Gansell, Amy Rebecca. "Islamic Gardens." Syllabus, Pratt Institute, New York, NY, 2013.
Developed by Amy Gansell for a course at the Pratt Institute in the Spring of 2013, it was taught with an expanded focus on "Non-Western Gardens."
This course explores gardens of the Islamic World, covering
a breadth of historical, cultural, geographic, and environmental contexts. After being introduced to the Islamic world,
the nature of specifically “Islamic” gardens is considered. While formal design and aesthetic experience
is emphasized throughout, religious, social, and political implication of
landscape design are studied through historic cases. Evidence for past gardens, archaeology, and
garden conservation are addressed as well.
Week 1 Introduction
to Islamic culture, religion, and history
Students are encouraged to browse entire books, outlining major
themes. These books may be consulted for reference throughout the semester.
-R. Hillenbrand, Islamic
Art and Architecture (Thames and Hudson, 1999).
-Ira Lapidus, A
History of Islamic Societies (Cambridge, 2002).
-Frederick Mathewson Denny, An Introduction to Islam, 3rd edition (Prentice Hall, 2005).
Week 2 Introduction
to Islamic gardens, Part 1: History and Symbolism
-J. Lehrman, “An introduction to the problems and
possibilities of restoring historic Islamic gardens,” in L. Tjon Sie Fat and E.
de Jong (eds.), The Authentic Garden: A
Symposium on Gardens (Leiden: Clusius Foundation, 1990).
-Emma Clark, “Introduction” and Ch. 1 “History, symbolism,
and the Quran,” in The Art of the Islamic
Garden (Wiltshire, UK: Crowood Press, 2004), pp. 11-22, 23-36.
Week 3 Introduction
to Islamic gardens, Part 2: Design and Layout
-David Stronach, “Parterres and stone watercourses at Pasargadae:
Notes on the Achaemenid contribution to garden design,” Journal of Garden History 14 (1994): 3-12.
-Emma Clark, Ch. 2 “Design and Layout” and Ch. 3 “Geometry,
hard landscaping and architectural ornament,” in The Art of the Islamic Garden (Wiltshire, UK: Crowood Press, 2004),
pp. 37-60, 61-86.
Week 4 Introduction
to Islamic gardens, Part 3: Plants and Water
-Emma Clark, Ch. 4 “Water,” Ch. 5 “Trees and shrubs,” and
Ch. 6 “Plants and flowers,” in The Art of
the Islamic Garden (Wiltshire, UK: Crowood Press, 2004), pp. 87-112,
Week 5 Umayyad and
Abbasid gardens of Syria and Iraq
-Vincenzo Strika, “The Umayyad garden: Its origin and
development,” Environmental Design 1
-Oleg Grabar, “Umayyad palaces reconsidered,” Ars Orientalis 23 (1993): 93-102.
-Hillenbrand, "La dolce vita in early Islamic Syria:
The evidence of later Umayyad palaces," Art History 5 (1982), 1-35.
-Qasim al-Samarrai, “The ‘Abbasid gardens in Baghdad and
Samarra (7th-12 century),” in L. Tjon Sie Fat and E. de Jong (eds.),
The Authentic Garden: A Symposium on
Gardens (Leiden: Clusius Foundation, 1990), pp. 115-22.
Week 6 Spain
-D. Fairchild Ruggles, “Historiography and the rediscovery
of Madinat al-Zahra,” Islamic Studies
30 (1990): 129-40.
-D. Farichild Ruggles, “The gardens of the Alhambra and the
concept of the garden in Islamic Spain,” in Jerrilynn D. Dodds (ed.), Al-Andalus: The Art of Islamic Spain
(New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992), pp. 163-171.
-D. Fairchild Ruggles, “The mirador in Abassid and
Hispano-Umayyad garden typology,” Muqarnas
7 (1990): 73-82.
-Nasser Rabbat, “The Palace of the Lions in Alhambra and the
role of water in its conception,” AARP/Environmental
Design 2 (1985): 64-73.
Week 7 Timurid
gardens of Central Asia
-Lisa Golombek, “The gardens of Timur: New perspectives,” Muqarnas 12 (1995): 137-47.
-Donald N. Wilber, “Timurid gardens: From Tamerlane to
Babur,” in Persian Gardens and Garden
Pavilions (Rutland, VT: C. E. Tuttle Col, 1962), pp. 53-78.
-Thomas W. Lentz, “Memory and ideology in the Timurid
garden,” in James L. Wescoat, Jr. and Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn (eds.), Mughal Gardens: Sources, Places,
Representations, and Prospects (Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research
Library and Collection, 1996), pp. 31-57.
Week 8 Mughal gardens of India and Pakistan
-James Dickie, “The Mughal garden: Gateway to Paradise,” Muqarnas 3 (1985): 128-37.
-Ebba Koch, “Mughal palace gardens from Babur to Shahjahan
(1526-1648),” Muqarnas 14 (1997):
-Howard Crane, “Influence of Persian gardens in India,” Encyclopedia Iranica 10 (2000): 305-8.
-Elizabeth B. Moynihan (ed.), The Moonlight Garden: New Discoveries at the Taj Mahal (Seattle:
University of Washington Press, 2000). (selections tba)
Week 9 Safavid
gardens of Iran
-Mahvash Alemi, “The royal gardens of the Safavid period:
Types and models,” in A. Petruccioli (ed.), Gardens
in the Time of the Great Muslim Empires: Theory and Design, Muqarnas
Supplement 7, Studies in Islamic Art and Architecture (Leiden: Brill, 1997),
-Donald Newton Wilber, “Gardens along the Caspian: Safavid
and later,” Ch. 4 in Persian Gardens and
Garden Pavilions (Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1979), pp. 55-64.
-Heidi A. Walcher, “Between paradise and political capital:
The semiotics of Safavid Isfahan,” in Jeff Albert (ed.), Transformations of Middle Eastern Natural Environments: Legacies and
Lessons (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998), pp. 330-48.
Week 10 Seljuk gardens
-Scott Redford, “Landscape and the centralizing state,” and
“Rum Seljuk Gardens,” in Landscape and
the State in Medieval Anatolia: Seljuk Gardens and Pavilions of Alanya, Turkey (Oxford:
Archaeopress, 2000), pp. 53-90, 91-114.
Week 11 Ottoman
gardens in Anatolia
-James Dickie, “Garden and cemetery in Sinan’s Istanbul,” AARP/Environmental Design 12 (1987):
-Gulru Necipoglu, “The suburban landscape of
sixteenth-century Istanbul as a mirror of Classical Ottoman garden culture,” in
A. Petruccioli (ed.), Gardens in the Time
of the Great Muslim Empires: Theory and Design, Muqarnas Supplement 7,
Studies in Islamic Art and Architecture (Leiden: Brill, 1997).
-Nevzat Ilhan, “The culture of gardens and flowers in the
Ottoman empire,” in L. Tjon Sie Fat and E. de Jong (eds.), The Authentic Garden: A Symposium on Gardens (Leiden: Clusius
Foundation, 1991), 131-8.
Week 12 Garden
-Giovanni Curatola, “Gardens and garden carpets: An open
problem,” Environmental Design 2
-Charles Grant Ellis, “Garden carpets and their relation to
Safavid gardens,” Hali: The International
Journal of Oriental Carpets and Textiles 5 (1982): 11-17.
-P.R.J. Ford, Ch. 3, “Tree Designs” and Chapter 6, “Garden
and Panel Designs”
Oriental Carpet Design
(London: Thames and Hudson, 1981), pp.106 –17 and 144 –55.
-Emma Clark, Chapter 7, “HRH the Prince of Wales’ carpet
garden, Highgrove a case study,” in The
Art of the Islamic Garden (Wiltshire, UK: Crowood Press, 2004), pp. 170-88.