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Garden and Landscape Studies

The Garden and Landscape Studies program was established in 1972 to support advanced scholarship in garden history and landscape architecture, encompassing the study of culturally and artistically significant landscapes around the world from ancient times to the present. The program seeks to deepen the understanding of landscape and gardens as a field of knowledge and research and as a practice carried out by landscape architects, landscape artists, and gardeners. The program provides support for research and organizes public programs and scholarly events, publications, and art installations.

Image: Brian Palmer, 2017–2018 Project Grant


Scholarly Activities

Garden and Landscape Studies offers a range of scholarly programming, including annual symposia and colloquia, public lectures, and workshops. View upcoming and past activities, and watch recordings of selected recent events.

2024 Garden and Landscape Studies Graduate Summer Program

May 20–June 7, 2024, hosted at Dumbarton Oaks | Intensive three-week workshop, for PhD and MLA candidates, and recent MLA graduates.


Fellowships and Awards

Support comes in many forms through a variety of our programs, tailored to fit the individual needs of senior scholars, midcareer researchers, dissertation writers, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates.

Fellowship Opportunities

Research Fellowships are available to scholars with a terminal degree (Fellowships); to degree candidates who have fulfilled all preliminary requirements for a terminal degree (Junior Fellowships). Mellon Fellowships in Landscape Studies—both for the academic year and the summer program—are for scholars holding a terminal degree or degree candidates who at the time of application have fulfilled all preliminary requirements for a PhD or appropriate final degree.

Short-Term Opportunities

Several opportunities are available to students and scholars at all levels, ranging from symposia travel awards, one-month research awards, and summer programs in Garden and Landscape Studies.

Project Grants

Garden and Landscape grants are intended to support primary research of a specific site. Project grants may be used for a broad array of projects including field research, site analysis, botanical surveys, heritage conservation and restoration planning, with the goal of promoting the preservation and understanding of historic gardens and other significant designed landscapes.

Awards for Students

Garden and Landscape Studies sponsors two awards—the Bliss Symposium Award and the Mellon Colloquium Award—for currently enrolled graduate students and undergraduate juniors and seniors wishing to attend the annual spring symposium and the fall colloquium at Dumbarton Oaks, in Washington, D.C.  Learn more about the Awards here.

A Century in the Gardens

The Garden Centennial recognizes a century of stewardship and preservation of the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens through celebrations and exhibits. We will explore the different ways the gardens and landscape as a work of art has been utilized, with thoughts on the next hundred years. Using digitally accessible materials, curatorial newsletters, and in-person exhibitions, the Garden Centennial commemorates one of the most beautiful gardens in the world.

Learn More about the Centennial


Mellon Initiative in Urban Landscape Studies

Two grants from the Mellon Foundation have supported an interdisciplinary program in urban landscape studies. The second, received in 2019, expands the program to focus on “Democracy and the Urban Landscape: Race, Identity, and Difference.”

Learn more about the Mellon Initiative

Awards and Opportunities

Semester-long fellowships support both research and teaching projects, and provide additional opportunities for field research funding. Graduate and advanced undergraduate students may also apply for funding to attend the annual Garden and Landscape Studies colloquium.

People and Scholarship

Academic events, such as the Mellon Midday Dialogues, create a framework for interactions among the fellows as well as the humanities scholars at Dumbarton Oaks and neighboring academic institution.

Public Outreach

A series of public programs, including lectures, colloquia, workshops, and exhibitions, are aimed at disseminating the initiative’s work nationally and internationally.

Resources for Garden and Landscape Scholars

View AllResources for Garden and Landscape Scholars

Garden Archaeology

Dumbarton Oaks has supported garden archaeology since 1979 through scholarly activities, publications, and project grants.

Digitized Rare Books

Access full digital facsimiles of select titles in the Rare Book Collection, relating to Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian Studies, through this searchable resource.