Gardens and parks are designed green spaces. They fulfil a particularly important ecological function as a consequence of climate change, inviting people to go for walks, to play, to engage in sport and to contemplate. People who design, own, maintain and preserve gardens and parks, write about them or present them in magnificent vedute play an important role in this. Representative garden art did not develop into landscape architecture until the end of the 19th century, when feudal grounds and the first public parks were extended to include housing estates, residential areas and urban public spaces.
The Austrian National Library has been associated with garden art for more than 400 years. With what used to be the Court Library and the former private library of the imperial family, it has a rich stock of objects and treasures of great interest, including an original plan by the famous Lancelot Brown.
The variety of exhibits is supplemented by more recent gardens and parks from the Archive of Austrian landscape architecture at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences. The geographical focus of the exhibited objects is on Vienna, supplemented by projects from the provinces, the former crown lands of the
monarchy and selected other European countries.
In the large special exhibition „Of Gardens and People“, the visitor is guided through this history by means of works of art, some of which have never been shown before. Garden plans, prints, original drawings, publications, photographs and even picture postcards tell of the diversity of green spaces – some of which have disappeared or been reshaped – and turn the Baroque State Hall into a garden building.
Curated by Lilli Lička and Christian Maryška