Morgan Library: The Romantic Movement’s Influence on Landscapes

Morgan Exhibition Explores the Romantic Movement's Influence on Landscapes

Scenic vistas, winding paths, bucolic meadows, and rustic retreats suitable for solitary contemplation are just a few of the alluring naturalistic features of gardens created in the Romantic spirit. Landscape designers of the Romantic era sought to express the inherent beauty of nature in opposition to the strictly symmetrical, formal gardens favored by aristocrats of the old regime. ” –Art Daily

The Romantics looked to nature as a liberating force, a source of sensual pleasure, moral instruction, religious insight, and artistic inspiration.  This important episode in artistic and cultural history is the subject of Romantic Gardens: Nature, Art, and Landscape Design, on view from May 21 through August 29, 2010, at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York. The exhibition features approximately ninety texts and outstanding works of art, providing an overview of ideas championed by the Romantics and also implemented by them in private estates and public parks in Europe and the United States.

There are before and after’s by Humphry Repton (1752–1818).  Repton was the leading landscape architect of his time (the “Before and After” was a technique that he developed).  Additionally, there is  “entry no. 33,” –  the proposals  of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux for the design of Central Park.  They prepared presentation boards with the “present outlines” in photographs attributed to Mathew Brady and the “effect proposed” in oil sketches made by Vaux.   Not just and exhibition on Romanitcism, it sounds like an excting and interesting tour of garden design technique history.

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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1 Comment

  1. private on June 22, 2010 at 8:01 am

    So whatever happened to ruin follies? Under my huge trees in the backyard, I was thinking of building an aged throne on a crumbling dias with a cauldron either side, and a fireplace holding up a portion of a tumbled wall behind. It would be suitable for picnics. It is more suited to shade and neglect than the typical bench amidst flowers. Only you couldn’t do it with concrete pavers. What’s a homeowner to do?

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