The Proposition of Landscape

The Proposition of Landscape


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"In this project, Wagner-Lawler uses a work held in UWM's Special Collections entitled The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones published in 1856 and the American Geographical Society Library Digital Map collections. By researching map images of the land boundaries of the areas and ornamentation covered in The Grammar of Ornament, new visual landscapes are created using the decorative ornaments from the text. The artist book takes a small sampling of ornaments from each of the twenty sections of the text and places them into a landscape created out of the reinterpreted boundaries of each country or region. In addition to using the ornamentation from The Grammar of Ornament, the artist book also incorporates some of Jones’ thirty-seven design propositions set forth in his book. These propositions dictate Jones’ suggested best methods for using color and composition in relation to the ornamentation. In the artist book, twenty of these propositions are used to dictate and manipulate the composition of each page. The numbers on each page of the artist book reference the Jones’ propositions." - Artist Website


Boxcar Press


Design, landscape, creativity


8" x 5.5"


Hinged accordion fold book in slipcase


Lenox 100 paper and colour print


Letterpress printed on Lenox 100 using photopolymer plates from Boxcar Press, handset type in 2018



Other Information

Signed by the author. Edition 9 out of 30. Includes ornamentation from The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones and boundary maps from the American Geographical Society Library Digital Map Collection at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. More information can be found here:

Exhibit Location

This work was featured in the Cornell Fine Arts Museum as a part of the exhibition “Common Ground: Selected Works from The Rollins Book Arts Collection” from September 18, 2021 – December 31, 2021.

The Proposition of Landscape