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Invisible Gardens: The Search for Modernism in the American Landscape Paperback – August 1, 1996

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Invisible Gardens: The Search for Modernism in the American Landscape + Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (August 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262731169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262731164
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #738,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In an insightful, accessible study, Walker and Simo trace the evolution of landscape architecture in this country, highlighting the years from 1925 to 1975. The authors examine notable work by such seminal figures as Frederick Law Olmsted and by others like Hideo Sasaki, who continue to influence the field today. They also provide a lively account of the training and philosophical underpinnings motivating these artists for whom the landscape has often functioned as their canvas, albeit a spatial one. To identify and define modernism in American landscape architecture, Walker and Simo isolate formal elements that appear in outstanding examples of landscape art and which provide links with art movements of the period (such as surrealism and constructivism). Their search has led them to a very readable exploration of this modern period, with all its myriad forms of landscape design. Alice Joyce --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Invisible Gardens: The Search For Modernism in the American Landscape is a composite history of the individuals and firms that defined the field of landscape architecture in America from 1925 to 1975. The major protagonists include Thomas Church, Roberto Burle Marx, Isamu Noguchi, Luis Barragan, Daniel Urban Kiley, Stanley White, Hideo Sasaki, Ian McHarg, Lawrence Halprin, and Garrett Eckbo. Invisible Gardens look at unbuilt schemes as well as actual gardens, ranging from tiny backyards and play spaces to urban plazas and corporate villas. The result is a record of landscape architecture's cultural contribution during the years when it was acquiring professional status and struggling to define a modernist aesthetic out of the startling changes in postwar America. Invisible Gardens will prove a fascinating historical survey to anyone with an interest in private or public gardens and the development of landscape architecture. -- Midwest Book Review

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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Dr Lawrence Hauser on June 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
Invisible Gardens is a well-written, lively introduction to the confluence of landscape architecture and modernism during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Although somewhat like a textbook in its style of presentation, the writing throughout is clear, incisive and often quite absorbing. And there are plenty of black and white photos and architectural renderings which accompany the text to enhance its ability to inform. But only twelve colour plates were included in Invisible Gardens. I felt a bit let-down personally by this aspect of the project. I thought the book could have used additional high quality colour plates of the often spectacular commissions under review to balance the density of the text. And to convey visually what often needs to be seen to be properly appreciated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Yona R. Owens on May 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A well written, concise introduction to modernist landscape architecture with two mentions of the currently being rediscovered, and as of the moment one of the uncelebrated leaders of landscape architecture in the Southeast, Lewis Clarke. Book arrived as promised by seller.
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