Wednesday, August 19, 2009


The surreal folly gardens at Xilitla were created by Edward James, an eccentric British millionaire and patron of the arts. Set into 80 acres of jungle, he and his builders spent 25 years and millions of dollars creating a nature inspired fantasy in concrete.

Edward James began his life in the sheltered luxury of the English upper class. He attended Eton and Oxford, and later became a great supporter and collector of surrealist art, sponsoring both Dali and Magritte in the 1930s. His English home Monkton House is also a dedicated surrealist fantasy. His role as a patron of the arts put him in touch with luminaries of his times, including Dylan Thomas, Sigmund Freud, DH Lawrence, and Aldous Huxley. Huxley introduced him to Hollywood types, who in turn introduced him to spiritualist, surrealist, west coast visionaries, who then introduced him to the wilds of Mexico. A great lover of plants and animals, he was immediately attracted to he jungles of Mexico by the lush vegetation and the leisurely pace."

Via: Atlas Obscura

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