Paperback / softback
November 20, 2003
3.6 Pounds (US)
$34.95 USD
v2.1 Reference

Fletcher Steele, Landscape Architect, revised edition

An Account of the Gardenmaker's Life, 1885-1971

For sixty years, Fletcher Steele practiced landscape architecture as a fine art, designing nearly seven hundred gardens, from Boston to Detroit, from North Carolina to Canada. Often brilliant, always original, Steele's work is considered by many to constitute the essential link between nineteenth-century Beaux Arts formalism and modern landscape design.

Published in association with Library of American Landscape History:

About the Author

Robin Karson is executive director of Library of American Landscape History. She is author and editor of numerous books about American landscape history.


"A book to give for Christmas, or as the grandest of house presents; it's a book to keep as well. . . . [Karson] has written a wonderful read and, in doing so, has revived an entire era in all its detail. Intelligent, theatrical, infuriating, amusing—and loveable—Steele struts off the page, giving life to his own work."—Garden Design

"A meticulously detailed, fascinating account of Steele's life and work. Woven from the diverse threads of voluminous correspondence, project documents, notebooks, photographs, diaries, interviews, and conversations, this richly textured history reads well—no small accomplishment for so inclusive a study. . . . Karson's fluid narrative style, seamlessly punctuated by Steele's voice throughout, makes the considerable volume of material accessible and clear."—Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

"Karson has done a magnificent job in integrating carefully chosen archival drawings and pictures with contemporary photographs of many gardens. Planting plans and plant lists are offered as additional information for many of the gardens with a comprehensive list of clients. We are given simultaneously a revealing account of one of America's greatest modern garden designers as well as an inspiring reference of garden-making as a fine art."—Public Garden

"This is a book to be savored, to be read and re-read for enjoyment and consulted repeatedly for inspiration. The text is uncommonly readable, the descriptions of the gardens and their maker consistently perceptive and insightful. [An] exceptional volume."—Pacific Horticulture

"Born in Rochester, N.Y., in 1885, Steele—who called gardening "the ephemeral art"—was among the greatest American landscape architects of our century, bridging 19th-century Beaux-Arts formalism and modern landscape design in a career comprising almost 700 gardens. In the first critical biography of Steele, Karson, a contributing editor for Garden Design and Landscape Architecture , offers a gracefully written record of the master's extraordinary legacy, documenting the creation of 50 of his most important gardens, and revealing his uncanny ability to tap the imagination of clients while striking a balance between architectonic impact and lyrically sensual style. Blessed with charm and wit, Steele moved easily in a high society that provided a lifelong stream of clients; European, Asian and tropical sojourns provided additional esthetic inspiration. His career reached its peak in the 1930s, when moneyed patrons took advantage of cheap labor to indulge in elaborate fantasies. Fewer post-World War II projects were realized on such a grand scale, but Steele's productivity continued unabated until his death in 1971. Illustrated."—Publishers Weekly
University of Massachusetts Press
revised edition

9781558494138 : fletcher-steele-landscape-architect-2nd-edition-karson
Paperback / softback
368 Pages
$34.95 USD

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