetto Garden Club of South Carolina  Search this
Collection Creator:
Garden Club of America  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Place:
McGee Garden (Charleston, South Carolina)
United States of America -- South Carolina -- Charleston County -- Charleston
Scope and Contents:
The folder includes a work sheet, a plant list, garden plans, copies of photographs, newspaper articles, copied material from books, and narrative descriptions of the property and its development.
General:
The garden is located in the heart of Charleston's first suburb, Ansonborough. The present house was completed circa 1846, and reflects the Greek Revival architecture popular among Charleston's merchant class at that time. In 1969, the house was renovated; and the owner commissioned well-known Charleston landscape architect, Loutrel Briggs, to design the garden. Changes in the garden after 1992 included deepening the flower beds, the creation of a square lawn, and the addition of two square pools. In order to reduce the impact of the large driveway, double-paired parterre beds were created. The emphasis on an axial focus was achieved by large planters in line with the entrance from the loggia and the path connecting the front and rear gardens. The present owners use their garden as an extension of their house. The large plant inventory reflects the owners' interest in southern shrubs, which provide year-round color and texture.
Persons associated with the garden include: Elizabeth Kohne (former owner, 1846); Charles Leslie (former owner, 1904); Mrs. Amalia Walker (former owner, 1962); Rodney and Barbara Williams (former owners 1969-1992); Loutrel W. Briggs (landscape architect, 1969); Richard Hartledge (garden designer, 1992); Shelia Werlimer (landscape architect, 1996); Beverly Rivers (garden designer, 1992-present); Philip Simmons (iron worker, 1960s); and Rich Avert (iron worker, 1992).
Related Materials:
McGee Garden related holdings consist of 1 folder (11 35 mm. slides)
Collection Restrictions:
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Topic:
Gardens -- South Carolina -- Charleston  Search this
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, The Garden Club of America collection.
Identifier:
AAG.GCA, File SC087
See more items in:
The Garden Club of America collection
The Garden Club of America collection / Series 1: United States Garden Images / South Carolina
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Gardens
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aag-gca-ref12461

Oral history interview with Philip Simmons, 2001 April 4-5

Interviewee:
Simmons, Philip, 1912-2009  Search this
Simmons, Philip, 1912-2009  Search this
Interviewer:
Douglas, Mary F., 1956-  Search this
Subject:
DeKoven, Ira  Search this
Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc.  Search this
Southeastern Blacksmith Association  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Festival of American Folklife  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Blacksmithing -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Blacksmithing -- Study and teaching  Search this
Blacksmithing -- Technique  Search this
Blacksmiths -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Ironworkers -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Interviews  Search this
Metal-workers -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Interviews  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
African American  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11873
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)226990
AAA_collcode_simmon01
Theme:
Craft
African American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_226990
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Philip Simmons

Interviewee:
Simmons, Philip, 1912-2009  Search this
Interviewer:
Douglas, Mary F., 1956-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Festival of American Folklife  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc.  Search this
Southeastern Blacksmith Association  Search this
DeKoven, Ira  Search this
Extent:
30 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2001 April 4-5
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Philip Simmons conducted 2001 April 4-5, by Mary Douglas, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Simmons' home and workshop, Charleston, South Carolina.
Simmons speaks of his childhood and early education; jobs shining shoes and delivering papers at age 8; also at age 8, working as an apprentice to Peter Simmons in his blacksmith shop on Calhoun Street; Philip Simmons's attraction to blacksmithing and the action of the shop; being hired by Peter Simmons at age 13 in the blacksmith's shop where he has worked for 79 years. He also describes his apprenticeship and talks about blacksmithing as an ongoing learning experience; the necessity of adapting skills to an evolving market, from making wagons and horse shoes to ornamental iron work, and equipment for cargo shipments; the affect of the economic boom after World War II; drawing inspiration from nature and "God's creations in Charleston" for design ideas; working with wrought iron, mild steel, brass, and lead; making his own tools; craft as a representation of the past; giving demonstrations at the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. in 1976 and 1977 (through John Vlach's invitation) and a gate he made at the festival that was purchased by the Smithsonian and featured in Southern Living; his 1982 lunch with Ronald Reagan on the occasion of receiving a National Folk Award; meeting other blacksmiths through the Southeastern Regional Blacksmith Conference; the public's understanding and reception of blacksmithing; recognition, awards, and publicity for his work; involvement with craft educational programs at schools, museums, and churches; the function of the Philip Simmons Foundation; blacksmithing in Charleston as a national tourist attraction; the relationship of farming and blacksmithing by slaves to his own blacksmithing; the impact of travel on his work; working with Ira DeKoven; his interest in preserving traditions; corporate versus private commissions; the importance of mechanical drawing skills; preserving old piece, salvage work; his retirement because of arthritis; current interest in sketching and drawing; family life with his wife and three children; and his involvement with the community.
Biographical / Historical:
Philip Simmons (1912-2009) was a blacksmith from Charleston, South Carolina. Mary Douglas (1956- ) is the curator at the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, North Carolina.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 7 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
For more information on how to access this interview contact Reference Services.
Topic:
Blacksmithing -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Blacksmithing -- Study and teaching  Search this
Blacksmithing -- Technique  Search this
Blacksmiths -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Ironworkers -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Interviews  Search this
Metal-workers -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.simmon01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-simmon01

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