Rose Standish Nichols
Early life and education
b. 1872, d. 1960
Nichols was the daughter of Arthur H. Nichols and Elizabeth Fisher Homer Nichols, and a niece of Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Her siblings included Margaret Homer A. Shurcliff (married to Arthur Shurcliff) and Marian Clarke Nichols. Rose Nichols lived most of her life at 55 Mt. Vernon Street in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston.
Nichols trained with Charles A. Platt, Inigo Trigs; Constant-Désiré Despradelle at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; with Benjamin Watson at the Bussey Institute, Harvard University; and at the École des Beaux-Arts. She also travelled in Europe, visiting parks and gardens such as those at Hampton Court Palace, England. Around 1921 Nichols served the American Society of Landscape Architects as Chairman of the Committee on the Garden Club of America.
In addition to her professional work as a landscape architect, Nichols was a peace activist. She established a discussion group, The League of Small Nations; participants included Clementine Churchill and Edith Wilson. The group was a precursor to the Foreign Policy Association. Nichols also traveled to peace conferences in Europe. In addition, she helped establish the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
In 1919 Nichols was elected an officer of the Boston Equal Suffrage Association. In 1937, Nichols attended an event organized by the New York Society of the Descendants of Signers of the Independence Declaration.
Portraits of Nichols have been made by Taylor Greer and Margarita Smyth.
Career in Architecture
Nichols was an American landscape architect from Boston, Massachusetts. Perhaps the first professional landscape architect in the U.S., Nichols worked for some 70 clients in the United States and abroad. Collaborators included David Adler, Mac Griswold, Howard Van Doren Shaw, and others. She also wrote articles about gardens for popular magazines such as House Beautiful and House & Garden, and published three books about European gardens.
Major Buildings and Projects
Rose Standish Nichols worked on parks and gardens for approximately 70 clients, in the United States and abroad:
- Cornish Colony Gallery and Museum, Cornish, New Hampshire – 1896.
- House of Four Winds, Lake Forest, Illinois.
- Haven Wood, estate of Edward Ryerson, Lake Forest, Illinois.
- Grey Towers, house of Gifford Pinchot and Cornelia Bryce Pinchot, Milford, Pennsylvania.
- House of Lloyd R. Smith, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- Athens, Greece
- English pleasure gardens. New York, The Macmillan Company; London, Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1902.
- Spanish & Portuguese gardens. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1924.
- Italian pleasure gardens. NY: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1928.
- A Newport House and Garden. House and Garden, April 1905.
- A glimpse of the pro-American queen and her gardens. House Beautiful, Aug. 1922, p. 110+.
- A Little Garden Hunt in England. House Beautiful, July 1923.
- A hilltop garden in New Hampshire. House Beautiful, March 1924.
- (Various other articles for House Beautiful).
Works about Nichols
- Century Magazine. May 1906.
- George Taloumis. Rose Standish Nichols: 60 years ago she organized the Beacon Hill Reading Club (1896). Boston Globe, Sept. 16, 1956.
- George Taloumis. Rose Standish Nichols as we knew her: a tribute to a friend. Boston: Friends of Rose Standish Nichols, 1986.
- Tankard, Judith. Rose Standish Nichols, A Proper Bostonian. Arnoldia (59)  p. 25–32.