- F. L. Olmsted
- Man And The Landscape
- Man's Influence Over Landscape
- Appreciation of Landscape Beauty
- Landscape Design As A Fine Art
- Qualities Peculiar to Landscape Compositions
- Importance of Utilizing Qualities Making for Unity
- Humanized Mode in Landscape Design
- Naturalistic Mode in Landscape Design
- Historic Styles in Landscape Design
- F. L. Olmsted
Appreciation of Landscape Beauty
Rules, recipes, and arbitrary preconceptions, like that landscape slogan, reflecting a half-truth, "Avoid straight lines," are the resort of the lazy and the superficial in matters of landscape as in all branches of art. They are always dangerous because they offer an escape from thinking things out for oneself, from deciding in one case after another for one's own self where lies the greater beauty and why. It is only by making such choices again and again with complete honesty to oneself, hiding behind the skirts of no "authority," that one gains in keenness of perception, surety of judgment, and real enjoyment.
The marvelous thing is that we are so made that each of us, as he grows in the enjoyment of beauty, generally finds that the qualities which most appeal to him are among those which have appealed to others highly developed in the appreciation of beauty, even in times or places far remote and circumstances very different. It is with the learning of this truth that one comes to an appreciation of the true value and use of "authorities" and "precedents." Their use is not to relieve us of standing on our own feet in matters of artistic choice, but to make us modestly critical of the thoroughness of our own understanding and the keenness of our own perceptions where we find them apparently at odds with the judgment of acknowledged experts.
What follows, then, will be of value mainly so far as it helps the readers a little in seeing and appreciating landscape beauty for themselves in their own way, in thinking about it themselves, and in making intelligently such decisions as they have to make that will affect the beauty of the landscape amidst which they and others are compelled to live their lives.
— Frederick Law Olmsted
- Man And The Landscape - No one but a prisoner in a windowless house can escape being influenced by the beauty or ugliness of his outdoor surroundings.
- Man's Influence Over Landscape - The appearance of the land and the objects upon it generally results from the control which man himself exerts over the materials and forces of nature just as truly and as completely as the sculptor controls the appearance of the natural stone which he shapes.
- Appreciation of Landscape Beauty - Rules, recipes, and arbitrary preconceptions, like that landscape slogan, reflecting a half-truth, "Avoid straight lines," are the resort of the lazy and the superficial in matters of landscape as in all branches of art.
- Landscape Design As A Fine Art - Landscape design may be regarded as the art of choosing wisely between any practical alternatives which present themselves to us in dealing with land and the objects upon it.
- Qualities Peculiar to Landscape Compositions - The creations of landscape architecture — namely landscapes — are made by altering, adapting, or perfecting real landscapes existing in advance as such, much as an architect alters an old building to adapt it to new uses while respectfully conserving its fine qualities.
- Importance of Utilizing Qualities Making for Unity - Since without unity there is no beauty but only distraction, it becomes peculiarly important to note other inherent qualities making for unity in landscapes.
- Humanized Mode in Landscape Design - The older, simpler, and more direct mode, the "humanized" mode, frankly appeals, as do most works of art, to the deep-rooted human pleasure in exhibitions of the skill and power of man, and in evidences of man's control over nature.
- Naturalistic Mode in Landscape Design - A simple example of the naturalistic is found in the treatment of a trail through a mountain wilderness, where the mere removal of obstructing vegetation may open beautiful landscapes.
- Historic Styles in Landscape Design - Several designs in the "grand manner," which extended influence over Europe, even into Russia, and were often carried to extremes by incompetent designers, invited, as we have seen, a reaction towards the naturalistic mode.