Why Did We Choose This Theme For 2020?
As we were designing the sunflower field this year, we kept thinking about our connection to nature and the importance of being self reliant. This concept of self-reliance made us think of Ralph Waldo Emerson's famous essay, "Self-Reliance"
After re-reading this essay, we realized the ideas presented in this essay connected to the broader idea of transcendentalism.
With many people spending time inside during 2020, we wanted to help people rediscover the beauty of nature and provide a positive message for everyone that visits us both in person and online
When you visit, you will see beautiful sunflowers, but as Emerson wrote:
“The things that are seen, are temporal; the things that are unseen, are eternal."
The sunflowers will only be in bloom for a few weeks, but hopefully the quotes and ideas we have presented throughout the field will stay with you a lot longer.
What Exactly Is Transcendentalism?
This depends on who you ask! Different individuals will have different viewpoints and thoughts on Transcendentalism, but here is our take on the concept.
Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that started in the late 1830's and early 1840's in the United States mainly around the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Other key people in this movement included Henry David Thoreau, Bronson Alcott, Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Fuller, and so many more.
During the 1840's and 1850's, the United States was still in the first Industrial Revolution and human life was rapidly changing. With more railroads, factories and more people living in cities, the human experience was much different than before.
Major figures in the Transcendentalist movement observed these changes and their work revolved around a few key pillars such as: the importance of nature, self reliance, nonconformity, free thought and confidence.
Even though a lot of this writing was done in the 1840's and 1850's, these important pillars still resonate with us today in 2020.
There is definitely a lot more to write here, so if you want more information, we are happy to discuss more about Transcendentalism either in person or online!