• 26 October to 23 November 2018
  • Deadline: 23 November 2018, 17:00 pm
    Conference date: 31 January 2019

  • The Garden Museum, London

The current Garden Museum exhibition Repton Revealed: The Art of Landscape Gardeningcommemorates the bicentenary of Repton’s death, with a focus on his Red Books of designs.

This symposium takes a longer and wider view, to explore how Repton and his work have been variously recalled, restored and refashioned in the two centuries from the nineteenth century to the present. It invites contributions on the legacy of Repton’s landscape gardening within and beyond Britain, on the page and on the ground, in changing methods and media of design and historical interpretation.

Proposals are welcome on particular case studies or broader investigations.

Possible themes and topics could include, but are not limited to:

Repton re-visioned. How has Repton’s work been incorporated and reshaped in theories and practices of design? Consciously so in such aesthetic movements as the Gardenesque and professions like Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning; or unwittingly in more informal, suburban styles of garden making and meaning in popular media?

Repton exported. To what extend was Repton’s work transmitted beyond Britain in the nineteenth century, to fashion landscapes in Europe, the United States, and the British empire? How did Repton’s style shape the broader aesthetic of ‘The English Garden’ and what kinds of cultural exchange and environmental accommodation were made in these overseas settings?

Repton remembered. What was the role of Repton’s son John Adey and the Repton family in attempts to sustain knowledge of his life and work? And what was the contribution of others who knew Repton, such as John Claudius Loudon, in celebrating or criticising his work, in crediting Repton with work on the ground for which he was often overlooked, reporting its condition, or in adopting and reshaping his style.

Repton recalled. How was Repton’s life and work revived in the twentieth century, in biographies like Dorothy Stroud’s of 1961, exhibitions like that at the Sainsbury Centre, Norwich in 1987, as well as the pages of popular magazines and academic journals? What historical evidence, from manuscript sources to site investigation, was drawn on, and what views of Georgian England framed Repton’s work? To what extent did the new literature on Repton influence landscape design and conservation?

Repton restored. Much of Repton’s work on the ground has always proved vulnerable to developments, such as gravel digging to housing development, processes of decay and dilapidation, as well as the tastes of owners and practices of builders and nurserymen. How has Repton’s work been restored in its many sites, from great estates to public parks and squares? How have Repton’s designs been interpreted and modified and how has his signature on the landscape been related to that of others?

Proposals of no more than 300 words for 20 minute papers, together with a short cv, should be submitted to Tom Knowles on [email protected] by Friday 23rd November 2018.

Travel and accommodation will be provided for speakers travelling from outside the London area.

Image caption: Sundridge Park Red Book, Kent, 1793?

Copyright: City & Country.