- 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
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. Its primitive exemplar was the conspicuously safe and orderly garden, hard-won from the hostile and dreaded wilderness of the world at large, separated from that wilderness by a girdle of defence which gave the name of " garden," and contrasting in appearance with the apparent disorder of that untamed wilderness as much as the skill and resources of the gardener could make it. Practical convenience and these artistic motives alike called for straight rows, rectangular forms, and other simple, obviously man-made, geometric forms and relationships; the more beautiful in their proportions and composition and in the distribution of color and light and shade the better, provided this beauty was of an obvious and man made sort, deliberately avoiding, except in details like flowers and leaves, those complex and subtle exhibitions of the working of natural forces which we sophisticated moderns have come to believe profoundly orderly even where we do not understand them, and which we can recognize as beautiful because we are no longer dominated by fear of the powers they represent.
Landscapes characterized by the more obvious and simple geometrical forms and relationships — squares, rectangles, circles, and circular arcs, arranged in perfect symmetry on the two sides of a well-marked axis — are often called "formal" in design. Such a "formal" framework of design is the simplest and safest basis for frankly humanized landscapes today as always, but there can be a gradual transition into arrangements the form, or formality, and orderliness of which are more complex and subtle and less obvious but no less beautiful and no less frankly and conspicuously the work of man. Some of the highly artificial and conventionalized "landscape" gardens of the Japanese and Chinese are striking examples of this type; not "formal" in the sense in which we speak of formal gardens, yet conspicuously and proudly proclaiming their human craftsmanship.
— 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.