Laying the Groundwork: Women in American Architecture, Spring 1977
New Angle: Voice
by Brandi Howell
1M ago
That was some party. Even though I didn’t make it to the splashy opening, I did attend the transformational exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, our subject in this episode. A rarely used sculpture gallery was filled with ranks and files of cheap drafting tables, their tops tilted to display what seemed to be pages out of the book, one spread to a table. It overwhelmed with information—but seemed void of the chatter of us working women.   Welcome to New Angle Voice, I’m your host, Cynthia Kracauer.  In this episode, we revisit the first significant effort to publicly tell the under-tol ..read more
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Architecture, Family Style – The Lives and Work of Sarah Harkness and Jean Fletcher
New Angle: Voice
by Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation
2M ago
Sarah Pillsbury, or Sally as she was better known by her peers, and Jean Bodman were both architects who married architects.  As an architect who also married an architect, my perspective may be more inside baseball on the professional side, but utter awe and fascination on the family end. I’m Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, architect, Executive Director of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, mother of only two, and your host.   Welcome to our last episode of New Angle Voice 2023.  It’s hard to look at the early days of TAC—the Architects Collaborative—for a time a world-class ..read more
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Anna Wagner Keichline: The Legacy of Invention
New Angle: Voice
by Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation
2M ago
1913 was the year of the grand march for suffrage in Washington DC, the 250,000 marchers and attendees eclipsed the coverage the following day of the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson.  Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, population 4216, had its own march, on the fourth of July. Costumes were di rigeur, with a goodly number of  stately toga clad ladies and a few wild harridans on horseback, along with our intrepid girl in her Cornell cap and gown:  Anna Wagner Keichline… a native Bellefutian. We had to see this for ourselves.  So I saddled up my 2002 Honda Minivan, and made the five ho ..read more
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Amaza Lee Meredith: Love and Home
New Angle: Voice
by Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation
2M ago
I picked up a free glossy real estate magazine with an enticing photograph of summer leisure pursuits under the title Sag Harbor: A Whale of a Good Time. We traveled out there in early spring, collecting voices of preservation, community, celebrity, and long tenured summer families as we searched for Amaza Lee Meredith’s modern architecture. A short bike ride away from the summer haunts of Melville, Steinbeck, Betty Friedan, Spaulding Gray, lived the creator of Azurest North, the Black summer real estate enclave syndicated by Amaza Lee Meredith with her sister Maude Terry. But on the beac ..read more
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The Art We Must Live With: Ada Louise Huxtable and Architecture Criticism
New Angle: Voice
by Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation
2M ago
Anyone who writes about American architecture of the mid twentieth and early 21 st century measures their critical achievement with the yardstick drawn by Ada Louise Huxtable. With countless articles for two great daily newspapers, this petite New Yorker had a gigantic influence on our understanding of the work of architects, real estate developers, city bureaucrats, and the city itself, over the course of six decades in print. General readers are quite accustomed to having their choices in books, films, dance, opera, drama, TV, and music directed and influenced by critics opinions. We find ou ..read more
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Ray Eames: Beauty in the Everyday
New Angle: Voice
by Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation
2M ago
New Angle: Voice is back! We kick off Season Two with Ray Kaiser Eames. Many know Ray Eames as the small, dirndled woman behind her more famous husband. In this episode, we uncover the talented artist who saw the world full of color, the industrial designer bending plywood in the spare bedroom, and the visionary who treated folk art, cigarette wrappers, flowers, and toys as equally valuable and inspiring. Ray brought the sparkle to the legendary Eames Office, as you’ll discover in this episode “Beauty in the Everyday: The Life and Work of Ray Eames.” Special thanks in this episode to Pat Kirkh ..read more
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Florence Knoll: Total Design
New Angle: Voice
by Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation
2M ago
With her legendary unerring taste and a total commitment to produce absolute perfection in her self, her work, her products, and how she would be remembered, Florence Knoll is generally recognized as the single most powerful figure in the field of modern design.   As an architect, Florence was the force behind the seamless integration of furniture, space, textile, art, graphic design into a perfect brand concept:  Total Design.  Her influence transcends the specific disciplines, she was the force integrating them, and in her work at the Knoll Planning Unit, she promulgated ..read more
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Norma Sklarek: An Extremely Bold Hand
New Angle: Voice
by Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation
2M ago
Norma Sklarek had many “firsts”.  She was often credited at the start of her career as the first Black Women architect to be licensed in the United States.  That distinction actually goes to Beverly Greene – Norma was the 3rd.   But it didn’t matter.   Young black girls read her name in the likes of Ebony Magazine – a staple publication in every black household at the time –  when she was included in their 1958 article on “Successful Young Architects”.  As more and more discovered her career, she became their role model. Like so many women, then and now, she chose ..read more
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Fast Food and Radical Rooflines: Helen Fong Shapes Los Angeles Coffee Shops
New Angle: Voice
by Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation
2M ago
Who hasn't had a burger and fries at a Denny's or Bob's Big Boy?  There are thousands of them, not just in Los Angeles, where they were born, but across the country.  These family restaurants are core to how America defined itself after World War II. Cars, families, space flight, modernism....the new world order.... And who defined that fun and futuristic look?  Our pioneering LA woman architect: Helen Fong.   She was born in 1927 in Los Angeles Chinatown where her immigrant parents ran a laundry that she often worked at as a child.  The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 w ..read more
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Natalie de Blois – To Tell The Truth
New Angle: Voice
by Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation
2M ago
Natalie de Blois (1921–2013) contributed to some of the most iconic modernist works for corporate America, all while raising four children.  After leaving this significant mark on post-war Park Avenue, she transferred to the SOM Chicago office, where she became actively involved in the architecture feminist movement and was one of the leaders in the newly formed Chicago Women in Architecture advocacy group.  Later, she finished her career as a professor at UT Austin, where she trained a future generation of architects.   As an architect, Natalie loved systems – understandin ..read more
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