Special Issue "Transatlantic Gardens and Enlightenment Ideas in American Art"

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752). This special issue belongs to the section "Visual Arts".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 December 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Stephen Bending
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Humanities, University of Southampton, Avenue Campus, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BF, UK
Interests: 18th-century gardens and landscape; women’s letters and diaries; Enlightenment culture; pleasure; solitude and retirement
Prof. Dr. Jennifer Milam
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Contemporary Culture Research Unit, Faculty of Arts, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
Interests: 18th-century art; Rococo painting; garden history; Enlightenment culture; intellectual history

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We know a lot about the movement of people and plants, and about the powerfully portable visions of the picturesque and the sublime, but histories of landscape are still largely trapped within imaginings of national landscapes and their geographies. This special issue asks what those who travelled and those who stayed at home saw and felt in the experience of landscape on both sides of the Atlantic. Its focus on the physical making of landscape—in the form of the garden, and its depiction in painting and material culture—acknowledges the peculiar status of the garden as a space at once abstractly symbolic and personally emotive, a space in which shared experience and national difference are repeatedly confronted. To understand gardens in these terms is to understand the larger landscapes in which they are set, and so the special issue also asks how the garden might be imagined in relation to the farm, the city, or the plantation, but imagined too in relation to the native and the national, to the international and the cosmopolitan, to the past and to visions of progress.

By emphasizing landscape as experience, and the garden as a place in which experience is always heightened by expectation and design, the focus of this special issue is on shared cultures and disparate geographies, on competing viewpoints and imagined communities. Looking from both sides of the Atlantic, it asks what might be common ground in gardens at once locally constructed and geographically specific even as they may be framed by shared religious, economic, and aesthetic discourses. Submissions should focus squarely on the issue of transatlantic landscapes — as represented in paintings, drawing, and the decorative arts, and as designed garden spaces in colonial and post-revolutionary America. Authors might consider objects and sources, or address methodological issues more directly.

Dr. Stephen Bending
Dr. Jennifer Milam
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • landscape
  • gardens
  • transatlantic
  • American art
  • European art
  • painting
  • sculpture
  • material culture
  • space
  • national
  • cosmopolitan
  • Enlightenment

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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