Newsletter | Jul/Aug 2014

Beverly Willis: "I Express Our Collective and Respectful Anger. . . I Express our Collective Joy"
by Jean Nilsson, Ed.

At the AIA's 2014 annual convention in Chicago, Architect Beverly Willis spoke out to remind us of the AIA's history with women architects while also graciously acknowledging its posthumous honoring of Julia Morgan, "Would you believe that as recently as 1978, the President of AIA declared to the press that he would never hire a woman architect?...

“It would not be until 1988, thirty-one years later [after Morgan’s death], that Sara Holmes Boutelle, an architectural historian, would write the first monograph on Morgan’s work. We women, who graduated in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, were denied a phenomenal role model, of an incredible designer and successful practitioner."

And Willis' closing remarks: “On behalf of these women practitioners, I express our collective, and respectful, anger. Historically important women designers are still not in the history books. But at this moment—on this day—in the history of the AIA, I express our collective joy.”

Beverly Willis worked as an architect for many years in San Francisco and now heads the Beverly Willis Architectural Foundation in New York CIty. See her BWAF website for full text of Beverly Willis' speech.

Julia Morgan Facts from AIA:
2014–Julia Morgan is the 70th AIA Gold Medalist.
1921–Julia Morgan joined the AIA, becoming its 7th woman member.
1904–Julia Morgan became the first women licensed to practice architecture in California and opened her own firm.

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