The new books, “The Women Who Gave Us the World” and “Women in Revolution,” both argue that artists with bold ideas were often left out of history. The authors make a plea to credit women who deserve it, saying they would bring much-needed balance to our current cultural climate.
The “ksby news” is a new article that discusses two new history books that make the same plea: credit female artist.
Frank Lloyd Wright is perhaps the first architect that springs to mind when you think of an American architect. Julia Morgan may or may not be aware of her situation. (I’ll tell you more about her later.)
It’s natural for you to think about Wright. After all, the cognoscenti – American Institute of Architects – named his design for Falling Water, a holiday home in rural Pennsylvania, “the outstanding building of the twentieth century.”
Fault lines are a kind of fault.
Never mind that the four concrete slabs projecting over a waterfall were sagging so severely from the time they were installed in 1936 that they were in danger of falling.
Clearly, the A.I.A. was unconcerned with the sags, much alone the leaks. When it displayed beautiful images of the weekend trip in 1938, neither did the Museum of Modern Art. The images were also published in Time magazine.
Falling Water takes a pretty picture, no question about it. But the museum and the magazine had an obligation to mention the Fault lines are a kind of fault.. Architecture is about function as well as form.
I blame sloppy journalism for ignoring a piece in Scientific American magazine on how Wright rejected engineering advice. They claimed that load testing on the projecting slabs had exceeded safety margins.
Despite the fact that Wright is a household name, Morgan, a fellow American architect, is hardly recognized, if at all. This, despite the fact that she created Hearst Castle, a 1,000-square-foot house in San Simeon, California, for publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst.
Morgan spent over 30 years working with Hearst to design his ideal home, which was packed with art and antiquities from his extensive collection.
Even Hearst’s indoor pool, which is designed to seem like an old Roman bath, is decorated with sculptures of Roman gods and goddesses.
In two ways, Hearst Castle is in the news. First, on May 11, the house will reopen to the public following a two-year refurbishment.
A million or more people have visited this site in the past. It’s only right that the architect behind it be recognized.
This brings me to the second reason for the Hearst Castle’s popularity. Victoria Kastner’s latest book, “Julia Morgan: An Intimate Biography of the Trailblazing Architect,” is out now.
As a historian at Hearst Castle, Kastner was able to find previously unpublished material such as drawings, diaries, and letters.
There’s a lot to learn about this topic.
It’s worth noting
Morgan, who died in 1957, had a long list of firsts to his credit. No woman had ever been accepted to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris to study architecture until she arrived.
She was also the first woman to get a civil engineering degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and the first woman to be licensed as an architect in the state of California.
It’s maybe not surprising that Morgan isn’t as well-known as Wright. Katy Hessel, an art historian, recently polled 2,000 Britons and asked them to identify just three female painters. Only 30% of people were capable of doing it.
Most people, you’d assume, could identify the big three: Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Mary Cassatt. Or, at the very least, Barbara Hepworth and Tracy Emin, two British painters.
The study was done by Hessel in order to promote her upcoming book, “The Story of Art Without Men.” I don’t see why we should exclude guys from the tale as long as women are included.
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