Bifoliate: The French Botanical Influence on American Cultural Landscapes

Spring 2022 Grant Recipient

Graduate Student

Madeline Smith (Architecture)

This project consists of a year-long thesis study surrounding the influence of French garden design on the American landscape as traced through the distribution of French botanical art of the 18th century. This research proposes that the distribution of botanical works directly influenced French, and subsequently, American horticultural norms at the end of the 1700s. The circulation of botanical prints, illustrations, and paintings implicitly and explicitly communicated new ideas on landscape and cultural relationships between humans and the environment as they spread across the globe and took hold in American collections. Research methods include on-site field work, analog photography and botanical illustration to document and contextualize the uses of historic plant species in contemporary settings.