A work in progress, the History of Early American Landscape Design digital resource represents an inquiry into the vocabulary of early American landscape aesthetics and garden design in the colonial and national periods. Thousands of texts are combined with a corpus of more than 1800 images in order to trace the development of landscape and garden terminology from British colonial America to the mid-19th century. By placing terms in relation to representations in the visual record, the project clarifies and corrects their meanings, providing for more “accurate” histories of designed landscapes in early America.
The project has been organized according to three rubrics: 100 keywords, 100 key places, and 100 significant people. Without claiming to be comprehensive, this project models an approach to the history of landscapes and gardens that helps scholars understand past conditions, uncover former appearances, and better apprehend the experiences and meanings of designed environments as they were built, and also as they were imagined. This site is a companion to the book Keywords in American Landscape Design (Yale University Press, 2010).
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