Julia Morgan Built a Castle

Overview


From the time she was little, Julia Morgan wanted to know how everything fit together. Her family often visited San Francisco, where she could puzzle over the many new buildings under construction there. Julia desperately wanted to be an architect—but in the late nineteenth century that was rare for a woman.

Julia was not deterred. After several rejections, she finally made it into the prestigious all-male École des Beaux Arts, in Paris. She also became California's first ...

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Overview


From the time she was little, Julia Morgan wanted to know how everything fit together. Her family often visited San Francisco, where she could puzzle over the many new buildings under construction there. Julia desperately wanted to be an architect—but in the late nineteenth century that was rare for a woman.

Julia was not deterred. After several rejections, she finally made it into the prestigious all-male École des Beaux Arts, in Paris. She also became California's first licensed female architect and designed over 800 buildings, including newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst's magnificent San Simeon. With exquisite illustrations, this is the story of a spirited pioneer.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Julia Morgan (1872—1957) grew up with an engineer and an architect in the family; she dreamed of becoming a great architect herself. Though women were not encouraged to study for the profession, this young Californian persisted until she was finally admitted to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, winning a gold medal upon graduation in 1902. Returning to California, she immediately received commissions and then helped rebuild San Francisco after the great earthquake. As her fame grew, Morgan attracted the attention of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who wanted her to build him "a little something." The little something turned out to be his castle at San Simeon and occupied her for the rest of her career. This expansive picture book tells her story from early studies in Berkeley and the years in Paris, to her designs for Hearst's massive seaside castle with its huge towers, Roman-style pool, and Gothic dining hall. Hyman's bold double-page spreads in Art Deco poster—style show Julia at work, always surrounded by large architectural shapes in warm browns washed with glowing oranges, occasionally relieved by brilliant turquoise, as when she and Hearst survey the Pacific site where his dream will be realized. Designed to highlight Morgan's extraordinary accomplishments, this attractive book reveals little of her private life, though an Author's Note tells more about her work and about San Simeon. Some additional books are listed, as is the website for Hearst's (and Julia's) San Simeon, now a California State Monument.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-This picture book is a wonderful way to introduce young readers to a groundbreaking female architect. Luminescent illustrations, created using soft pastels and pencils in a golden-peach palette, appear to glow with the light of California and France, both seminal locations in Morgan's life. Informed by architecture, the paintings evoke C zanne's attention to form: the folds of dresses, the curve of a mountain, a shadow over a hat. The opening spread shows a youngster constructing a geometric sandcastle while the text quietly states: "Julia Morgan loved to build." The book highlights other significant moments: young Julia visiting construction sites with her engineer father; being the only woman in her engineering class at UC Berkeley in the 1890s; her pride at receiving a certificate in architecture from Paris's cole des Beaux-Arts; her return to San Francisco and early career. The last half of the book is devoted to the construction of William Randolph Hearst's San Simeon. Mannis points out that Morgan's creations are solidly built and noted for their enduring beauty. Filled with rich vocabulary, the narrative employs scrumptious architectural terms such as "Baroque," "flying buttresses," and "teakwood cornice." An inspiring tale and encouragement for someday builders.-Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The daughter of an engineer and the cousin of architect Pierre LeBrun, Julia Morgan was fascinated with how buildings worked from an early age. She graduated with an engineering degree from Berkeley in 1895, the only woman in her class, then went to France where she sketched and studied and worked at gaining admission to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (which made her take the entrance exam three times). She came back to California and had a successful career, most famously spending more than 20 years designing and building Hearst Castle (San Simeon). She did battle with tycoon William Randolph Hearst as he changed his mind and his priorities. The text is straightforward and a little dry, betraying little of the will it must have taken for Morgan to forge the career she wanted. Hyman's soft but brilliant colors capture light, space and structure wonderfully but are less successful with figures and faces. Still, an interesting subject for a young biography, one who is not represented anywhere else for this age reader. (author's note, San Simeon facts, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 8-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670059645
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/19/2006
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 930L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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