Cover image for Landscape design : a cultural and architectural history
Landscape design : a cultural and architectural history
Rogers, Elizabeth Barlow, 1936-
Publication Information:
New York : Harry N. Abrams, 2001.
Physical Description:
544 pages : illustrations (some color), plans ; 30 cm
Format :


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SB470.5 .R64 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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People have shaped the landscapes around them since prehistoric times, creating places as diverse in form and meaning as Stonehenge, the Forbidden City, Versailles, and Central Park. This book surveys the history of landscape design.

Author Notes

Trained in art history and city planning, Elizabeth Barlow Rogers is internationally recognized for her work and leadership in revitalizing public parks and gardens. Rogers was founding president of the Central Park Conservancy and of Cityscape Institute, a resource for public-private partnerships to promote creative development of outdoor urban public places. She also served as administrator of New York City's Central Park (1979-95). Her book, The Forests and Wetlands of New York City, won the John Burroughs Medal and was a National Book Award nominee. In the autumn of 2001, Rogers will inaugurate a course of study on landscape design at the Bard Center for the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture in New York City

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

To prepare for her post as the first administrator of New York's Central Park, distinguished art historian, expert city planner, and author Rogers sought to master the context in which the park was built and designed by taking an interdisciplinary approach to landscape architecture's historical importance, cultural influence, and societal impact. The result is her magnum opus, an eloquent, erudite, and enjoyable treatment of a discipline that heretofore concentrated on technical methodologies while eschewing the philosophical deliberations that guide it. By tracing the global development of man's relationship to the land from cave dwellers to urban developers, Rogers' anthropological orientation examines diverse ancient to contemporary landscapes in microscopic detail, revealing how, as mankind inherently strives to control nature through landscape design, the results inevitably reflect the prevailing cultural milieu. Scrupulously researched, meticulously presented, Rogers' towering achievement synthesizes the history of human culture with that of landscape design, culminating in a wondrous journey across time and place that will appeal to readers with a wide range of historical, aesthetic, gardening, and travel interests. --Carol HaggasCuisine du Jour, by Mark Knoblauch

Publisher's Weekly Review

Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, former administrator of New York City's Central Park (The Forests and Wetlands of New York City), begins Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History with stone circles and ziggurats, and traces design's evolution through to today's suburbs and theme parks. An encyclopedic account of man-made landscapes around the world illustrated with a stunning 633 photos and drawings, more than half in color, the book reveals a 1720 English turf ampitheater, the "Tea, Moss and Stones" (as one chapter is titled) of Japanese gardens, the grand genius of Versailles designer Andr Le Ntre, as well as today's "Earthworks, Golf Courses, Philosophical Models, and Poetic Metaphors." It's an accessible and elegant respite. ( Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Perhaps best known as the founding director of New York's Central Park Conservancy, which oversaw and funded the park's revitalization, Rogers (The Forests and Wetlands of New York City) here presents a comprehensive survey of landscape design. Viewing her subject as the art that modifies and shapes nature, she explores the cultural values that shape, or are embodied in, cities, parks, and gardens. Embracing all cultures and ranging from prehistoric times to the present, this book covers the broadest range of subjects implied by the title, including city planning, landscape architecture, conservation, earthworks, and other uses of land in contemporary art. While this history is international in scope, it does narrow its primary focus to the United States when it reaches the late 20th century. The photographs and especially the plans are excellent and numerous. Single pages or double-page spreads devoted to specific topics add an encyclopedic element while allowing Rogers to provide even more information, illustrations, and plans without interrupting the flow of her very readable text. Accessible to lay readers but of interest to scholars, this book could serve as the text for a comprehensive course on the history of landscape design. Highly recommended. Daniel Starr, Metropolitan Museum of Art Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The human shaping of the land is one of the first and most enduring of our collective cultural statements. This superbly conceived synthesis of the evolution of landscape design--the first comprehensive history in a generation--traces place-making from prehistoric land forms to postmodern earthworks and from the Far East to the far west and points in between. Rogers, an art historian who spearheaded the restoration of New York City's Central Park and now directs a new program in garden history and landscape studies at the Bard Graduate Center, demonstrates a breathtaking mastery of the changing cultural meanings of landscape over place and time. Rogers's emphatically highbrow approach emphasizes gardens and cityscapes as works of art inextricably shaped by contemporary intellectual, social, and economic developments. The text is strongly interdisciplinary and cross-cultural, written with sensitivity to design and attentive to continuities as well as change. A handsomely illustrated book for students of landscape architecture, preservation, and planning as well as for citizens who care deeply about the landscapes that surround us. Highly recommended. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through professionals. D. Schuyler Franklin and Marshall College

Table of Contents

Forewordp. 16
Introduction: The Shaping of Space; the Meaning of Placep. 20
Chapter 1 Magic, Myth, and Nature: Landscapes of Prehistoric, Early Ancient, and Contemporary Peoplesp. 26
I. Caves and Circles: Sustaining Life and Discerning Cosmic Order
II. Architectural Mountains and the Earth's First Cities: Landscape as Urban Power in Early Ancient Civilizations
III. Ritual and Landscape in Prehistoric Greece: Earth Goddess and the Mighty Lords
IV. Cosmology in the Landscapes of the Americas: Spirits of Earth and Sky
Chapter 2 Nature, Art, and Reason: Landscape Design in the Classical Worldp. 58
I. Gods and Humans: The New Contract with Nature
II. Polis and Acropolis: City and Temple in the Greek Landscape
III. Empire: Hellenism and Roman Urbanism
IV. Garden and Villa: The Art of Landscape in Ancient Rome
Chapter 3 Visions of Paradise: Landscape Design as Symbol and Metaphorp. 97
I. Paradise as a Literary Topos: Gardens of God and Gardens of Love
II. Paradise on Earth: The Islamic Garden
III. Paradise Contained: Walled Cities and Walled Gardens of the European Middle Ages
Chapter 4 Classicism Reborn: Landscape Ideals of the Renaissance in Italy and Francep. 125
I. Petrarch, Alberti, and Colonna: Humanism and the Landscape
II. Bramante and the Rediscovery of Axial Planning: Gardens of Sixteenth-Century Italy
III. Axial Planning on an Urban Scale: The Development of Renaissance Rome
IV. Currents of Fashion: The Transformation of the Italian Garden in France
V. The Evolution of French Urbanization and Garden Style: Paris in the Time of Henry IV
Chapter 5 Power and Glory: The Genius of Le Notre and the Grandeur of the Baroquep. 165
I. The Making of Vaux-le-Vicomte and Versailles: Andre Le Notre
II. The Garden as Theater: Italian Baroque and Rococo Gardens
Chapter 6 Expanding Horizons: Court and City in the European Grand Mannerp. 194
I. French and Italian Exports: The Application of Classical and Baroque Design Principles to Gardens in the Netherlands, England, Germany, and Beyond
II. The Heroic City: Expressions of Classical and Baroque Urbanism
III. Nature's Paradise: America in the Colonial and Federal Periods
Chapter 7 Sense and Sensibility: Landscapes of the Age of Reason, Romanticism, and Revolutionp. 232
I. The Genius of the Place: Forging a New Landscape Style Through Literature, Art, and Theory
II. Leaping the Fence: The Transformation of the English Landscape into a Pastoral Idyll with Political Meaning
III. Remaking England: Capability Brown, Professional Improver
IV. Nature's Canvas: English Philosophers and Practitioners of the Picturesque
V. Landscapes of Moral Virtue and Exotic Fantasy: The French Picturesque
VI. Designing Nature's Garden: The Landscapes of Thomas Jefferson
VII. The Landscape of Mind and Soul: Goethe and Wordsworth
Chapter 8 Nature as Muse: The Gardens of China and Japanp. 281
I. Mountains, Lakes, and Islands: Intimations of Immortality in the Chinese Garden
II. Tea, Moss, and Stones: Temple and Palace Gardens of Japan
Chapter 9 Expanding Cities and New Social Institutions: The Democratization of Landscape Designp. 311
I. Botanical Science, the Gardenesque Style, and People's Parks: Landscape Design in Victorian England
II. Redefining Rural America: The Influence of Andrew Jackson Downing
III. Honoring History and Repose for the Dead: Commemorative Landscapes and Rural Cemeteries
IV. The New Metropolis: Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux as Park Builders and City Planners
Chapter 10 Industrial Age Civilization: Birth of the Modern City, Beaux-Arts America, and National Parksp. 357
I. Haussmann's Paris: Birth of the Modern City
II. The City Beautiful: Monumental Urbanism in Beaux-Arts America
III. America the Beautiful: The National Park System
Chapter 11 Landscape as Aesthetic Experience: The Arts and Crafts Movement and the Revival of the Formal Gardenp. 375
I. Modernity Challenged: Ruskin's Influence, the Past Revalued, and Italy's Long Shadow
II. The Edwardian and Post-Edwardian English Garden: Aristocracy's Golden Afternoon and Twilight
III. Design Synthesis: The End of the American Country Place Era
Chapter 12 Social Utopias: Modernism and Regional Planningp. 402
I. Urban Expansion: Town Planning for the Machine Age in Britain and Continental Europe
II. Greenbelt Towns or Suburbs?: Creating the American Metropolis
Chapter 13 A New Landscape Aesthetic: The Modernist Gardenp. 434
I. Transitional Experimentation: Design Idioms of the Early Twentieth Century
II. Abstract Art and the Functional Landscape: Gardens for Modern Living
Chapter 14 Home, Commerce, and Entertainment: Landscapes of Consumerismp. 457
I. A Home for the Family: The Landscape of Suburbia
II. Commerce and Entertainment: Shopping Malls and Theme Parks
Chapter 15 Holding on and Letting Grow: Landscape as Preservation, Conservation, Art, Sport, and Theoryp. 470
I. Preserving the Past: Place as Heritage, Identity, Tourist Landscape, and New Urbanist Community
II. Conserving Nature: Landscape Design as Environmental Science and Art
III. Earthworks, Golf Courses, Philosophical Models, and Poetic Metaphors: Landscape as Art Form, Sport, Deconstructivism, and Phenomenology
Chapter 16 The Weaving of Place and the Geography of Flows: Landscape as Bodily Experience and Vernacular Expressionp. 502
I. Body and Space: The Weaving of Place
II. Cultural Geography: The Loom of Landscape
Glossaryp. 514
Bibliographyp. 520
Indexp. 534
Photograph Creditsp. 544