Blending Art and Nature: The History of Landscape and Garden Architecture

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Course Number
ARTH 5050 640
Course Code
Course Key
Primary Program
Course Note
Hybrid Course - in person and remote learning options
Course Description
The garden has been called a "blending of art and nature." In a garden, one Italian poet claimed, "one cannot discern whether a thing is the work of one or the other; whether it is a piece of natural artifice or artificial nature." The history of landscape architecture is a history of man's sometimes misguided efforts to "improve" his surroundings in the search for a beauty that harnessed natural forms through the application of human reason. This seminar will address changing tastes in garden design across millennia from prehistory to the present day and in our weekly meetings we will consider different cultural visions of the "beautiful" or "appropriate" landscape. The seminar will introduce themes in garden design and examples from garden history and, in the process, we hope to ultimately better understand the history of the gardener's art. Over the course of the term we will study gardens across the globe and examine the wide variety of approaches different cultures and garden makers have taken to transform their environment. The course will include a range of selected readings and students will submit and briefly present 4 short essays on topics in garden history and landscape design during the term. 
This course will be offered in a distance learning enabled classroom and can be taken in person or remote.
Subject Area Vocab