Trunk Show: AMY BEDIK

A Georgetown tulip poplar that has flowered through American history.

With a background in both photography and film, New York–based Bedik has prints in the collections of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the Bibliotheque national de France.

Nestled in a five-acre sanctuary in Washington, DC’s Georgetown neighborhood is a tree that witnessed much of America’s history. A 100-foot tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), it has seen the turmoil of our revolution, the burning of the capital by the British in 1814, and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865. It has watched and flowered as America evolved from an agrarian society to an industrial one, and from a small nation into the strongest on Earth—all from its peaceful setting on the grounds of what is now the Tudor Place Historic House and Garden.

That lush garden environment, on land once owned by the granddaughter of Martha Washington and her first husband, led to the project’s choice of photographer. Amy Bedik has been shooting formal gardens for many years, most of them with a Diana plastic camera and black-and-white film that combine to give her images a pictorial quality that complements the manicured nature of her subjects. Even though she chose to shoot the tree in color, her technique still plays detail down, turning the tulip poplar’s distinctive four-lobed leaves into flat, translucent shapes. And rather than capture the tree in its massive entirety, Bedik isolated such representative details, including its individual limbs and 60-inch-diameter trunk. “Its breadth formed a shelter from the hot sun that day,” she says. “So I tried to explore the idea of shelter through the photographs.”

The Tudor Place tulip poplar’s garden confines might seem, in turn, to shelter it from the ravages of urban development. While tulip poplars are one of the hardiest and tallest eastern hardwoods, the tree’s advanced age puts it at greater risk from environmental contagions and the changing, destructive weather patterns of the last few years. One big storm could fell it, silencing its many stories.

Back To the Main Article

**Back to Main Gallery******

trees22.jpg
CITY OF TREES
The Trees: Louisville, KY’s Olmsted-designed parks and parkways
The Threat: Highway building and severe weather Read more about Bob Hower’s photos Bob Hower
trees23.jpg
CITY OF TREES
The Trees: Louisville, KY’s Olmsted-designed parks and parkways.
The Threat: Highway building and severe weather. Read more about Bob Hower’s photos. Bob Hower
trees24.jpg
CITY OF TREES
The Trees: Louisville, KY’s Olmsted-designed parks and parkways.
The Threat: Highway building and severe weather. Read more about Bob Hower’s photos. Bob Hower
trees10.jpg
PRETTY IN THE CITY
The Trees: Japanese flowering cherries at Newark, NJ’s Branch Brook Park
The Threat: Urban development and poor maintenance Read more about Yong Hee Kim’s photos Yong Hee Kim
trees11.jpg
PRETTY IN THE CITY
The Trees: Japanese flowering cherries at Newark, NJ’s Branch Brook Park.
The Threat: Urban development and poor maintenance. Read more about Yong Hee Kim’s photos. Yong Hee Kim
trees12.jpg
PRETTY IN THE CITY
The Trees: Japanese flowering cherries at Newark, NJ’s Branch Brook Park.
The Threat: Urban development and poor maintenance. Read more about Yong Hee Kim’s photos. Yong Hee Kim
trees01.jpg
AMAZING GRACE
The Trees: The American elms of East Hampton, NY
The Threat: Dutch elm disease Read more about Garie Waltzer’s photos Garie Waltzer
trees02.jpg
AMAZING GRACE
The Trees: The American elms of East Hampton, NY.
The Threat: Dutch elm disease. Read more about Garie Waltzer’s photos. Garie Waltzer
trees03.jpg
AMAZING GRACE
The Trees: The American elms of East Hampton, NY.
The Threat: Dutch elm disease. Read more about Garie Waltzer’s photos. Garie Waltzer
trees26.jpg
FOREST CATHEDRAL
The Trees:The old-growth forest of the abandoned Arborland tree Farm, Milliken, CO.
The Threat: Urban development, habitat destruction. Read more about Jay Dickman’s photos. Jay Dickman
trees27.jpg
FOREST CATHEDRAL
The Trees:The old-growth forest of the abandoned Arborland tree Farm, Milliken, CO.
The Threat: Urban development, habitat destruction. Read more about Jay Dickman’s photos. Jay Dickman
trees28.jpg
FOREST CATHEDRAL
The Trees:The old-growth forest of the abandoned Arborland tree Farm, Milliken, CO
The Threat: Urban development, habitat destruction Read more about Jay Dickman’s photo. Jay Dickman
trees29.jpg
FOREST CATHEDRAL
The Trees:The old-growth forest of the abandoned Arborland tree Farm, Milliken, CO.
The Threat: Urban development, habitat destruction. Read more about Jay Dickman’s photos. Jay Dickman
trees33.jpg
WISE ELDER
The Tree: A historic tulip poplar at Washington, DC’s Tudor Place Historic House and Garden.
The Threat: The tree’s age, which makes it more vulnerable to weather and environmental changes. Read more about Amy Bedik’s photos__. Amy Bedik
trees34.jpg
WISE ELDER
The Tree: A historic tulip poplar at Washington, DC’s Tudor Place Historic House and Garden.
The Threat: The tree’s age, which makes it more vulnerable to weather and environmental changes. Read more about Amy Bedik’s photos. Amy Bedik
trees35.jpg
WISE ELDER
The Tree: A historic tulip poplar at Washington, DC’s Tudor Place Historic House and Garden
The Threat: The tree’s age, which makes it more vulnerable to weather and environmental changes Read more about Amy Bedik’s photos__. Amy Bedik
trees19.jpg
ANCIENT MARKS
The Trees: The boxed pines of Weymouth Heights, in NC.
The Threat: Development, fire suppression. Read more about Frank Hunter’s photos. Frank Hunter
trees20.jpg
ANCIENT MARKS
The Trees: The boxed pines of Weymouth Heights, in NC
The Threat: Development, fire suppression Read more about Frank Hunter’s photos Frank Hunter
trees21.jpg
ANCIENT MARKS
The Trees: The boxed pines of Weymouth Heights, in NC.
The Threat: Development, fire suppression. Read more about Frank Hunter’s photos. Frank Hunter
trees06.jpg
ROAD WARRIORS
The Trees: Three massive bark-cloth ficuses in San Juan, P.R.
The Threat: A major highway passing directly under the trees’ canopy Read more about Juan A. Pons’ photos__. Juan A. Pons
trees07.jpg
ROAD WARRIORS
The Trees: Three massive bark-cloth ficuses in San Juan, P.R.
The Threat: A major highway passing directly under the trees’ canopy. Read more about Juan A. Pons’ photos. Juan A. Pons
trees04.jpg
MALL WALKING
The Trees: Commonwealth Avenue Mall, Boston, MA
The Threat: Heavy use and Dutch elm disease Read more about James Sheldon’s photos James Sheldon
trees05.jpg
MALL WALKING
The Trees: Commonwealth Avenue Mall, Boston, MA.
The Threat: Heavy use and Dutch elm disease. Read more about James Sheldon’s photos. James Sheldon
trees09.jpg
GARDEN TREE
The Trees: The Cummer Oak, a live oak at Jacksonville, Florida’s Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
The Threat: Age and weather Read more about Larry Nighswander’s photos Larry Nighswander
treesnighswander02.jpg
GARDEN TREE
The Trees: The Cummer Oak, a live oak at Jacksonville, Florida’s Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens.
The Threat: Age and weather. Read more about Larry Nighswander’s photos Larry Nighswander
trees30.jpg
WISE ELDER
The Tree: A historic tulip poplar at Washington, DC’s Tudor Place Historic House and Garden
The Threat: The tree’s age, which makes it more vulnerable to weather and environmental changes Read more about Amy Bedik’s photos Barbara Bosworth
trees31.jpg
WISE ELDER
The Tree: A historic tulip poplar at Washington, DC’s Tudor Place Historic House and Garden.
The Threat: The tree’s age, which makes it more vulnerable to weather and environmental changes. Read more about Amy Bedik’s photos. Barbara Bosworth
trees32.jpg
FOR THE AGES
The Tree: a massive black oak at the Katewood estate, Bratenahl, OH.
The Threat: Age and weather. Read more about Barbara Bosworth’s photos__. Barbara Bosworth
trees13.jpg
THE FIG TREE
** **The Trees:
The Aoyama Tree, a Moreton Bay fig growing in a Los Angeles parking lot
The Threat: THE lack of water and nutrients due to asphalt paving; overpruning Read more about Robert Glenn Ketchum’s photos Robert Glenn Ketchum
trees14.jpg
THE FIG TREE
** **The Trees:
The Aoyama Tree, a Moreton Bay fig growing in a Los Angeles parking lot.
The Threat: THE lack of water and nutrients due to asphalt paving; overpruning. Read more about Robert Glenn Ketchum’s photos Robert Glenn Ketchum
trees15.jpg
THE FIG TREE
** **The Trees:
The Aoyama Tree, a Moreton Bay fig growing in a Los Angeles parking lot.
The Threat: THE lack of water and nutrients due to asphalt paving; overpruning. Read more about Robert Glenn Ketchum’s photos Robert Glenn Ketchum
trees16.jpg
THE FIG TREE
** **The Trees:
The Aoyama Tree, a Moreton Bay fig growing in a Los Angeles parking lot.
The Threat: THE lack of water and nutrients due to asphalt paving; overpruning. Read more about Robert Glenn Ketchum’s photos Robert Glenn Ketchum
trees17.jpg
TEST OF TIME
The Trees: A 100-year-old row of American sycamores in Ames, Iowa.
The Threat: Infrastructure development; flooding. Read more about Dave Jordano’s photos. Dave Jordano
trees18.jpg
TEST OF TIME
The Trees: A 100-year-old row of American sycamores in Ames, Iowa
The Threat: Infrastructure development; flooding Read more about Dave Jordano’s photos Dave Jordano