Geoffrey Alan Jellicoe

Geoffrey Alan Jellicoe was born in London in 1900. He attended the Architectural Association School of Architecture in Bloomsbury, London from 1919 until 1923. He then went to Italy, where he and Jock Shepherd collected material for a book, Italian Gardens of the Renaissance (1925). Soon afterwards they set up a practice together, but in 1931 Jellicoe set up his own firm.

In 1936, Jellicoe married Ursula Susan Pares, his multi-lingual, greatly over-qualified secretary. The two of them collaborated professionally throughout the course of their 50-year marriage.

In 1929 Jellicoe was a founder member of the Institute of Landscape Architects, of which he was president for a decade from 1939. He was also principal of the Architectural Association School from 1939 to 1942 and first president of the International Federation of Landscape Architects from 1948 to 1954.

From 1954, Jellicoe was in practice with Francis Coleridge, doing mainly architectural work. Sites included the Hope cement works in the Peak district, water gardens at Hemel Hempstead and Harvey's department store in Guildford.

Jellicoe was also a collector of contemporary art and served on the Royal Fine Arts Commission. He became interested in the subconscious in landscape design, which influenced his layout of the Kennedy Memorial at Runnymede. Between 1960 and 1970, he published his three-volume Studies in Landscape Design, which looked at connections between landscapes, art and hidden ideas. His seminal work The Landscape of Man was published in 1975.

His creativity continued into his eighties, although he had dissolved the architectural practice in 1973. He continued to work at home, alongside nursing his wife through Parkinson's disease, from which she died in 1986. He gained the CBE in 1961 and a knighthood in 1979. In 1991 he was elected a Royal Academian and in 1994 held an exhibition there. He achieved Landscape Architects' gold medals in 1981, 1985 and 1990 and gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Victoria medal of honour in 1995. He died in Devon in 1996.

Bibliography

Moggridge, Hal, ‘Jellicoe, Sir Geoffrey Alan (1900-1996)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Oct 2006) http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/40519 [ accessed 25 June 2009]

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