Brooklyn's "Crowning Curio" - The Camperdown Elm of Prospect Park

Allison C. Meier
A75c0216 seeable

Taught by Allison C. Meier

Allison C. Meier is a writer specializing in contemporary visual arts and overlooked history who moonlights as a cemetery tour guide. She is the author of 'Grave' (2023) in Bloomsbury's Object Lessons series. Her bylines include stories in the New York Times, National Geographic, Hyperallergic, CityLab, Curbed, Wellcome Collection, and others. Find more about her here:

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With its crooked branches that grow parallel to the ground, supported by wires and crutches, the Camperdown elm in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park is one of New York City’s most curious trees. But the old arbor that was planted in 1872 was almost chopped down in the 1960s due to its poor condition.

A movement to save it, led by local modernist poet Marianne Moore, succeeded in preserving the tree. In this talk we'll explore how Moore anointed it Brooklyn’s “crowning curio,” and how her efforts instigated renewed appreciation for New York’s parks. 

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