Books

Elizabeth Barlow Rogers is a writer about place. She has won recognition for her skill in exploring the nature and design of landscapes as places shaped by the cultural ideals of diverse periods and societies.

Because of her long association with Central Park, four of Rogers’s books — Frederick Law Olmsted’s New York; The Central Park Book; Rebuilding Central Park: A Management and Restoration Plan; and Saving Central Park: A History and Memoir — focus on this American masterpiece of democratic landscape art. Her interest in New York City’s other designed landscapes extends beyond its most famous park to include the natural wonders she explores in The Forests and Wetlands of New York City and her later work on the same subject, Green Metropolis: The Extraordinary Landscapes of New York City.

Rogers’s magnum opus, Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History, which encompasses cities, parks, and gardens of many lands and historical periods, is the preeminent survey text throughout the United States for students in this and related fields. Romantic Gardens: Nature, Art, and Landscape Design, published in 2010 in conjunction with an exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum, describes how the emphasis on nature in the philosophical ethos of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is reflected in the layouts of gardens and parks as well as in the literature and painting of Western Europe and America.

In Learning Las Vegas: Portrait of a Northern New Mexican Place, Rogers reveals a once-important Hispanic settlement cum Western American city through photographs and in-depth conversations with sixty of its residents. Her Writing the Garden: A Literary Conversation Over Two Centuries, an anthology containing excerpts from books and articles by authors ranging from Thomas Jefferson to Michael Pollan, was published in 2013 on the occasion of an exhibition she co-curated at The New York Society Library.