IOWA WOMEN’S ARCHIVES

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA LIBRARIES

IOWA CITY, IOWA

 

 

 

TITLE:»GRETCHEN HARSHBARGER (1906-1989)

 

PAPERS, DATES:»1900-1991

1QUANTITY:»1111.25 linear feet

 

 

 

 

ACQUISITION:

The papers (donor no. 281) were donated by »Fritz Harshbarger.  Additional material donated by Ruth and Sam Becker (donor no. 186) in 1997.

ACCESS:

The »papers are open for research.

COPYRIGHT:

»Copyright has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

PHOTOGRAPHS:

»In boxes 1, 2, and 3.

PROCESSED BY:

Your name, year»Special Collections staff and Natalie S. Brody, 1995.

 


»Biography

Begin text here:»Gretchen Fischer Harshbarger was born on March 22, 1906, in Shenandoah, Iowa, the daughter of Frederick and Helen Field Fischer and niece of Henry Field, founder of the Field Seed Company.  For twenty-five years her mother broadcast from her home and was known as the radio "Flower Lady of the Midwest." Gretchen Fischer attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and graduated in 1928 from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, with a degree in landscape architecture.  She received the Sands Memorial Medal for distinguished achievement and the Sampson Fine Arts Prize for Art Appreciation.  In 1928 Fischer married H. Clay Harshbarger, who later served as chairman of the Department of Speech and Dramatic Arts at the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa).  They lived in Iowa City and had two sons, Fritz and Karl.

 

Gretchen Harshbarger was a nationally recognized professional landscape architect, author and photographer.  She wrote the McCall's Garden Book (1968) and the Flower Family Album, with her mother, Helen Field, in 1940.  She was also the garden editor for Household Magazine and American Homes and president of the Garden Writers' Association of America and the American Hemerocallis Society.  Harshbarger received numerous national and local awards for her contributions to horticulture.  In Iowa City she is remembered for her leadership in founding Project GREEN (Grow to Reach Environmental Excellence Now), a group devoted to beautifying public spaces.  Harshbarger died in Iowa City in 1989.

 

 

Scope and Content Note

 

            Begin text here: The  Gretchen Harshbarger papers date from 1900 to 1991 and measure 1.25 linear feet.  The papers are arranged in four series: Biographical information, Landscape design, Publications, and Photographs.

 

            The Biographical information series (1906-1991) pertains primarily to the career of Gretchen Harshbarger.  The series includes many newspaper clippings about her professional activities as well as information about her family, education, and awards; and correspondence.

 

            The landscape plans that Harshbarger designed for Iowa City clients are included in the Landscape design series (1966-1982).  They include plans for churches, the city of Iowa City, many residential properties and a school.

 

            Harshbarger was a prolific writer.  The Flower Family Album (1940) and articles she wrote for Household Magazine and other magazines are included in the Publications series (1935-1989), as are advertisements and reviews of McCalls's Garden Book (1968).

            The Photographs series (1900-1987) is devoted primarily to those of Harshbarger, her family and friends.

Related Collections

Nancy Seiberling oral history

 

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Box 1

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Awards

American Horticultural Society Citation Certificate, 1960 [shelved in map case: drawer 5]

Garden Writers Association of America, 1981

Various, 1941-1989

Correspondence, 1906-1991 and undated

Education, Cornell University, 1928-1929

Family information and memoirs, 1945-1975 and undated

Family genealogy, 1934, 1975, and undated

Holiday newsletters, 1973-1987 (scattered)

Newspaper clippings, 1909-1989 and undated

Poems and art, 1929 and undated

Professional notes and activities, 1930s-1960s

Letters of condolence upon her death, 1989

 

LANDSCAPE DESIGN

Churches

Hillel House, 1972

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 1972

Trinity Episcopal Church, 1977-1978

 

Box 2

City of Iowa City

Dubuque Parkway, ca. 1970-1971 (see map case for Plans I, II and III)

Interstate 80 interchange, undated

Iowa Avenue boulevard, 1967-1968

Mercer Park, 1977

Terrell Mill Park and adjoining parkway greenstrip, 1966-1971

Residential

Baker, Marilyn and George, 1980

Ellis, Sandra and Dorsey, 1974

Hayes, Jim, 1980-1982

Hayford, Jack, 1980

Johnson, George and Sally, 1977

Jordison, Randall, 1977

Koch, Larry, 1978-1980

Photographs

Plans

Long, John Paul, 1972

Newman, Jack, 1972-1977

Rossi, Nicholas, 1972

Schoderbek, Peter and Clara, 1972-1973

Summy, Tom, 1977

Tegler, Wayne, 1968

Photographs and slides

Plans

White, Carl, 1977-1979

Wockenfuss, James, 1974, 1979

        Schools

Shimek Elementary School, 1971-1972, 1978

Photographs

Plans

                                    The University of Iowa North Hall Grounds

 

PUBLICATIONS

Better Homes and Gardens, 1937 (editor’s telegram)

Capper's Farmer, 1954-1955

Flower Family Album, 1940

Gallery of Summer Flowers, 1939

Household Magazine, 1951-1958 (3 folders)

Magazine articles, 1935-1983

Magazine covers, 1957-1965

McCall's Garden Book, 1967-1968

Advertisements

Reviews

                                 Project Green, 1988-1989

 

Box 3

PHOTOGRAPHS

Family and friends

1900-1938

1928-1932

1946-1959

1949-1958

1960-1969 (2 folders)

1970-1977

1971-1978

1980-1987

1981-1987

Miscellaneous, undated (2 folders)

Harshbarger garden and house, undated

Harshbarger, Gretchen, undated (2 folders)

Negatives, undated