Biographical / Historical
Elizabeth Moynihan is an architectural historian and author, specializing in the study of Mughal gardens in India. In 1973, while living in India, Ms. Moynihan authored a survey of surviving Mughal gardens, which she published in 1979 titled "Paradise as a Garden in Persia and Moghul India." Ms. Moynihan served on the Indo-U.S. Sub-Commission on Education and Culture. During this tenure, she continued her research on Babur, the founder of the Moghul dynasty, locating and documenting four previously unknown 16th century gardens built by Babur. Ms. Moynihan served on and helped establish many distinguished boards and committees over the course of her career. These include the Raoul Wallenberg Committee, American Schools of Oriental Research, and the State University of New York at Binghamton. A long-time board member of the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Ms. Moynihan also served as a trustee of the National Building Museum, the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, Harvard University, the Preservation League of New York State, and the Leon Levy Foundation, among other educational and cultural institutions. Ms. Moynihan received honorary degrees from the City University of New York and Hartwick College. In 1991, she was nominated by Leon Levy and elected to serve as an independent director of the Oppenheimer Funds, a position in which she served for 12 years. In 1996, Ms. Moynihan directed a joint project for the Archaeological Survey of India and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, and edited the report published in 2000 as "The Moonlight Garden: New Discoveries at the Taj Mahal." In 2003, Ms. Moynihan was named as a founding trustee of the Leon Levy Foundation. The projects in which she is most engaged are the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve in Eleuthera, Bahamas, the Native Plant Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, the Water Conservation Project at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Center for Conservation Studies at Nagaur Fort in Rajastan, India. Married to United States Ambassador and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan for 48 years, Ms. Moynihan managed three of his four campaigns for the United States Senate. Ms. Moynihan currently serves as a Distinguished Counsellor to the New York Botanical Garden's Board of Managers; a position she's held since 2013. Scope and Content Note Elizabeth Moynihan is an architectural historian and author, specializing in the study of Mughal gardens in India. This collection measures 7.13 linear feet and documents Elizabeth Moynihan's research of the Lotus Garden of Dholpur, the Jai Mahal Garden in Jaipur, Mehtab Bagh, and many other Mughal Gardens in India. It includes correspondence; field notebooks; drawings; sketchbooks; photographs; slides; rock specimens; blueprints; maps; and published articles.