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Film Recounts The Lincoln Memorial Garden Designer's Life


Jens Jensen's work continues on more than 60 years after his death.  The influential  landscape architect is remembered as a conservationist.  His vision is on display atLincoln Memorial Garden in Springfield, which he designed.  

On Wednesday June 4, a screening of the film"Jens Jensen: The Living Green" will take place at UIS in Brookens Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Carey Lundin is Director and Co-producer of that film.  She said the story of the Danish-American who began life in this country as a laborer attracted her. 

"When I read that his landscapes for the City of Chicago were created with the spirit of democracy, with a great leveling feeling that he interpreted when he came to the United States that this is what he was looking for.  And I found out about his work to preserve the land at the Indiana Dunes to prevent it from becoming a giant steel mill. It was such an appealing story," she said.

Credit Jens Jensen:The Living Green.org

Jensen started with nothing and rose to become the dean of landscape architects.  He worked with Frank Lloyd Wright and other of his contemporaries.  But he's not as well known.

"(Jensen) is not as recognized as those titanic figures we all know. But his message is so prescient to today that he really should be up there.  In a lot of ways, he's the Frank Lloyd Wright of landscape architecture," Lundin said. "But in other ways, he is so present day."

Jensen's design for Lincoln Memorial Garden is on display every day, every season at the Springfield site. 

"That garden is extremely magical.  It's really one of the few public places that's completely undisturbed and was allowed to grow entirely as Jensen's had meant it to be," she said. "What this garden represents is Jensen's connection to the United States. All the plants represent plants from Lincoln's boyhood and adult home."

"Jensen said to Harriet Knudson who created the garden 'the great stone figures will crumble from the mountain, as we pass through time, but this will last. A testament to the great and powerful Lincoln.'

Lundin will attend the film screening Wednesday.

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