The Art of Landscape Architecture (1915)

The first American book to summarize the principles of landscape design for the modern profession


Samuel Parsons Jr. (1844–1923) was one of the most well known names in the field of landscape design in the early twentieth century. A protégé of Calvert Vaux, Parsons worked with the architect until Vaux’s death in 1895. As superintendent of planting in Central Park and landscape architect to the City of New York for nearly thirty years, Parsons was, until his resignation in 1911, the last direct link in the city to the ideals of Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted.

The most widely read of Parsons’s several books, The Art of Landscape Architecture (1915) was an affectionate summing up of the theories and built work that had inspired America’s first generation of landscape architects. Parsons illustrated his book with photographs depicting a wide range of landscapes, including several of the park designed by the German landscape gardener Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau.

A new introduction by Francis R. Kowsky explores Parsons’s contributions to the nascent profession of landscape architecture, his championing of the work of Pückler-Muskau, his defense of Olmsted and Vaux’s vision for Central Park, and his own successful landscape designs.

Published in association with Library of American Landscape History: http://lalh.org/

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