Cora Livingston Barton - Introduction

Cora Livingston Barton

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Introduction

Cora Barton (1806–1873), the only child of Edward and Louise Livingston, and her husband Thomas Barton, the son of the noted naturalist Benjamin Smith Barton, were both passionate about botany and gardening.

The couple lived with Cora’s mother Louise Livingston, thus allowing a vigorous mother-daughter design team to flourish. Together, Cora and Louise were the driving force behind a campaign of home improvement at Montgomery Place that lasted over 30 years. These style-setters traveled throughout Europe, read all the current books on architecture and garden design, and were knowledgeable and assured in the extreme.

This period at Montgomery Place corresponded with a time when Americans were forming their national identity, much of it tied to a special relationship with wilderness and nature. The era began when Cora’s father Edward inherited the property from his sister Janet in 1828.

 

Cora Livingston Barton, by Jacques Guillaume L. Amans. Oil on canvas, c. 1840. Bard College, Montgomery Place Collection.

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