Created by Charles Hamilton from 1738 to 1773, Painshill has no obvious narrative structure derived from an iconographical program. Sculpture and inscriptions have been almost totally eliminated (there is only one statue modeled after Giambologna), and built form is the dominant signifier. As the visitor encounters shifting scenes constructed around those buildings (with plantings), the mood shifting from light to dark and from serene beauty to savage wildness. The hermitage at Painshill has given rise to an apocryphal story (a hermit advertised for in The Times), but the idea of the hermit is important as a topic that offered multiple readings. By comparison with Painshill, three sites offer variations on iconographical programs that are still connected to the emblematic tradition: Chiswick House, Rousham, and Stourhead.
Chiswick House, to the West of London: Lord Burlington’s garden was an outdoor museum of architectural form, a miniaturized tribute to Italy and Antiquity. After Burlington’s own design work (late 1710s -- late 1720s, associated with the Palladian Revival), William Kent became the dominant designer. His exedra of yew was dignified with sculpture, supposedly signifying Caesar and Pompey as despots of ancient Rome, and Cicero, the defender of liberty. But this is only one possible reading, and otherwise buildings rather than emblems define the garden.
Charles Bridgeman was commissioned by the owner General Dormer to landscape the garden in the 1720s. William Kent’s modifications to this layout in the late 1730s/early 1740s demonstrated how “all nature was a garden” by extending vistas out to architecture in the surrounding fields. A central theme – death among pastoral glades – is generated by sculpture as well as by buildings: a “Dying Gladiator,” for example, and the pastoral figures of pan, Apollo, and satyr. The iconography reflects the patron as much as the designer.
Created by Henry Hoare II (1705-1785), Stourhead is contemporary with Painshill. It appears similar -- buildings set around a circuit with a lake at the center – but it is still emblematic. Sculpture and inscriptions support the buildings, allowing the visitor to interpret the iconography as a new representation of the story from Virgil’s The Aeneid (Aeneas founding Rome), or as Hercules facing the choice between vice and virtue. Yet other political or moral readings are also possible (the imaginative redemption of the Fall of Man). In a recent essay, John Dixon Hunt has questioned the validity of iconographical interpretation drawn too narrowly from the disciplines of literary criticism or art history. The fact that the owner created the gardens over time (with contingent effects) introduces the temporal dimension in landscape art. Hunt suggests that the “associationism” of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy offers one analogy for entering the mind of the eighteenth-century garden-maker and garden visitor.
Lecture 7: “Spaces of Modernity” – The City, the Pleasure Garden, and the Social House after 1750 Distinction between the “pleasure garden” at Vauxhall and the “pleasure ground” at Carlton House:
The term “pleasure garden” is usually applied to the first “public gardens” in London during the eighteenth century – notably Vauxhall and Ranalegh. In contrast, the term “pleasure ground” is usually applied to the area within the private landscape garden that was inside the ha-ha and devoted to refined horticulture and to social activities extending out from house. (Lecture 8 elaborates on the theme: private “pleasure grounds.”)
Why was Vauxhall so important? There are different interpretations of Vauxhall’s meaning. Hunt argues that its theatrical forms, borrowed from Stowe and Rousham, made emblematic art accessible to a wide audience (garden art was “democratized”). David Solkin sees its entertainments – separated from vulgar fairs -- in terms of polite, bourgeois culture. Gregory Nosan argues, in contrast, that royal display was refashioned in a patriotic way to be inclusive of royal subjects. Miles Ogborn views it as an “early-modern consumer wonderland” of risqué entertainment that anticipates theme parks or shopping malls. It is as one prototype for nineteenth-century urban parks that Vauxhall seems so important in this course.
The Structure and Programming of Vauxhall: The layout of 12 acres (similar in size to Chiswick House or Carlton House) is a fusion of Baroque and Picturesque elements. The grand walks and groves follow the model of a “bosquet” (Versailles, etc.), but the various exedral forms are derived from Kent’s work at Chiswick, Stowe, or Carlton House. Music took place outside (like 19th-century bandstands) or in the rotunda (rather like an Assembly Room). These were new public venues for composers like Handel. Public concerts replaced exclusive court gatherings. Dining was turned into a commodified spectacle.
The Social House and Circuits: A shift occurred in England in the mid-eighteenth century from representative court or aristocratic gatherings to new polite or bourgeois gatherings. In terms of city planning, this meant that towns like Bath were constructed around a series of public spaces and venues that offered a sequence of different entertainments: the assembly, the masquerade, the ridotto and the ball. Here, aristocrats and the “middling sort” would rub shoulders. In terms of the London house or country house, the wealthy – living in greater separation from servants (upstairs/downstairs) – enjoyed a similar circuit of simultaneous entertainments (replacing the unified, sequential enfilade of the Baroque). For the landscape garden, the idea of the circuit was more than the narrative of Stourhead or the “mood scenes” of Painshill; it was an expression equivalent to the new taste in gratifying simultaneous pleasures.
William Hogarth (1697-1764): In his life and his paintings, Hogarth exemplifies themes associated with London culture (Lecture 5: the coffee house, subscription art, etc.) as well as the new forms of gathering. In his Assembly at Wanstead House (c.1729-31) and The Strode Family (1738), he shows the shift from representative gatherings to intimate family gatherings through the model of the “conversation piece” over tea. Tea was the new status drink, much more expensive than coffee. The traffic in exotic plants (Lecture 5) is matched by the traffic in commodities (tea and chinaware) and the traffic in humans.
The Paving of Westminster and Open Spaces in London: There were alternative visions for regulating a city like London that had grown from 575, 000 in 1700 to 675, 000 in 1750. The Earl of Shaftesbury looked to an Athenian model of a “civilized city” in which virtuous men ensured that profit from commerce was turned into clean city spaces. Bernard Mandeville, in contrast, assumed that vice and filth were inevitable by-products of commerce. David Hume tried to reconcile these extremes, arguing that women played a civilizing role through the arts of “conversation.” The battle over municipal paving in Westminster highlights the shift from private to public initiatives. It anticipates the attempts to establish municipal governance, town-planning, and urban infrastructures in nineteenth-century cities.
Lecture 8: The Garden of Eden and the Pleasure Ground – from Botanic Garden to Arboretum, and from Wilderness to Shrubbery. John Prest’s argument extended from botanic garden to pleasure ground: In his 1981 book (The Garden of Eden: The Botanic Garden and the Re-creation of Paradise), John Prest argued that the first botanic gardens were an attempt to collect and display the pieces of the creation scattered after the Fall and Expulsion. America became a missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle. The same Edenic endeavor was sustained in eighteenth-century pleasure grounds, albeit conflated with colonial and scientific imperatives, and with an eye to consumption and aesthetics. My own Flowering of the Landscape Garden (1999) builds that case.
Mark Laird’s thesis connected to Therese O’Malley’s thesis: Botanic gardens, at first primarily medicinal, became -- through the transformations of the eighteenth century -- “museums of living plants” and eventually arboreta or prototypes for the nineteenth-century public park. As the number of exotic plants increased by thousands, the “theatrical” shrubbery of the pleasure ground (evolving out of the geometric “wilderness”) gave way to specialized gardens that reflected habitats or geographical groupings. Rock gardens, woodland gardens, the American garden, etc., connected botanic garden to pleasure ground.
The Challenge in Reconstructing the Planting of the Picturesque Pleasure Ground: With the loss of original shrubs and flowers at Charles Hamilton’s Painshill or Capability Brown’s Petworth, it was impossible in the 1980s to visualize a 1750s pleasure ground. By piecing together fragments of archival evidence – engravings, visitor descriptions, nursery bills, and the rare planting plan – it has been possible to develop an “Identikit” for features such as the shrubbery and the flower clump. The “theatre” – a graduated arrangement of shrubs or flowers – is the overarching motif. American flowering shrubs – Rhododendron maximum, Kalmia latifolia and Magnolia grandiflora – became the most prized “exotics” in the Edenic theater of the shrubbery. A few outstanding painters (Thomas Robins, Paul Sandby, William Tomkins, etc.) chose to paint foreground detail as well as topographical panoramas, and their representations confirm the dominance of the “theatrical” planting structures, now re-created at Painshill Park.
The Terminology of Planting in the Picturesque Pleasure Ground: The pleasure ground encompasses all the zones dedicated to refined horticulture and polite entertainment within the boundary of the ha-ha. The shrubbery was the primary showcase of exotic woody species, but could contain flowers at the front. The Flower Garden – notably at Nuneham Courtenay, Audley End, and Hartwell – was sometimes a separate zone dedicated to herbaceous plants, but it could contain a shrubbery! The pleasure ground was especially associated with the women of the household as an extension of their domestic sphere, with activities including flower painting, flower embroidery, and horticulture.
Pleasure Grounds associated with Capability Brown, Richard Woods and Thomas Wright: Petworth and Tottenham Park are two sites where Brown’s horticultural acumen is well documented. His rival Richard Woods is noted for a style of ornamental landscaping that combines geometrical plantings with serpentine form: notably in gentry gardens such as Hatfield Priory, Little Linford, Copford Hall, Hengrave, and Wivenboe. Thomas Wright also explored geometry within picturesque form at Badminton and Stoke Park, and in his proposal for St. James’s Park (1766). At Lord Dacre’s Belhus, “Capability” Brown, Richard Woods and a Samuel Driver all provided services to a client in sequence. The Duke of Argyle at Whitton was a noted “tree-monger” and the Duchess of Portland at Bulstrode amassed fine collections of plants, animals, and shells in the second half of the eighteenth century.
Important Women in the Realm of the Pleasure Ground: The 2nd Duchess of Portland, working closely with Mrs. Delany on a range of studies in natural history (collecting and classifying plants, animals, shells and marine life forms), are two of the “giants” of the scientific/aesthetic milieu in London and on the estate of Bulstrode (where the painter G. D. Ehret and the patron of science Joseph Banks would congregate). Along with the 1stDuchess of Beaufort, the Princess of Wales, the Lennox Sisters, Lady Elizabeth Lee and the authors of Millenium Hall (1762), they represent the significant role of women in design and gardening.
Lecture 9: “Beauty and Utility”: The Aesthetic of Belt and Clump in the “Capability” Brown Landscape Park. Ferme Ornée, Estate Management, Forestry, Hunting, and Environment The Importance of “Capability” Brown (1716-83): Brown rose from a position of gardener at Stowe to become the most influential landscape gardener for three decades (1753 to 1783). Among his early works are Lord Coventry’s Croome Court, the Earl of Egremont’s Petworth, and Lord Dacre’s Belhus.
Keith Thomas’s argument on the origins of the English landscape park: Between 1760 and 1820, the “enclosure movement” (as part of agricultural “improvement”) brought over 3 million acres of land into modernized cultivation. Consolidating landholdings, the estate owners created a new landscape of geometric fields enclosed by hawthorn (“quickset”) hedges. William Gilpin saw these as “formalities” like the geometrical gardens of the Baroque. Thomas argues that the “informal” park was a reaction to this, but leaves open the question of whether the countryside (regularized or not) could be part of the pleasure ground and park.
Tom Williamson on the “belt and clump” as part of “enclosure” and “improvement”: It is important to distinguish the regional geographies of England. Agriculture in the South-East and South-West developed its distinctive character by the Middle Ages as fields were cleared from woodland. This preceded the “enclosures.” By contrast, the Midlands and North-East were subject to parliamentary enclosures, and thus regularized fields resulted -- part of a new modernized farming. As a thin strip of woodland around an estate, the belt was useful to exclude geometrical agriculture and keep poachers out. The great landowners, consolidating estates at the expense of the small landholders, saw advantage in being able to manage resources, concentrate political influence, and control their “improvements.” The clump and belt were two means of controlling the aesthetics of an estate. They were also part of a modernized agriculture – new seeding techniques, new breeds, etc. – linked to investment in forestry for the benefit of hunting. With new guns, hunting shifted to the in-flight shooting of pheasants, whose habitat was woodland edge. The belt and clumps maximized woodland-edge conditions.
Stephen Daniels on estate management: Sir John Griffin-Griffin of Audley End is an example of a great landholder who directed resources profitably by shifting investment from forestry to agricultural enterprises to mineral extraction. “Capability” Brown coordinated the aesthetics of park management through the land agent or foreman. Richard Woods and Placido Columbani were brought in to complete the pleasure ground.
The Ferme Ornée: All great Brownian landscape parks were a fusion of profit and pleasure. But there were those who looked for a closer integration of beauty and utility according to the teachings of Antiquity – notably Virgil’s Georgics. Working from the topos of “beatus ille” (the happy man who farms his villa), and especially Horace’s phrase utile dulci (useful and beautiful), practitioners such as Stephen Switzer developed a type of “extensive gardening” that incorporated agriculture. Switzer believed this was the Roman practice, which the French had entitled “La Ferme Ornée” (ornamented farm). But Philip Southcote of Woburn Farm claimed his inspiration was the Italian campagna. Willam Shenstone’s The Leasowes, heavily indebted to Virgil, was more of a pastoral than georgic ferme ornée. Robert Williams argues that in spite of the pastoral imagery, Shenstone alluded to violence and death that inhabited Arcadia as an ideal for the garden.
Bampfylde’s Hestercombe and Gilbert White (1720-93) at The Wakes: The restoration of Hestercombe (Coplestone Warre Bampfylde, 1720-91) illustrates a type of pastoral gardening that his friend Shenstone developed in the groves of The Leasowes. The “enamelling” of lawn and grove (with trees “garnished”) differs from Painshill’s “theatrical” shrubberies. At The Wakes and in his parish of Selborne, naturalist-parson White developed a new integration of garden and landscape in his study of “nature’s economy” – the interdependency of all life forms. He anticipates later pioneers of ecology, but is not an “ecologist” as such.
Lecture 10: The Landscape Profession, Picturesque Controversy, and National Identity. Humphry Repton and the Geography of Georgian England. The Significance of Humphry Repton (1752-1818): Repton’s background (and failed careers) meant that he came rather late to landscape (like F. L. Olmsted Sr. in the next century, and unlike his predecessor Brown). His ambitions included elevating landscape gardening as a polite art; he established a body of theoretical works that helped codify the Picturesque. As a consultant and professional with set fees -- manipulating “words, visual forms and abstract ideas” -- Repton took advantage of fast travel, better roads, a good postal system, and a developed book trade to make the landscape gardener equivalent to the architect. His use of “before-and-after” watercolors in the Red Books (bound in red morocco) extended the representational repertoire. It was based on William Kent’s pictorial methods -- ignored by Brown and his contemporaries. He failed, however, to get recognition for his architecture, and lost out to Wyatt and Nash for royal patronage. And his lack of practical skills meant hiving off the contracting side of Brown’s work. The Picturesque Controversy, the Napoleonic Wars, some failed projects and a carriage accident halted his career, but his momentous legacy for the profession is sustained in the theoretical works and Red Books.
The Return to Formality and Mark Laird’s arguments: It is a conventional view to regard Repton’s revival of geometric, axial and historicist gardens as motivated by the imperatives of his time: a need to respond to his opponents in the Picturesque Controversy. They were Richard Payne Knight and Uvedale Price, who upheld the value of terraces and avenues, and vernacular ways. Repton is thought to have linked “comfort” to the changing function of the picturesque social house (with asymmetrical wings and conservatories at ground level). Yet it is possible to interpret the revival as simply a development within the continuum of Baroque/Picturesque planting systems. The rosarium at Ashridge, for example, was responsive to the new fashion for roses, yet it appropriated Baroque treillage. Moreover, the radial form was in a lineage that stretches back through Brown and Chambers in the eighteenth century to the “florist” gardens of seventeenth-century France and sixteenth-century Italy. So equally Repton’s signature motif of “baskets” of flowers was highly innovative at Brighton and Ashridge, yet drew on antecedents in Dutch fine art and French decorative arts. As the “theatrical” compendium of the shrubbery became unwieldy, the “specialized gardens” of his later years (rock gardens, American gardens, rose gardens, Chinese water gardens, etc.) accommodated an expanding range of plants with their diverse cultural needs.
The Picturesque Controversy and Stephen Daniels’s arguments: Price and Knight reformulated the Picturesque in terms of two horizons of knowledge: day-to-day estate management by resident landowners and connoisseurship of Old Master paintings. Repton’s opponents guarded their power-base (Downton & Foxley) as dissident Whigs within Herefordshire on the border with Wales – far from the centralizing and homogenizing forces of London. The battle was one of regional identity versus national style, of patrician amateur versus professional, and of radical or conservative ideologies versus consensus polite values.
Professional identity, regional identity, and national identity: The period around 1800 was a turning point for the landscape profession. Humphry Repton redefined the “landscape gardener” as a professional versed in the polite arts, rather like the architect. The contested terrain would take on new meaning by 1900, as the new “landscape architects” had to stake out a professional role distinct from the horticultural landscapers and the pure architects. As the center of gravity in picturesque taste shifted from the garden to the wider and wilder landscapes, tourism became the “modern form of the flight from modernity.” As countryside and customs became increasingly codified as national attributes, the importance of regional identity would increase. Protection of landscape & culture became a matter of the “original” or “authentic.”
Nature was reformulated: the “precursor” and the “residue” rather than something to be “improved.”
Lecture 11: The Picturesque Tradition in the German-Speaking World: from C.C.L. Hirschfeld and Peter Joseph Lenné to Prince Pückler-Muskau John Dixon Hunt on the Picturesque in Europe: In The Picturesque Garden in Europe (2003), Hunt argued that the “English” style has strong roots in France. The German-speaking territories are selected here to illustrate the tensions implicit in Picturesque as a style emerging from Baroque under the twin influences of England and France, but showing new impetus in the realm of the “public” and the “native.”
From Baroque and Rococo to Neo-Classicism and Picturesque: Two sites represent the stylistic shift in landscape design that came with Enlightenment ideals after the end of the Seven Years’ War (1756-63): Sanssouci, near Berlin, and Schwetzingen near Heidelberg. The first theoretical works coincide with the first new parks like Wörlitz: e.g., Johann Georg Sulzer’s Allgemeine Theorie der schönen Künste (1771-4).
Wörlitz: After visits to England in the 1760s, Prince Leopold von Anhalt-Dessau worked with architect Johann Friedrich Eyserbeck to lay out Wörlitz in 1763-4; it was extended in 1778, and then again 1790-98. It represents Enlightenment ideals (agrarian reform; social and religious tolerance; technological advances) mixed with expressive or erotic sentiment (e.g., the volcano, or the swaying bridge of love).
The Significance of Christian Cay Lorenz Hirschfeld(1742-92): Before national unification (post 1871), the German-speaking world was a loose conglomeration of territorial units, some under enlightened rulers. Hirschfeld, as professor and philosopher, using English and French texts, felt the need to forge a unified cultural identity through a picturesque code, his Theorie der Gartenkunst (1779-85). Among the notable achievements of this work was his championing of the public park or Volksgarten. He wrote in part for a growing bourgeois audience, who responded to the emphasis on individual enlightenment through rural retreat, reading, and contemplation. The central need for Germans was a Mittelweg (middle path) between the decadent, absolutist Versailles and the cynical emblems of Stowe or the wild excesses of Painshill (the latter anticipating the Picturesque Controversy, e.g., Payne-Knight’s term “counterfeit neglect”). The use of native plants and patriotic statuary led to a didactic vision for the public-spirited public garden. Ideals --concourse of both sexes, chance encounter rather than formal representation, etc. -- were drawn from London models (Vauxhall, the Mall). But the emphasis on policed promenades and divided circulation systems anticipate Baron Haussmann in Paris, on the one hand, and Paxton and Olmsted, on the other.
The Influence of Peter Joseph Lenné (1789-1866): Early works include Klein-Glienicke Park (1816-20s). This coincided with the founding of the “Landesbaumschule” or royal nursery in 1824 and “Gärtenlehranstalt,” which was the first school for gardeners worldwide. His involvement in public parks – from Magdeburg (1824) to the Berlin Tiergarten – and in town-planning issues represents the development of the profession away from purely aristocratic estate-design. His work reflects a balance of picturesque and geometric styles that came from Hirschfeld’s Mittelweg and from eclecticism in architecture. The extensive rural planning of Wörlitz was extended into the idea of Landesverschönerung (rather like ferme ornée on a grand regional scale) – exemplified in the lake-landscape around Potsdam (linking Klein-Glienicke to the Pfaueninsel and Charlottenhof). The ideal of the garden experienced from water or over water links Wörlitz to the Pfaueninsel.
Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau (1785-1871) and his influence on American landscape: On his estates of Bad Muskau and Branitz, Pückler showed how English models might be redefined. This was in terms of the local genius (genius loci), Continental soils, climate and microclimate, historical character, and familial, regional and national identity. For Charles Eliot and Samuel Parsons, his interest in rural and city planning set a model for the late 19th century. His legacy was also perpetuated through Eduard Petzold, who preserved the Muskau landscape, and Alfred Rehder, who moved to the US from Bad Muskau, and who wrote his Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs (1927) while at the Arnold Arboretum. Pückler’s engagement with the pleasure ground is a more contentious legacy. Influenced by Repton and John Nash’s work in St. James’s Park London, Pückler developed a distinctive and conflicted approach to color and ornamentation. This reflected emerging Gardenesque trends (including embryonic carpet bedding).
Lecture 12: Early 19th-Century England. The Development of the Suburb and Public Open Space: John Nash (1752-1835), John Claudius Loudon (1783-1843), and Joseph Paxton (1803-65) How Gardens Borrowed from Urban Form: The Piazza del Popolo in Rome or the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza represent a “patte d’oie” (literally goose foot) that appears in numerous French gardens and towns during the seventeenth century (e.g., Versailles and its environs). Converging allées would be laid out in St. James’s Park and at Hampton Court before 1700; after 1700, the patte d’oie is appropriated for garden design, notably at Chiswick House (from 1715). By 1800, cities begin to borrow from picturesque form.
Antecedent Typologies for the Early-19th-Century Public Park – From Square to Boulevard: A unified layout -- the city square -- begins with Michaelangelo’s Capitol in Rome and in Livorno before 1600. The first squares were paved, but by 1569 the Groenplaats in Antwerp was turned from a cemetery into tree-shaded open space. That model shows up in Philadelphia’s first city-plan of 1681-2. This was well ahead of the conversion of London squares from paved spaces into fenced-in, private green zones that were treated as picturesque gardens around 1800. By the 1850s, the new squares of Paris would adopt picturesque form. Tree-lined ramparts at Antwerp and Lucca (by 1580s) were a prototype for the Cours la Reine and the Boulevart St. Antoine of Paris (17th century). They would evolve into the boulevards of the Haussmann era (after 1851). The tradition of promenading by coach is a translation of the Italian corso into the French cours. (The Champs-Élysées in Paris and “turn-outs” of Central Park replicated these.) Promenading on foot is derived from Baroque representation and the playing of pall-mall (pallo a maglio in Italian). The Mall (short a) in London vs. the Mall (long a) in Washington: mediated by the street layout of Williamsburg. The long allée for parading, evident at Vauxhall and adopted by Hirschfeld for Volksgärten, survived in the Nash plan for Regent’s Park (1812) and Olmsted’s plan for Central Park (1850s).
How Picturesque Form was Borrowed in the City: In Bath and at Brighton, swaths of countryside were integrated into terraces and crescents by 1800. After 1800, the development of Regent’s Street in London forms an architectural linkage (in picturesque curves) of two zones of open space: the existing St. James’s Park (remodeled by Nash in the 1820s) and the new Regent’s Park (which Nash laid out after 1812). The suburb of St. John’s Wood on the northern fringe of Regent’s Park extended the picturesque mode as a transitional zone between city and country. The semi-detached villas of the 1820s were modeled on the planned villages of rural estates of the 1720s to 1760s. This curvilinear morphology can be traced in later suburbs, notably Olmsted’s Riverside of 1869. The private real-estate venture of Nash Terraces and Regent’s Park inspired Joseph Paxton’s Birkenhead, Liverpool (1843), and thereby Olmsted’s Central Park.
Alessandra Ponte’s Arguments on Loudon and Paxton: Loudon’s plan for “Breathing Places” (1829) and Paxton’s plan for “Subscription Gardens” (1834) represent the twin aspects of the emerging public park. With London’s population at 1.5 million by 1830, and with suburbs spreading, the need for open space as sanitary relief from industrial squalor became pressing. Loudon adopted the “belt” of the landscape park as his structure; it became the “green belt” of city planning in the 20th century. The Select Committee on Public Walks and Places of Exercise (1833) defined the planning needs of London, but in 1869 William Robinson still lamented the lack of a plan and metropolitan body – eclipsed by Paris’s central planning. Initiatives in London and Liverpool had to come from private-public cooperation. Paxton’s plan of 1834 reflected the model of private investment (subscriptions) to fund open space. Loudon and Paxton both placed an emphasis on botanical display: the Gardenesque. The botanic garden, Vauxhall Gardens, and the landscape park are thus three influences on the public park as it adapted picturesque aesthetic theory (the genius of the place) to the functional needs of urban space (the “spirit of civilization” of Olmsted’s vision).
J. C. Loudon’s Career, Inventions, and Legacy: Born in Scotland and in many respects self-educated, Loudon had already won his first commission (Scone, 1803) by twenty. His proposal for metropolitan improvement (London squares) came out that year, followed by his first book in 1804. 1808-11 saw a new direction: the agricultural enterprise of Tew Lodge. His 1812 Hints on Gardens pioneered a new cast-iron glasshouse, which Sir George Mackenzie promoted as a curvilinear form in 1815. Selling up after Tew, Loudon used his fortune (£15, 000) to fund a Continental tour (1813-14), from which he would refine thinking on glasshouses (notably the wrought-iron sash-bar and ridge-and-furrow glazing as prototype for Paxton) and develop new ideas on public planning. His Derby Arboretum (1839) was the first public park.
Lecture 13: J. C. Loudon and A. J. Downing: the Legacy of the Picturesque and the Development of the Gardenesque. Defining a North-American Identity. John Claudius Loudon’s Response to Quatremère de Quincy: Loudon’s Encyclopaedia of Gardening (1822) signifies a shift in format and audience that corresponds to his increasing interest in public and civic matters (workers’ housing; London’s open space, etc.). One impetus came from his Continental tours. He had encountered public gardens with straight walks and allées. In the Encyclopaedia, he tried to resolve the relationships among form, climate, culture, politics, and the state of civilization. That opened up the possibility that the “ancient” or “geometrical” styles had merits hitherto discounted by picturesque theory. After Repton’s death in 1818, Loudon felt liberated to challenge the painterly landscaping of a younger rival, W.S. Gilpin. In 1832, he coined the term “Gardenesque” as the imitation of nature “subjected to a certain degree of cultivation or improvement suitable to the wants and wishes of man.” The new emphasis was on individual plants and their heightened expressiveness through culture. In part this was a response to the French aesthetic theorist, Quartremère de Quincy, who had dismissed the landscape garden as a mere facsimile of nature. Hence Loudon’s elevation of the principle “Recognition of Art.” Artifice must be evident in the “architecture of gardens” – either through conventional geometry or through a novel fusing of the art of horticulture with the science of botanical classification. This was the Gardenesque and Loudon’s Arboretum et Fruticetum Britannicum (1838) illustrated the style’s exotic plant materials.
The Derby Arboretum of 1839-40: Often considered the first fully public park (though still resulting from a private bequest), the Derby Arboretum also exemplifies the new style of the Gardenesque. Joseph Strutt, former mayor, gave 11 acres in the center of an industrial city to the citizens for their enjoyment and edification. Loudon created an outdoor museum, combining geometric and serpentine forms. It was meant to be instructive and civilizing. The exhibits were exotic trees and shrubs, each displayed to individual perfection. Accepting their eventual growth, and the growth of exotic collecting, Loudon had the radical concept that the entire plantings should be renewed every few generations. Two central concerns converge in the Derby Arboretum: Loudon’s attempt to systematize knowledge, and his preoccupation with individual rights – equating the right of a citizen to achieve her/his potential with the right of a tree to grow to full stature.
American Landscape Design, 1830-1860, as a Regional Variant of Picturesque and Gardenesque: The first initiatives to create public parks in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia came from horticultural societies. Mount Auburn Cemetery (1831) and the Boston Public Garden (1837; 1859-60) represent these private and ideological-driven initiatives. Horticulture, as the pursuit of an elite club of men, exemplified the notion of “cultivation” – a hybrid of husbandry and manners. With a mounting concern that democracy could turn to “mob rule,” these urbanites looked to the “civilizing” force of horticultural display.
A. J. Downing (1815-1852) and his Treatise (1841 onwards): Downing was the leading exponent of landscape until his premature death at 37. He took up the debate that Loudon had initiated, though still recognizing the Picturesque. He regarded the use of exotic plants as intrinsic to “artistical imitation,” but over time he came to realize that many “exotics” in England were in fact the “natives” of North America. His progression away from “Recognition of Art” to the power of “Expression” corresponds to an awakening in terms of “defining” or “civilizing” the new nation. He linked the natural, expressive style to northern identity. He emphasized the rich patrimony of the American landscape, which allowed the modest garden to borrow views of the wild. He promoted indigenous plants, and yet he saw those plants as requiring cultivation to “civilize” or enhance them. His unrealized plan of 1851 for a “national park” on the Mall in Washington, D.C. amounts to a statement about democracy and unity on the eve of the Civil War.
Lecture 14: Frederick Law Olmsted Sr.: Central Park & Prospect Park to the Emerald Necklace
Olmsted’s Formation, his Approach to Landscape, and his Response to the Gardenesque: Unlike Loudon or Downing, and rather like Repton, Olmsted was drawn to landscape after a series of formative but abortive careers (dry-goods clerk, seaman, farmer, nurseryman, journalist writing about England first, then slavery, etc.). In rejecting “botanical variety” (which he associated pejoratively with China and Japan), he distanced himself from the horticultural emphasis of the embryonic public parks – the Derby Arboretum or Downing’s proposal for the Mall in Washington, D.C. (1851). He drew instead upon picturesque theory, giving it renewed meaning in an urban context as a “sanative” force against the pressures of industrial life. Coherent “narrative power” was essential in scenery, whether cheerful or gloomy, domestic or wild. Working from the category “beautiful,” he defined the “pastoral” as the most restorative for the wearied soul. Yet the “bounteousness” of nature – vines on trees, lagoons, and vegetation on rocky outcrops – provided “picturesque” counterpoint to pastoral beauty. The sublime lay beyond the designer’s control (though it required protecting in the wild). However, he referenced sublime by constructing long vistas with blurred outlines: the mystery of infinite prospect (Prospect Park). Other key concepts were “delicacy” (subtle and civilized differentiation), “utility or service” (subordinating pleasure and ornamentation to the cohesion of both form and “communitiveness” -- the interactive codes of society), and “domesticity” (gardening as a democratic art, fostering gentility as the “mental and moral capital of a gentleman.”). His own home with office at Fairsted, Brookline, encapsulates much of his aesthetic theory. The Influence of Paxton’s Birkenhead: Olmsted, visiting England as a journalist, wrote in 1850 of his surprise at coming upon Paxton’s public “pleasure-ground” in Liverpool–Birkenhead, initiated in 1843: “I was ready to admit that in democratic America there was nothing to be thought of as comparable with this People’s Garden. . . The poorest British peasant is as free to enjoy it in all its parts as the British queen. More than that, the baker of Birkenhead has the pride of an OWNER in it . . . Is it not a grand good thing?” Background to Central Park: Downing had first proposed the location of a large park in New York. By 1851, the Legislature of the State of New York passed the First Park Act, authorizing land purchases. Through an amendment in 1853, and additional purchases up to 1856, the bulk of what would become Central Park was secured (for the competition announced in August 1857). By 1855, having turned his travel journals into a book (Walks and Talks of an American Farmer in England), Olmsted joined a publishing firm. On the edge of bankruptcy, however, he took a radical step: to become superintendent of the new Central Park. He joined forces with English-born architect Calvert Vaux (who had worked for Downing) to produce the winning “Greensward” Plan that defined the layout of Central Park (April 1 1858). Unlike Downing’s six horticultural zones for the Mall, the Olmsted/Vaux plan created a coherent whole based on pastoral and picturesque scenic values. The divisions of the site were necessitated by cross-traffic flow. Yet, by separating and sinking vehicular traffic from horse-riders and pedestrians, Olmsted upheld unity. The one potentially disruptive element – the Promenade or Mall (like the Avenue in Regent’s Park) – was angled to mitigate the intrusion on picturesque form. Later Olmsted/Vaux Collaborations and the Emerald Necklace: After Olmsted’s difficult times at Central Park (especially squabbles with the comptroller Andrew Haswell Green), he resigned as park superintendent and became a bureaucrat (for a sanitation agency during the Civil War) and then a manager of a gold mine near Yosemite. With an initiative from James Stranahan, Vaux & Olmsted were reunited in 1865 to work on the 560-acre Prospect Park in Brooklyn, 1866-67. It is considered their masterpiece. It involved 1800 workers and 70,000 shrubs and trees, and in 1872, 284 mature trees were transplanted with John Culyer’s tree machine. They went on to South Park, Chicago, 1871, and then dissolved the partnership in 1872. Olmsted set up home and firm in Brookline in 1883, from where he worked on the extensive park system in and around Boston that is known as the “Emerald Necklace.” It is a model of planning process. .
Lecture 15: Olmsted’s Practice Beyond Central Park: His Legacy, Eliot, Manning, and Cleveland Regionalism as One Determinant in Olmsted’s Internationalist Thought: Charles Beveridge has argued that two aspects of “regionalism” act as a counterpoint to Olmsted’s “international” style. Believing that his art should be more than simply American, he predicated his universalist aesthetic on the pastoral as “psychological antidote” to the city and as “primeval” home to “all classes of mankind.” Yet, in developing landscape architecture’s social purpose to resolve the “frontier” problem (slavery in the South, squatters in the West, and the squalid life of the Northern city), he judged other regions by the standards of his home region, New England. Trying to translate the universal ideal of the “pastoral” into the flat mid-West and semiarid West proved as challenging as trying to socially engineer the South by his sectional standards. The New England village community was a model for suburbia, and the puritan ethic was a code for city parks.
Riverside, Illinois: Witold Rybczinski has argued with Beveridge and Charles McLaughlin that Emery E. Childs’ 1868 model suburban village of Riverside was shaped by Olmsted’s vision of the New England village. His puritan forebears had helped create communities in the 17th century. With its “croquet grounds, ball fields, boat landings, skating facilities, and vine-draped pavilions” it emphasized the “communal” as a foil to private “domesticity.” Hedges should demarcate boundaries but without enclosing space. The proposed six-mile parkway from Chicago to Riverside used the prototype of the Continental “cours” or “mall” as commuter linkage to the “pleasure-driving” circuits of the Picturesque. He would apply the same regionally defined principles to academic campuses and residential institutions.
Moraine Farm, MA, Biltmore, NC & the Arnold Arboretum: Two of Olmsted’s private-estate projects illustrate complexities beyond the binary distinctions – regional vs. international, private vs. public, Picturesque vs. Gardenesque, regular vs. irregular. The 1880 plan for John C. Phillips 275-acre property recalled Loudon’s vision of public benefit through private investment, prefiguring the more extensive work at Biltmore (1888-95). Olmsted’s use of glacial erratics (the boulders of H. H. Richardson’s architecture) expressed the local coloring of Massachusetts; yet it was also absorbed into his universal aesthetic. Likewise, Olmsted modified his universal leitmotif “pastoral” to the sylvan genius loci at Biltmore, persuading the young George W. Vanderbilt to acquire 120, 000 acres of forest as part of a public project (eventually a National Forest, and the Biltmore School of Forestry, 1898). The other public project was a proposed arboretum drive that drew on Gardenesque principles (as devised for Charles Sprague Sargent and the Arnold Arboretum, 1878 onwards). The architectonic treatment of Biltmore’s Esplanade with ramp douce (coeval with the work on the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893) shows Olmsted’s collaborative skills and his ability to modulate between geometric and picturesque form. Urging his son Frederick Law Olmsted Jr (1870-1957, “Rick”) to master botanical and horticultural matters (and write on shrubbery), Olmsted stands as a prescient figure anticipating many of the next generation’s concerns.
Olmsted’s Legacy -- His Associates and the Next Generation: Charles Eliot, working with John Charles Olmsted (1852-1920) from 1883-85, developed a new planning approach to the Boston park system. Founding the Trustees for Public Reservations in 1890, he devised a 3-part analysis for protecting open space around Boston through the Metropolitan Park Commission. His premature death in 1897 led to the program of landscape architecture at Harvard University (1900). This coincided with the founding of the American Society of Landscape Architects (1899), in which Warren Manning (1860-1938) took a lead. Horace Cleveland (1814-1900) contributed an alternative vision for landscape architecture, prefiguring the regional Prairie Style. Manning’s resource-based planning & community work was a bridge to Modernism. At various times he had in his office those who would represent the next generation of landscape architects: Fletcher Steele (1910), the designer of the later gardens at Naumkeag; Marjorie Sewell Cautley (1917), planting designer for Clarence Stein and Henry Wright at Radburn, New Jersey; and Daniel Urban Kiley (1932), who with Eckbo and Rose became a principal exponent of Modernism in North America.
Lecture 16: Tracing “Prairie Style” back to Victorian Styles: the “Wild Garden” of William Robinson and its Influence on 20th-century Natural Garden Design The Prairie Style -- From Regionalism to Naturalism: Horace Cleveland’s work in Minneapolis in 1886 was re-interpreted by Olmsted at the Chicago Exposition in 1893. Lance Neckar establishes this lineage behind a regional aesthetic – the planting style of Wilhelm Miller, Ossian Simonds, and Jens Jensen, and the “Prairie Spirit in Landscape Gardening.” Yet, as with Olmsted’s work, regionalism is not the only determinant. The Midwestern naturalistic style of planting has a lineage that extends back to another naturalistic regional style based in Surrey, England. This was the “wild garden” of William Robinson (The Wild Garden, 1870). Ultimately we could trace all of this back to the “savage” garden of Charles Hamilton (before 1770), or the woodland gardening of the Evelyn period.
The Prairie Style -- Some Key Facts and Features: Wilhelm Miller (1869-1938) published an essay in 1915 with the title “The Prairie Spirit in Landscape Gardening.” It was not merely a regional manifesto, but also a quest for a national American aesthetic. The Midwest happened to be an environment less laden with European tradition. Hence Miller put an emphasis on preservation of scenery, restoration of local color, and a repetition of features characteristic of the region. Stratified trees and striated rocks, for example, echoed the horizontal architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. The two leading proponent of the style were Ossian Simonds (1855-1931) and Jens Jensen (1860-1951). On the one hand, Jensen’s work was a synthesis of plant ecology, landscape gardening, and nature conservation; on the other hand, his identification of northern landscapes with superior culture (like Downing, etc.) links him tangentially to racist ideologies.
William Robinson and The Wild Garden, 1870: William Robinson (1838-1935) came to England from his native Ireland in 1861 to look after the herbaceous area in the Royal Botanic Society’s Regent’s Park. In 1866 he turned to journalism, traveling to Paris in 1868 to see Alphand’s new parks completed by the end of the Haussmann period. A series of publications followed that championed a move away from exotic “bedding” traditions. Those traditions are complex in their own right and require separating out into different strands: carpet bedding and mosaiculture, foliage bedding, etc. Robinson defined the new ideal as “naturalizing or making wild innumerable beautiful natives of many regions of the earth in our woods, wild and semi-wild places, rougher parts of pleasure ground, etc., and in unoccupied places in almost every kind of garden.” It was less costly, used a wide palette of plants, and was close to nature.
Anne Helmreich’s Arguments: Helmreich locates Robinson’s work in terms of agricultural depression. As a result of depopulation, upper-middle-class professionals bought up vacant land, seeking to invent a new identity. They were searching for an identity for a country under stress (agricultural depression being followed by social unrest linked to industrialization, and eventually by the Irish Home Rule campaign and the Boer War). The “wild garden” was one of four styles manifested in this quest for cultural identity; the “formal garden”, the cottage garden, and the Arts & Crafts synthesis of formal and natural were others. The revival of “old-fashioned” English flowers was linked to an imperialist ideology, which vilified China and denigrated Africa. Robinson favored hardy exotics from other regions of the world, provided they would naturalize. Significantly those tended to be from other “civilized” regions (the Mediterranean, America, etc.). Darwin’s theory of evolution provided a model for looking at plants in competition or cooperation. Robinson’s method of letting plants compete in naturalization, or of making plants associate cooperatively with each other, can be read in this context. However, as Alfred Parsons’ illustrations for The Wild Garden make clear, plants could be visualized as individuals as well as in picturesque groupings. Ruskin’s notions of “Vital Beauty” (1846) influenced Robinson as they had Downing before him. Parsons’ work can be seen in the picturesque tradition, derived from the Pre-Raphaelite and plein-air painters. In short, Robinson’s work has an imperialist dimension, is rooted in national identity, and yet expresses the regional aesthetic of the Weald (south-east England). While Robinson’s work is still indebted to picturesque traditions it also anticipates natural gardening in the 20th century. However, it is important to stress that his style of naturalized exotics is not synonymous with the ecological garden. The development of ecology, beginning with the definition of the term in 1866, follows later as a separate facet of landscape architecture.
Lecture 17: The American National Park System: Cultural and Ethnic Histories Background to the National Parks: Exploration, Tourism, Painting and Literature, 1800-1850:
The Lewis and Clark expedition (1803/4-06) opened up a new experience of landscape in the West (e.g., “gates of the rocky mountains”). This created a link between cultural nationalism and the “picturesque vision.” By the 1820s, tourism, painting, and literature would converge to bolster national pride by identifying the young Republic with its unparalleled landscape features. Through the paintings of Thomas Cole and Frederic E. Church, and the literature of William Cullen Bryant, Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper, the picturesque (distanced) view of landscape was fused with issues of national identity. Recent exhibitions on Lewis and Clark have explored cross-cultural encounters as Indian-white diplomacy.
Ethan Carr’s Arguments: In Wilderness By Design, Carr argues that this cultural and aesthetic tradition, which helped create Central Park, also informed the vision for Yosemite. In short, the “national park idea” in the West did not involve “separate origins and inventors” (e.g., from Jefferson & Lewis and Clark to Cornelius Hedges of the 1870 Washburn-Doane expedition to Yellowstone). It was intimately connected to the urban sensibilities and urban park movement of the East (the vision of photographer Carleton Watkins or painter Albert Bierstadt, and above all, the vision of Olmsted himself). Olmsted’s preliminary report on Yosemite and Big-Tree Grove (1865) is a key document; John Muir is the key person. Olmsted saw Yosemite in picturesque terms: the “union of the deepest sublimity with the deepest beauty of nature”; and he wanted to create “the noblest park or pleasure ground in the world.” Yet he also saw a scientific value in wilderness conservation – the need to protect wildlife as much as create accessibility. And his social agenda (Republican and democratic) translated into conservation of the resource for the benefit of “the body of people.” The unicursal circuit of the Derby/Arnold Arboretum was the ideal. Initially Olmsted’s social-protectionist vision was ignored, and only in 1906 was the state park unified as Yosemite National Park.
The Conservation of Nature & Culture: Although Olmsted understood the need to protect wildlife alongside scenic values, he and his sons underestimated the political and economic forces working against this. (On the private estate at Biltmore, Olmsted was protected from those forces.) Even within the protections afforded through the Timber Culture Act (1873) and the Forest Reserve Act (1891), exploitation remained uppermost. One person who understood the commercial pressures was George Perkins Marsh. His Man and Nature; or Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action (1864) challenged unbridled deforestation (Michaux and Thoreau would explore the botanical or ecological consequences). George Catlin (1796-1872) ranks as one of the most original observers of the natural and cultural world. In 1830 he made a pilgrimage to St. Louis to meet the aging William Clark. By that time the Indian Removal Act was clearing native tribes from East of the Mississippi. In 1832 he traveled 1,800 miles up the Missouri. Catlin’s visual account of the Indian way of life marked a shift away from the notion of acculturating “savagery” through husbandry. In his appreciation of the links between native cultures and scenic values, Catlin anticipated the concerns of the 20th century. The Antiquities Act of 1906 and the conservation societies of the early twentieth century (the Sierra Club, 1892; the Audubon Society, 1905) are key aspects, and the legislation of President Theodor Roosevelt (with advice from Muir) is critical.
Stephen T. Mather and the National Park Service: By 1916, there were 15 parks and 30 national monuments. As a successful Chicago businessman, Mather was brought in to set up an administration and pass legislation. His assistant Albright took over from the exhausted Mather by the time the funding came through in 1917. Parks Canada was established in 1930 to run the initial 11 parks.
Niagara Falls: Ethan Carr argues that Olmsted’s media campaign to protect the American side of Niagara Falls from commercial development was key to creating Niagara State Reservation in 1885. Others (notably Canadian historians) have argued that Olmsted failed to understand the vested interests (power industry, tourist industry, etc.) that would prevent his vision from being fulfilled. Gerald Killan argues the basic structures of capital were simply transferred in a “sanitizing” action. Karen Dubinsky argues that ethnic prejudice was involved. Her interpretation involves the sexual politics of tourism. The “native” in Canadian culture offers rich material for landscape studies, and a recent project with the Six Nations at Chiefswood illustrates both the tensions and benefits of cross-cultural collaboration.
Lecture 18: Landscape Design & Motion: Parkways, and Landscapes of Time & Space, War & Peace
Arguments in Daniels and Bradney: In early career, Repton averaged 4000 miles a year, expedited by increasingly swift coach-travel. Motion affected parkland design, structuring a shifting field of vision. (e.g., the sudden burst of scenery around a bend). Yet, after a coach accident in 1811, his “pathology of speed” became conflated with the ills of war economy: fast-growing conifers, quick wealth, and the indifference of the passer-by. Jane Bradney argues in “The Carriage-Drive in Humphry Repton’s Landscapes” that there was a gender dimension to carriage driving for daredevil young men or romantically inclined young women. The arrival of balloon travel in the 1780s gave a fresh perspective on space and time.
Anette Freytag’s arguments in “When the Railway Conquered the Garden:” Writing on the increased velocity of the railways from the mid-19th century, Paul Valéry could comment: “Over the last twenty years matter, space, and time have been altered so as not to resemble what they had always been before.” The dissolution of the space-time continuum, accelerating dramatically in our present day, began with Londoner’s weekends in the country in Repton’s day. But the dissolution of Valéry took off with the rail day-trips to the Alps from Vienna or the excursions to the seacoast from Paris. At a time when landscape designers were shaping the infrastructure of whole cities, the layout of parks like the Türkenschanzpark in Vienna or Buttes-Chaumont in Paris reflected the new technologies and velocities of transit: suspension bridges and tunnels. These were linked to a heightened sense of altitude and staccato-like scenic shifts. “Town and country are now separated only by a turn of the head,” concludes Freytag.
The Origins of the Parkway: Timothy Davis argues that the Brooklyn “park-way” (proposed to link Prospect Park to the City in 1868) betokens the adaptation of the Parisian boulevard to a new vision of a multi-lane pleasure drive. Horace Cleveland, pioneering the American boulevard of Commonwealth Avenue in Boston in 1856, would strive in 1869 for a straight arboretum drive to link two proposed parks in Chicago. From these early prototypes (looking back to the Cours or Mall), there would emerge the serpentine parkways of Buffalo (Olmsted & Vaux, 1870s) and the circuitous “Promenade” (from 1887 “Parkway”) of the Emerald Necklace. However, Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway of 1919-1920s sustained the grand boulevard style, revitalized by City Beautiful. Picturesque parkways remained rare.
Norman Newton’s arguments on the emerging modern parkway: It was only with the completion of New York’s Bronx River Parkway after World War I that the parkway of the automobile came of age. This was still regarded as a pleasure-drive for recreational and scenic enjoyment. Limitation of access and expropriation of adjoining neighborhoods marked these out as departures from the boulevard. Key points were: 1) four-lane construction became common; 2) the curvatures began tight near the city, reflecting the initial era of horse-and-buggy automobiles, but eased into long curves up river as the construction proceeded to conclusion in the 1920s; 3) for the first time, separated highways occurred where topographical features dictated it; and 4) wide margins of land assured the “rural” without billboards.
Timothy Davis on the Rock Creek & Potomac Parkway (and Mount Vernon Memorial Highway): The DC parkway, initiated by the Senate Park Commission (1902) and authorized by Congress (1913), was a formative influence on the Bronx River Parkway (though it was finished later). It proved a “contested terrain”: between Georgetown and DC, the closed-valley-boulevard and the open-valley-picturesque exponents, and between sanitizing bureaucrats and African-American populations. Fulfilling Repton’s worst fears, the passer-by became indifferent to the fate of the displaced residents. Davis argues that in mediating tensions between progress and nostalgia, the MVMH created a new synthesis within a space-time matrix. Mary E. Meyers on the Blue Ridge Parkway: In Landscape Journal, Mary Meyers establishes some links in “education and apprenticeship” between the chief designer of the BRP, Stanley Abbott, and F. L. Olmsted, Sr., and between Olmsted and eighteenth-century aesthetic theories as represented by Humphry Repton. In particular, William Hogarth’s “Line of Beauty” appears key.
The Commemorative Landscape of Vimy Ridge: Unlike the Beaux-Arts/triumphal planning of American and British WWI cemeteries, this Canadian approach to commemorating war and peace (fusing battle-field, memorial, and cemetery) represents modernist architecture placed in a dynamic landscape of fluid space: with serpentine as much as axial sightlines, forest settings, and seasonal and diurnal shifts of mood.