German Landscape and the Aesthetics of Administration: Peter Joseph Lenné and His Circle, 1815-1848


ACLS Fellowship Program


Landscape Architecture


Landscape in nineteenth-century Germany was transformed by bureaucratic innovation. The effects of this new administrative vision were felt most keenly in Prussia, where the landscape designer Peter Joseph Lenné, together with a circle of reformers, developed a program of rural embellishment, urban planning, and aesthetic industrialization in response. Operating both within and against bureaucracy, they aimed to redress the deficiencies of rationalized land management by engineering a Prussian arcadia. This project analyzes the various registers within which bureaucratic culture inflected Lenné’s designs and the avenues through which he appropriated administrative tools, including institutional organizations and standardized representation techniques, to fashion a new landscape discourse.