Alma Mater: Design and Experience in the Women's Colleges from Their Nineteenth-Century Beginnings to the 1930's

Alma Mater: Design and Experience in the Women's Colleges from Their Nineteenth-Century Beginnings to the 1930's

by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz
     
 

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Horowitz 'analyzes the architecture of each college as a way of understanding its social and cultural history. Blending the usual stuff of institutional history with a keen understanding of esthetics and design, Mrs. Horowitz shows how the physical plan of each college contained and implicit message about the way society perceived women, the limits placed on their

Overview

Horowitz 'analyzes the architecture of each college as a way of understanding its social and cultural history. Blending the usual stuff of institutional history with a keen understanding of esthetics and design, Mrs. Horowitz shows how the physical plan of each college contained and implicit message about the way society perceived women, the limits placed on their aspirations, and the expectations about their relationship to one another.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Horowitz, author of Culture and the City, focuses on the Seven Sister colleges. She shows that while many women's colleges were envisioned by their founders as protected, ordered, idyllic communities, the institutions eventually aimed to develop women's minds free of sex stereotypes. PW observed that the 130 photos and drawings included here effectively ``recreate campus life and architecture.'' February
Booknews
**** Reprint of the Knopf original of 1985 (which is distinguished by inclusion in BCL3. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Boston Globe

A fascinating history of the Seven Sisters colleges--Mount Holyoke, Vassar, Wellesley, Smith, Radcliffe, Bryn Mawr, and Barnard--together with three notable 20th-century spinoffs from the same group--Sarah Lawrence, Bennington, and Scripps.

New York Times Book Review

Horowitz analyzes the architecture of each college as a way of understanding its social and cultural history. Blending the usual stuff of institutional history with a keen understanding of esthetics and design, Mrs. Horowitz shows how the physical plan of each college contained an implicit message about the way society perceived women, the limits placed on their aspirations, and the expectations about their relationship to one another.... She has done a splendid service in capturing the interrelationships among the nation's premier women's colleges in their formative years.

American Studies

Meticulously documented and beautifully written, the book provides a brilliant analysis of the interaction among ideology, architecture, and social experience. The author underscores how much fears of unfettered womanhood entered into the plans of founders and leaders, but she also documents the determination of women students, faculty, and sometimes administrators to order their own experience.

American Historical Review

An important contribution to social history and to the history of higher education in the United States.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780394534398
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/01/1984
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
448

Meet the Author

Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz is professor of history and American studies at Smith College. Her books include Campus Life: Undergraduate Cultures from the End of the Eighteenth Century to the Present; Culture and the City: Cultural Philanthropy in Chicago from the 1880's to 1917; and The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas.

University of Massachusetts Press

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