Front cover image for To live in the New World : A.J. Downing and American landscape gardening

To live in the New World : A.J. Downing and American landscape gardening

"A. J. Downing (1815-1852) wrote the first American treatise on landscape gardening. As editor of the Horticulturalist and the country's leading practitioner and author, he promoted a national style of landscape gardening that broke away from European precedents and standards. Like other writers and artists, Downing responded to the intensifying demand in the nineteenth century for a recognizably American cultural expression." "To Live in the New World examines in detail Downing's growing conviction that landscape gardening must be adapted to the American people and the nation's indigenous landscapes. Despite significant changes in its three editions, Downing's A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening remained true to the original intent: to guide country gentlemen - with enough money, time, and taste - in the creation of ideal homes and pleasure grounds. While most historians and critics have focused on the treatise, Judith Major gives equal emphasis to Downing's spirited monthly editorials in the Horticulturist. In the journal, Downing "spoke American" and encouraged his countrymen and women to practice economy, to use America's rich natural resources wisely yet artfully, to be content with a little cottage and a few fine native trees."
Print Book, English, ©1997
MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass, ©1997
242 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
9780262133319, 0262133318
pt. I. Landscape gardening as a fine art: the treatise of 1841, 1844, and 1849. The treatise: aspirations and audience. The garden finely ; The love of home ; Who does not like the country? ; Country gentleman and large landed estates ; Amateurs and professionals ; A studied and polished mode
Almost everything is yet before before us: the 1841 edition. The most exquisite beauty of natural forms ; Here, where nature has done so much ; General beauty and picturesque beauty ; Initiation in the fine arts and the beau ideal ; The superior beauty of expression
On his native heather: the 1844 edition. The reading of the past ; Comparatively little having yet been done ; Expression: the master key ; The graceful and the picturesque
Let the principles be preserved: the 1849 edition. American rural gems ; The beautiful and the picturesque ; The finest form of a fine type
pt. II. Landscape gardening as a harmony between the real and the ideal: the 1846-52 Horticulturist editorials. The Horticulturist: aspirations and audience. Moderate establishments ; Republican simplicity ; The moral effects of the fine arts ; The spirit of emulation ; Citizens turning country-folk ; Novices, amateurs, and professionals ; Wisdom conveyed in pleasant and familiar words ; A theory and practice adapted. A national taste in gardening ; Economy in gardening ; The neglected American plants ; The type of all true art in landscape gardening
After twenty years trial
Appendix: Horticulturist editorials