Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." Photographs are also journey-starters, allowing us to break away from our over-scheduled, rat race lives into places with harmony, calm and perspective. "The Beckoning Path: The Woodland Garden Photographs of Theodore Nierenberg," an exhibit at The Bruce Museum, does just this kind of reframing. On view are more than fifty years of Nierenberg's photographs of his magnificient Westchester gardens, their rambling paths, striking vistas, glades and thickets, long views and close ups, during shifting seasons.
Clearly, Theodore Nierenberg (1923-2009) had a genius for the visual. In 1954, he and his wife Martha founded Dansk International Designs, the well-known Scandinavian-style housewares company. When they sold the company in 1985, Nierenberg was free to pursue his hobbies of gardening and photography. He studied with famous Magnum photojournalist Ernst Haas. Ultimately, Nierenberg created a body of work of 300,000 images. From this,100 photos of the grounds of Cobamong, his Armonk, New York home were assembled into a 1993 book. Photographs used in the book are part of the Bruce Museum's exhibit. Nierenberg's images, themselves superior, also chronicle his gardening and landscape design expertise which makes Cobamong's fifteen acres somehow seem both expansive and intimate. "The Beckoning Path: The Woodland Garden Photographs of Theodore Nierenberg," is on view August 28 through November 7. For more information, visit The Bruce Museum's website. Admission is $6 and $7.