Follies: Architectural Whimsy in the Garden

Exhibition Website

Apr 1 2018 - Jan 5 2020

Step into the imaginative and entertaining world of garden follies! Explore a fantastic display of contemporary and historic architectural features—from a Gothic-inspired tower to American summerhouses to a faerie cottage and more—all set within the majestic beauty of Henry Francis du Pont’s 60-acre garden. This irresistible garden exhibit, featuring thirteen follies, offers a one-of-a-kind outdoor experience with a twist of fun! 

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

 Whether or not you go, Contemporary Follies showcases outstanding examples of contemporary design that address our place in nature. Emerging from the Enlightenment spirit of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Thomas Jefferson, the English picturesque folly, and the forest retreats of Scandinavian modernists, these projects inspire contemplation and creativity in their spatial energy and alliance with the environment. 

The book features fifty structures, including work by internationally recognized firms such as Arata Isozaki & Associates, Heatherwick Studios, Patkau Architects, Steven Ehrlich Architects, TEN Arquitectos as well as innovative young studios in all parts of the world: Norway, United Kingdom, Austria, Chile, Germany, Ecuador, Finland, Taiwan, Spain, Canada, Netherlands, United States, Czech Republic, France, and Switzerland.

International in scope and focused on design excellence, this collection of exquisite buildings will appeal to all who yearn for a place of their own, a retreat in which to regroup and reprioritize. Together these small structures are the contemporary interpretation of the folly, the small building nestled in the landscape, a place apart.

Contemporary Follies

  • Architecture
  • Various artists

Exhibition Venues & Dates