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The Art of Landscape Architecture

Samuel Parsons Jr.
Reprint of the 1915 edition, with a new introduction by Francis R. Kowsky, FSAH

The Art of Landscape Architecture  Cover Image

About the Authors


Samuel Parsons Jr.

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, where he defended Olmsted and Vaux’s vision against repeated incursions, 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. As an independent practitioner, Parsons took on projects as varied as San Diego’s Balboa Park and Glen Iris Park in Birmingham, Alabama, and wrote five books before publishing his final and most widely read work, The Art of Landscape Architecture, in 1915.

Francis R. Kowsky, FSAH

Francis R. Kowsky, FSAH, is author of The Best Planned City in the World: Olmsted, Vaux, and the Buffalo Park System, recipient of a J. B. Jackson Book Prize by the Foundation for Landscape Studies, and the introduction to the LALH reprint edition of The Art of Landscape Architecture by Samuel Parsons Jr. Kowsky is SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Buffalo State College and author of Country, Park, and City: The Architecture and Life of Calvert Vaux

The Art of Landscape Architecture

Samuel Parsons Jr.
Reprint of the 1915 edition, with a new introduction by Francis R. Kowsky, FSAH

Library of American Landscape History

ISBN: 978-1-952620-17-1 Page Count: 544
Price: $40.00 | Cloth Published: 04/01/2009
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A volume in the ASLA Centennial Reprint Series

The most widely read of Samuel Parsons Jr.’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.

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About the Authors


Samuel Parsons Jr.

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, where he defended Olmsted and Vaux’s vision against repeated incursions, 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. As an independent practitioner, Parsons took on projects as varied as San Diego’s Balboa Park and Glen Iris Park in Birmingham, Alabama, and wrote five books before publishing his final and most widely read work, The Art of Landscape Architecture, in 1915.

Francis R. Kowsky, FSAH

Francis R. Kowsky, FSAH, is author of The Best Planned City in the World: Olmsted, Vaux, and the Buffalo Park System, recipient of a J. B. Jackson Book Prize by the Foundation for Landscape Studies, and the introduction to the LALH reprint edition of The Art of Landscape Architecture by Samuel Parsons Jr. Kowsky is SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Buffalo State College and author of Country, Park, and City: The Architecture and Life of Calvert Vaux