November 14, 2012
Contact: Tami Hausman
NEA GRANT FUNDS FIRST-EVER COLLECTION OF 50 WOMEN ARCHITECTS; PRESTIGIOUS SCHOLARS APPOINTED TO ADVISORY COUNCIL
The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to pursue the project recording the accomplishments of 50 women architects practicing before 1980.
New York, NY — The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF) has selected a national advisory council of esteemed architectural scholars to research the selection of women architects for the foundation’s new special collection, “Making a Place for Women in 20th-Century American Architecture.” The creation of the advisory council is pursuant to BWAF’s application for a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) matching Art Works grant of $50,000. The NEA awarded the grant to BWAF earlier this year to support the project.
The NEA’s Art Works grants aid the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. The special collection will honor women architects active prior to 1980 and, for the first time, document their contributions to the profession.
Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the NEA, said, “The arts should be a part of everyday life. Whether it’s seeing a performance, visiting a gallery, participating in an art class, or simply taking a walk around a neighborhood enhanced by public art, these grants are ensuring that across the nation, the public is able to experience how art works.”
The grant supports the creation of the special collection within BWAF’s existing online collection, “Women of 20th-century American Architecture,” a free publicly accessible digital archive. The collection will document the legacies of 50 women architects and designers who helped shape the built environment of the United States. Advisory council members will work with a jury to select entries, and an expert curator will catalogue each woman’s work. This online collection will benefit architectural scholars, historians, educators, students, practitioners, and the general public.
“Celebrating the work of women architects has always been the core mission of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation,” said Beverly Willis, FAIA, founder of BWAF. “We’re excited to be moving forward with this project to recognize and preserve the legacies of women in the profession whose contributions have been lost to history until now. This collection will not only help women architects, it will also enrich 20th-century architectural history and the cultural history of the United States.”
Chairing the advisory council for the special collection is Diane Favro of UCLA. Favro is also the creator of the Dynamic National Archive (DNA) software that enables BWAF to collect data for its collection.
Members of the Advisory Council are:
- Diane Favro, UCLA, Chair
- Annmarie Adams, McGill University
- Kathryn Anthony, University of Illinois
- Wanda Bubriski, Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation
- Meredith Clausen, University of Washington
- Gabrielle Esperdy, New Jersey Institute of Technology
- Thomas Fisher, University of Minnesota
- Cynthia Hammond, Concordia University
- Mary McLeod, Columbia University
- Monica Pennick, University of Wisconsin
- Avigail Sachs, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
- Despina Stratigakos, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
- Abigail Van Slyck, Connecticut College
Working with its expert team of advisors, BWAF will develop the criteria for selecting women who will be included in the special collection. The advisory council will begin consideration of nominees in December.
About Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF) is a national research and educational not-for-profit 501(c)(3) that is working to change the culture of the building industry so that women’s work, whether in contemporary practices or within historical narratives, is acknowledged, respected, and valued.
BWAF achieves its mission by documenting women’s work, educating the public, and transforming industry practice through collaboration – engaging museums, professional organizations, and other groups in the area of architecture, engineering, design, technology, real estate, and construction.