previous chapter
next chapter


1. Pioneering investigations of women's relationship to the built environment include Matrix's Making Space: Women and the Man-Made Environment (London: Pluto Press, 1984); Daphne Spain's Gendered Spaces (Chapel

Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992); and Leslie Kanes Weisman's Discrimination by Design: A Feminist Critique of the Man-Made Environment (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992). [BACK]

2. Recent anthologies focusing on the role of gender and sex in architectural discourse include Sexuality and Space, ed. Beatriz Colomina (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1992); Architecture and Feminism, ed. Debra Coleman, Elizabeth Danze, and Carol Henderson (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996); and The Sex of Architecture, ed. Diana Agrest, Patricia Conway, and Leslie Kanes Weisman (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996). In response to these anthologies' focus on architecture's role in the formation of female identities, Joel Sanders has recently edited an anthology of essays dealing with architecture and the construction of the male identity. See Stud: Architectures of Masculinity (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996). [BACK]

3. The most notable monographs include Judith Paine, Theodate Pope Riddle: Her Life and Work (Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 1979); Virginia L. Grattan, Mary Colter: Builder upon the Red Earth (Flagstaff, Ariz.: Northland Press, 1980); Doris Cole, Eleanor Raymond, Architect (Philadelphia: Art Alliance Press, 1981); Sara Holmes Boutelle, Julia Morgan, Architect (New York: Abbeville Press, 1988); Doris Cole and Karen Cord Taylor, The Lady Architects: Howe, Manning and Almy (New York: Midmarch Arts Press, 1990); David Gebhard, Lutah Maria Riggs: A Woman in Architecture, 1921–1980 (Santa Barbara, Calif.: Capra Press, 1992); and Peter Adam, Eileen Gray: Architect/Designer (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1987). [BACK]

4. According to data collected by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, less than 2 percent of all American architects practicing in the first three decades of the twentieth century were women (cited in Sophonisba Breckinridge, Women in the Twentieth Century: A Study of Their Political, Social and Economic Activities [New York: McGraw-Hill, 1933], 188). Today, according to the July 1999 issue of Architecture magazine, women constitute nearly 40 percent of architecture students in America but still own fewer than 9 percent of the nation's architecture firms. Educational obstacles, professional discrimination, and enduring stereotypes about women's unsuitability for architecture are just some of the factors that help account for such discouraging figures. [BACK]

5. In her book review of published monographs on Theodate Pope Riddle, Mary Colter, Eleanor Raymond, and Julia Morgan, architectural historian Abigail Van Slyck argues that “the growing sophistication of feminist theory requires a serious reassessment of the usefulness of the architect's biography as a tool for reintroducing women in architectural history.” See Abigail A. Van Slyck, “Women in Architecture and the Problems of Biography,” Design Book Review 25 (Summer 1992): 19. [BACK]

6. For an introduction to the issues raised by feminist biography, see Sara Alpern et al., ed., The Challenge of Feminist Biography: Writing the Lives of Modern American Women (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992). [BACK]

7. For the period 1890–1910, the number of female students at women's colleges increased by 348.4 percent, while the number of women at coeducational institutions increased by 438 percent. See Joyce Antler, The Educated

Woman and Professionalization: The Struggle for a New Feminine Identity, 1890–1920 (New York: Garland, 1987), 48–49. Raymond was the first of three daughters to attend Wellesley. Her sister Rachel graduated in 1916; her sister Dorothy left Wellesley after three years to get married in 1912. [BACK]

8. Like many female college graduates of her generation, Raymond found the transition to postcollegiate life somewhat difficult in that her years at Wellesley had provided ample opportunity for personal growth but few practical or marketable skills. Volunteer activities and political causes like the suffrage campaign were common outlets for this generation's energy. For a more detailed discussion of these issues, see Rosalind Rosenberg, Divided Lives: American Women in the Twentieth Century (New York: Hill and Wang, 1992). [BACK]

9. Raymond was able to purchase the Beacon Hill house because of a substantial inheritance left to the architect upon the death of her father. Such financial considerations and the larger implications of class should not be overlooked in the study of women architects and artists of the period, many of whom share upper-middle-class backgrounds. [BACK]

10. This 1981 interview, perhaps the most extensive record of Raymond's personal views, was conducted by Doris Cole in conjunction with an exhibition of Raymond's work at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. See Eleanor Raymond: Architectural Projects, 1919–1973 (Boston: Institute of Contemporary Art, 1981), unpaginated. [BACK]

11. Van Slyck, “Women in Architecture,” 19. [BACK]

12. Quoted in Eleanor Raymond: Architectural Projects. [BACK]

13. See Nancy F. Cott, The Grounding of Modern Feminism (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1987), 226–28. [BACK]

14. For a discussion of the impact of professionalization on women architects, see Elizabeth G. Grossman and Lisa B. Reitzes, “Caught in the Crossfire: Women and Architectural Education, 1880–1910,” in Architecture: A Place for Women, ed. Ellen Perry Berkeley (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989), 27–39. In the 1981 interview cited above, Raymond reflected on her own decision not to apply to MIT's program: “I knew that MIT was accepting women, but they were not making them very welcome.” [BACK]

15. Raymond's comments are published in Eleanor Raymond: Architectural Projects. [BACK]

16. An alumnae survey conducted in the early 1930s revealed that 83 percent of all Cambridge School graduates were active in the profession. Of those working, 34 percent either had entered into independent practice or were serving as partners in small firms. Slightly more graduates, 39 percent, were employed as draftswomen in private firms, and 10 percent of alumnae were working in related fields such as teaching or editorial work. The results of this survey were published in the March 1932 brochure of the school, a copy of which is included in the Cambridge School Archives at Smith College. For a general history of the school, see Dorothy May Anderson, Women, Design and the Cambridge School (West Lafayette, Ind.: PDA Publishers, 1980). [BACK]

17. To date, the most detailed examination of female-network building appears in the scholarship on women and the American political system. In particular,

see Blanche Weisen Cook, “Female Support Networks and Political Activism: Lillian Wald, Crystal Eastman, Emma Goldman,” Chrysalis 3 (1977): 43–61, and Estelle Freedman, “Separatism as Strategy: Female Institution Building and American Feminism, 1870–1930,” Feminist Studies 5 (Fall 1979): 512–29. For the importance of female client networks in architecture, see Boutelle, Julia Morgan, Architect. Deborah Cherry's Painting Women: Victorian Women Artists (New York: Routledge, 1993) suggests the importance of female colleagues and patrons in the nineteenth-century art world, while Bridget Elliott and Jo-Ann Wallace's Women Artists and Writers: Modernist (Im)positionings (New York: Routledge, 1994) raises similar issues for twentieth-century artists. [BACK]

18. In American Architects and the Mechanics of Fame (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991), Roxanne Kuter Williamson investigates the common reasons for fame in the architecture profession, including proper networks and social connections, well-known mentors, and prestigious degrees. Not surprisingly, not a single woman is included in Williamson's 236-person “Index of Fame.” [BACK]

19. In her monograph on Julia Morgan, Boutelle dismissed Morgan's sexuality in the introduction without further exploration, claiming that “devoted to her career, [Morgan] seems never even to have considered marriage.” See Boutelle, Julia Morgan, Architect, 7. Despite Peter Adam's repeated emphasis on Eileen Gray's professional relationships with several men and women throughout the main body of his book, his introduction discloses his choice to refrain “from probing too deeply into the private lives of those who were at times her most intimate friends,” as this constituted an area of Gray's life that had “little bearing on [her] work.” See Adam, Eileen Gray, 2. [BACK]

20. Two general surveys of lesbian and independent American women of the twentieth century were particularly helpful in contextualizing Raymond and Power's relationship: Lillian Faderman's Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America (New York: Penguin Books, 1991) and Trisha Franzen's Spinsters and Lesbians: Independent Womanhood in the United States (New York: New York University Press, 1996). [BACK]

21. As cultural historian Irit Rogoff has argued in an essay on the role of “gossip” in art historical writing, the legitimization of “distinctly feminized” modes of communication is an important step in countering the conventional male narratives of modernism. See Irit Rogoff, “Gossip as Testimony: A Postmodern Signature,” in Generations and Geographies in the Visual Arts, ed. Griselda Pollock (New York: Routledge, 1996), 58–65. [BACK]

22. Unfortunately, no one has yet undertaken a scholarly examination of this important publication. The years of Power's tenure are particularly difficult to document, as House Beautiful did not transfer their records from the Boston office when they relocated to New York in 1934. [BACK]

23. This is not to say that the Hammond Compound is unworthy of close examination. The nontraditional lifestyle of Natalie Hammond provides a compelling case study of architectural patronage. Like Raymond, Hammond was a single woman who chose to live her life surrounded by other professional

women. An accomplished painter, costume designer, and inventor, she settled in Gloucester during World War II to run the Massachusetts Women's Defense Corps—a volunteer paramilitary organization that trained women in civilian defense. Alice Laughlin and Phyllis Connard, Hammond's fellow residents, were also founding members of the corps. In addition to their wartime activities, Laughlin was an Arts Student League–trained artist and Connard was an actress and painter. Each house included a large studio or office for independent work and a compact galley kitchen, as most meals were prepared by servants and eaten in the separate dining hall. [BACK]

24. Boutelle, Julia Morgan, Architect, 110. [BACK]

25. Adam, Eileen Gray, 8. [BACK]

26. Quoted in Nan Trent, “Award Winner Designs Houses Inside Out,” Christian Science Monitor, October 31, 1961, 6. [BACK]

27. See Sarah Whiting, “Voices between the Lines: Talking in the Gray Zone,” in Eileen Gray: An Architect for All Senses, ed. Caroline Constant and Wilfried Wang (Tubingen: Ernst J. Wasmuth, 1996), 72. Whiting's essay examines Gray's writings, composed primarily in the form of dialogues, and suggests how the architect's approach to discourse deliberately differed from the style adopted by her male colleagues. [BACK]

28. Cole, Eleanor Raymond, 10. The author also maintains that Raymond's work reflected “the needs of people and the concerns of the feminine world” (10). [BACK]

29. Royal Barry Wills, a New England architect noted for his Colonial Revival houses, also flirted with a more modernist vocabulary but concluded that he was not “rabid enough to wage an unholy war against the inherent desires” of his clients. See Royal Barry Wills, “Confessions of a Cape Codder,” Architectural Record 105 (April 1949): 134. [BACK]

30. An excellent analysis of the role of women as patrons of modern architecture is contained in Alice Friedman's Women and the Making of the Modern House: A Social and Architectural History (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1998). Dolores Hayden's groundbreaking history of feminist designs for American homes and cities, The Grand Domestic Revolution (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1981), is an exemplary model for future investigations of the contributions of nonarchitects. [BACK]

previous chapter
next chapter