institutions and museums traditionally have been used to teach art history. However, Catena differs from tradi- tional art history image col- lections, which are typically single-object-based, in that it provides multiple images of sites from different per- spectives, something that is essential to understanding designed landscapes since many of them are conceived in spatially complex ways with extensive projected itin- eraries for moving through them. Internet access to this database of landscape images means that, as our field of studies continues to grow, any professor or teacher anywhere can assemble a coherent body of images of a historic landscape for a Powerpoint presentation, the method that is, increasingly, replacing the projection of transparencies as a more ver- satile and convenient means of instruction.
By selecting ten sites for extended treatment among the more than 60 that are being assembled, the digital- archive user will be able to key historic images and more recent photographic ones to garden plans, thereby simu- lating both past and present movement through a particu- lar landscape, something that
random images pulled off the Internet cannot do. The con- tributions of participating scholars to the companion website that we are now building in conjunction with completing the scanning and cataloging of images (with useful keywords to facilitate their search) will further enhance the archive’s peda- gogical uses.
But even as we move toward completion of the pro- ject, we understand its limits. Historic villa gardens are much more than academic landscape design problems to be visualized, discussed, and decoded. First and foremost, their value lies in the forms of sensory awareness they evoke. Gardens demand sen- sitivity not only to nuances of appearance but also to sub- tleties of sound, scent, flavor and tactility.
Archival engravings of gar- dens are essentially static (sometimes partly fictional) representations at a particular moment in time, and pho- tographs, whether taken in brilliant sunshine or in the light of late afternoon, cannot convey the bodily sensations we receive when we walk or sit in gardens at different times of day and in different seasons. At the same time, an appreciation of the long histo- ries and transformations over time of old villa gardens and other landscapes deeply
Viewpoints is made possible by the generosity of our support- ers. In this issue readers will find an envelope for contribu- tions to Garden History and Landscape Studies at the Bard Graduate Center. Besides help- ing continue this publication, your gift will make possible guest faculty, lecture series, and other important forms of course enrichment and public education. Please cast your vote of appreciation for our work by responding to this appeal.
enriches our on-the-spot experience of them. It is finally this possibility of a meaningful interaction between the real and aesthetic and the virtual and academic that, in our view, makes worthwhile our considerable work and that of our gener- ous colleagues in creating this digital archive.
We hope that readers of this issue of Viewpoints will see how the knowing about and the knowing of landscapes is mutually reinforcing and how the BGC’s concentration in Garden History and Landscape Studies and simi- lar programs in a growing number of other institutions is furthering that end.
New Course Offering
Johanna Bauman, curator of Visual Media at the Bard Graduate Center, has a background of scholarly accom- plishments as a landscape historian in addition to her skills in the field of digital technology, supervising an extensive slide library, building academic websites, and currently overseeing the creation of Catena, a digital archive of historic landscape images funded in large part by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Soon Bauman will be able to draw on her previous experience as an instructor at the University of Virginia by teaching a course on medieval gardens as part of Garden History and Landscape Studies at the BGC. Her course will cover the landscape traditions of Byzantium, Western Europe, and the Islamic world during the period between 1000 and 1500.
Bauman spent her childhood years in Arlington, Virginia, and graduated from George Mason University, taking her junior-year abroad at the Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany, where she studied German literature and history. Subsequently, she attended the Free University in Berlin where she took a course in landscape history with the head of parks and gardens in Berlin. Bauman pursued this subject in studying for her Ph.D. at the University of Virginia in the department of Art History, where she became interested in the relationship between art theory and technology. She explored this relation- ship by reading ancient and medieval agricultural treatises with an eye toward understanding how these were reflected in garden design and practical horticulture. Her dissertation on the plea- sure garden in Piero de’ Crescenzi’s thirteenth-century treatise, Liber ruralium commodorum, was published as the entire Summer 2002 issue of the journal Studies in the History of Gar- dens and Designed Landscapes. Her most recent publication is a translation in Critical Inquiry of “On Historical Time” by the noted art historian Erwin Panofsky.
Bauman’s medieval gardens course will explore connections between the theoretical and the practical as students examine lit- erary sources and images in manuscripts and books (there are almost no medieval gardens in existence with the exception of a few old, much-altered cloister gardens). In so doing, the class will learn a great deal about agricultural and garden practices, including the cultivation of medicinal plants, within the monas- tic tradition and other realms of medieval society.
Wednesday September 29 12:00 until 2:00 p.m. Woodland Fantasy: A Picnic with Gnomes in Central Park to benefit Garden History and Landscape Studies at the Bard Graduate Center
Erik de Jong, professor of Garden History, Bard Graduate Center, will speak on “Magic! The Garden Gnome and His Origin: A Tale of Friendship with Nature.”
Location: The Swedish Cottage in Central Park
For further information please call 212 501-3071.
Fall Lecture Series
September – November (Four Wednesdays) The Inscribed Garden: Word, Image, and Garden in the Work of Ian Hamilton Finlay
This series of four talks, organized by Garden History and Landscape Studies with the assistance of the depart- ments of Exhibitions, Public Programs, and Development at the Bard Graduate Center, is generously funded by UBS. It explores the landscape work of Ian Hamilton Finlay