During a fellowship at the Winterthur Museum studying how architectural follies and theater design relate, I read the book Architectural Follies in America by Gwyn Headly. The book opens with, "Here is the only sentence in this book that will mention Florenz Zeigfield or Stephen Sondheim." That line made me laugh and I decided I needed to tie theater follies and architectural follies together so that this sentence can no longer be true. Using old-school theatrical techniques to build an architectural folly, I built three classically painted muslin theater drops with a garden scene based off a James Thornhill theatrical backdrop design I found in the Wintherthur library. Architectural follies are all about whimsy and decoration while theatrical follies are lavish and opulent reviews with little to no plot. Follies Folly takes these two definitions and turns them on their head by creating one object defined by both.
Architectural follies are fantastical structures in a garden, the Follies Folly is a fantastical garden among structures.
Photographs by Jean Sonderand