Perceiving Mindscapes: An Intellectual History of the Development of Landscape Architecture in France and the United States, 1852-1894
“Perceiving Mindscapes: An Intellectual History of Transnational Development of Landscape Architecture in France and the United States, 1852-1894” traces the landscape architecture thought of several key individuals as their thoughts occurred in a network of park development between France and the United States. This study contributes to the history of parks, constructed or preserved, and their perceived impacts on humanity. Specifically, I examine the writings of Frederick Law Olmsted, Calvert Vaux, Adolphe Alphand, Édouard André, and Maurice de Vilmorin. All landscape architects and Vilmorin, a horticulturalist, wrote professing a proclivity to aiding city dwellers (directly or indirectly) by designing urban parks for recreational use. I contend that these landscape architects designed urban parks with their perceived notions of what city dwellers may have needed or wanted, without the ability of knowing or addressing these needs or wants. By tracking these designs internationally, I note how French and American landscape architects enabled one another to rapidly develop landscape architecture around the concepts of internal ailments, aesthetics, pragmatism, and longevity.