Cultural Landscapes Blog

This one-week course uses Monticello and the University of Virginia as outdoor classrooms to study historic landscape preservation. Lectures, workshops, field trips and practical working experiences introduce students to the fields of landscape history, garden restoration and historical horticulture. In recognition of generous support from the Harrison Foundation, graduates will be named Harrison Fellows of the Historic Landscape Institute. A fee is charged; application is required. Limited scholarships available for full-time college students or employees of non-profit historic sites. Call (434) 984-9816 or

Link to flyer:

Link to application form:

Way Bay is a sweeping exploration of the creative energies that have emerged from the San Francisco Bay Area over the past two centuries. An innovatively organized exhibition of art and film, plus poetry, performance documentation, and archival materials. Way Bay features nearly two hundred works that reveal the depth and diversity of artists’ engagement with the region’s geographic, social, and cultural landscape.

For more information, visit

To develop the field of garden and landscape studies across different disciplines and to promote the depth and breadth of future landscape scholarship, Dumbarton Oaks, with the support of the Mellon Initiative in Urban Landscape Studies and in collaboration with the Center for Cultural Landscapes at the University of Virginia, will offer an intensive three-week Garden and Landscape Studies Graduate Workshop from May 13 to June 2, 2018.


Workshop Offerings

Bringing together early-career scholars and practitioners who are pursuing cross-disciplinary research on landscape-related topics, the workshop will focus on key issues and texts in landscape history and theory, situating garden and landscape design in the context of humanities scholarship: from the idea of the Three Natures to the ecological challenges of the Anthropocene and the discourse of landscape urbanism. Special emphasis will be laid on the study of urban landscapes. Participants, typically doctoral candidates in early or advanced stages of writing dissertations and current MLA candidates or recent recipients of MLA degrees, will be invited to share among themselves selected aspects of their work; these morning presentations will be supplemented by afternoon seminars led by Dumbarton Oaks staff and invited scholars. The program will also include two study sessions in the Rare Books Library at Dumbarton Oaks, site visits in the Washington metropolitan area (including Mount Vernon and the National Mall), and a three-day stay in Charlottesville, VA, with a visit to Richmond and James Madison’s Montpelier to explore the racial geographies of Virginia. During their residency at Dumbarton Oaks, workshop’s participants will have access to the institute’s library resources and its celebrated gardens.   


Accommodation and Costs

For the Southern Garden History Society 2018 Annual Meeting, to be held in Jacksonville, Florida, April 13 -15, 2018.

A variety of informative and scholarly presentations will showcase the vibrant garden, architectural, and landscape history in the Jacksonville area, including the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Glen Saint Mary Nurseries (established 1881) and private garden tours. Bart Brechter, Curator of Bayou Bend Gardens in Houston, TX, will speak on historic azaleas, and Bill Noble, garden designer and former Director of Preservation for the Garden Conservancy, will address the group on historic garden restorations and how they have recovered from disasters. More information on the full schedule of events will be available at our website after January 1.  

We feel that the annual meeting in Jacksonville will introduce entry-level professionals and students alike to the unique horticultural heritage in and around Jacksonville. The Southern Garden History Society annual meetings are always immersion experiences that delve into the gardens and landscapes of the American South.

The Society offers scholarships to attend the annual meeting to bona fide college students with majors relevant to the mission and goals of the society and entry-level professionals working in the historic gardening, landscape architecture, and preservation fields. Previous recipients are ineligible except that students may apply for scholarships once while an undergraduate and once while pursuing a graduate degree.  Up to three scholarships may be awarded per annual meeting.

Check out this discussion of approaches to monuments and memorialization in the landscape:

Congratulations to Claire Eager (UVA PhD 2017) who received the first UVA Richard Guy Wilson Prize for Excellence in the Study of Buildings, Landscapes and Places. This annual $5000 prize, endowed by Mallory Walker, an alum of the College of Arts and Sciences, honors one of his UVA professors--Richard Guy Wilson, Commonwealth Professor of Architectural History. The prize is open to undergraduate and graduate students across the University. This year’s faculty review panel was comprised of Professor Jane Allison (Creative Writing), Assistant Professor Lisa Goff (American Studies), Professor Beth Meyer (Landscape Architecture) and Professor Louis Nelson (Architectural History). They commended Eager’s ” Complicit Paradise: Invasive Species and Collaborative Design in Donne and Bedford’s Twick(e)n(h)am” a chapter of her dissertation, for the elegance of its prose and the rigor of its analysis that, in working between literary theory and garden history, found new interpretations of this significant place as well as new insights into the relationship between the poet and patron of the garden. Eager received her RGW prize on Friday, 2 December at a dinner hosted by Dean of the Library John Unsworth and his wife, Maggie in their new home in Pavilion II. Elizabeth Fowler, Eager’s dissertation adviser, Beth Meyer (chair of the 2017 RGW prize jury) Mallory and Diana Walker, Richard and Ellie Wilson, and Joey Pierce were also in attendance.


Announcements about the 2018 RGW Prize program will be distribution around UVA Grounds, and available on the A-School and Center for Cultural Landscapes websites, by late January 2018. Submissions will be due in May. Please encourage your classmates and students to apply!

Co-organized by UNWTO and UNESCO, the Second World Conference on Toursim and Culture focuses on fostering sustainable development in Oman. In the name of cultural tourism, this conference aims to look at methods to enhance partnerships between the Tourism and Culture sectors. Out of 3 sessions, the 3rd one explores the importance of incorporating 'cultural landscapes' within the tourism industry for sustainable tourism development. 

For more information, visit

Liz Sargent HLA is pleased to announce that Jennifer Trompetter has joined the firm as Principal.  Jen brings more than fifteen years of experience in the area of park planning and design, with expertise in sensitive design interventions for historic properties.  Jen holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia, and has worked throughout the United States in her previous positions with Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects and D.I.R.T. studio.

Liz Sargent HLA is a landscape architecture firm based in Charlottesville, Virginia, providing expertise in the areas of historical landscape architecture, preservation planning, and conceptual design.  LSHLA offers more than twenty-five years of experience in the field of cultural landscape studies for clients ranging from the National Park Service, National Trust for Historic Preservation, state and local governments, and colleges and universities, as well as private clients and non-profit organizations.  The firm regularly collaborates with architects, landscape architects, historians and archaeologists in devising plans and reports that provide clients with comprehensive products that successfully meet their needs.  Principal Liz Sargent, FASLA, is an award-wininng designer, as well as a landscape historian, and can offer the unusual capability of translating planning projects into built work.  Additionally, Liz Sargent HLA is a small, woman-owned business.

Liz and Jen recently teamed up to prepare Historic American Landscape Survey (HALS) documentation for Emancipation (Lee) Park in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The entry won First Place in the 2017 HALS Challenge.

The Center for Cultural Landscapes congratulates landscape architects, Liz Sargent and Jen Trompetter, both graduates of the University of Virginia School of Architecture, for winning first prize in the 2017 Historic American Landscape Survey Challenge (HALS) for their entry for Emancipation Park (formerly Lee Park) in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The National Park Service and the Historic American Landscape Survey sponsor the competition, which focuses on a specific theme each year. The 2017 theme was “Documenting City and Town Parks.”  Sargent and Trompetter’s work on Emancipation Park documented the park at a time it gained national attention as the object of heated debate, and the site of multiple demonstrations, acts of intimidation, and violence. The HALS documentation will help communicate the site’s history to a broader audience, and to situate the park and its statue in in temporal, political and design context.


Liz Sargent is Principal of Liz Sargent HLA, and an affiliate member of the Center for Cultural Landscapes. Jen Trompetter is also Principal of Liz Sargent HLA.


The HALS challenge for 2018 will focus on the theme “Memorialization, Commemorating the Great War.”  Information about the HALS Challenge can be found at: