Islamic Gardens
Type
syllabus
Year
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."

Course Description

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, 113-136, 137-169.

 

Week 5 Umayyad and Abbasid gardens of Syria and Iraq

-Vincenzo Strika, “The Umayyad garden: Its origin and development,” Environmental Design 1 (1986): 72-5.

-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): 143-65.

-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), pp. 72-96.

-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 in Anatolia

-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): 70-85.

-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 carpets

-Giovanni Curatola, “Gardens and garden carpets: An open problem,” Environmental Design 2 (1985): 90-7. 

-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.

                            

Week 13: Field Trip


Weeks 14-15:  Class presentations

 

Citation
Gansell, Amy Rebecca. "Islamic Gardens." Syllabus, Pratt Institute, New York, NY, 2013.
Authorities
Collections
Copyright
Amy Gansell
Country
Syria
Iraq
Turkey
Spain
India
Pakistan
Iran
Language
English
Keywords
gardens