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Edith Henderson visual arts materials

Identifier: ahc.VIS217

Scope and Content

This collection contains Henderson's landscape drawings for a residential property in Atlanta; an original rendering of the Clark Howell Homes, as part of the Housing Authority project in which Henderson took part; and over 200 of Henderson's slides on various gardening topics. Also a part of the collection are Henderson's pencil sketches of gardens, garden structures and statuary, as well as trees and landscapes.


  • 1933-1992, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

This material is protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Administrative/Biographical History

Edith Harrison Henderson (1911-2005) was born June 9, 1911 in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1934, she graduated from the famous Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture in Groton, Massachusetts. The school, which opened in 1901, was the first to train women in landscape architecture. Due to its affiliation with Simmons College, she also received a Bachelor of Science degree from Simmons in June 1934. Upon receiving her degrees, Harrison moved back to Atlanta, where her family had located when she was a child. In 1936, she was appointed the Director of Rich's Garden Center and served in that capacity until 1938, when her landscape architecture practice became increasingly successful. The first civic project for the firm of Edith Harrison and Grace Campbell, Landscape Architects, was the beautification of Peachtree Street in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. In 1939, the architectural firm of Hentz, Adler and Shutze, selected Harrison's firm to develop a landscape plan for Clark Howell Homes, a federally-funded public housing project in Atlanta. Harrison married James Henderson the same year. During her career, Henderson performed over 10,000 client consultations. For over 20 years, she wrote a 300-word weekly column for the Atlanta Journal/Constitution, which provided practical design advice to readers and featured a garden on which she had consulted. Henderson also wrote forVeranda and Southern Accents magazines and delivered lectures to garden clubs and civic groups. In 1958, Henderson worked with the state of Georgia to develop the Board of Landscape Architects of Georgia, which would issue licenses to landscape architects upon passing an examination. In 1964, Henderson was named Atlanta's Woman of the Year. In 1971, she received the Oakleigh Thorne Medal for Excellence in Landscape Architecture from the Garden Club of America. In 1972, she received the Atlanta Civic Design Commission Award for Dedicated Service in the Development of Environmental Excellence. In 1990, she received an honorary Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. Henderson had become a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1955. In 1976, Harrison became the first woman in the history of the society to be elected an officer of the organization; she served as its vice-president. She later served as a member of the society's Board of Directors and as chair of the Council of Fellows. In 1993, Edith Henderson's Home Landscape Companion was published. Edith Harrison Henderson died on October 12, 2005.


235 item(s) (223 slides, nine pencil sketches, and three landscape drawings)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Some of the items in this collection are located in cold storage (CS) as indicated in the descriptive inventory. Patrons must allow 24 hours after retrieval of cold storage item(s) before viewing material.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1996 with subsequent additions

Related Archival Materials

Edith Henderson papers, MSS 980, Cherokee Garden Library, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2013 with subsequent additions.
Edith Henderson visual arts materials
Staci Catron, Jennie Oldfield
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305