“If you want a book about architecture which is informative, provocative, offers new paradigms on the way we describe architecture, is both soundly academic, and as compelling to read as a good novel, look no further.” —Kester Ratenbury
In this groundbreaking book, Alice T. Friedman investigates how women patrons of architecture were essential catalysts for innovation in domestic architectural design. By looking at such iconic houses as Hollyhock House (Frank Lloyd Wright), the Truus Schröder House (Gerrit Rietveld), the Edith Farnsworth House (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe), the Constance Perkins House (Richard Neutra), and the Vanna Venturi House (Robert Venturi), she explores the challenges that unconventional attitudes and ways of life presented to architectural thinking—and to the architects themselves. Detailed portraits—fashioned from personal letters, diaries, office records, photo albums, and interviews—of the clients and architects reveal the private passions and struggles that women and men of talent and creativity brought to these projects, and suggest the rich cultural and artistic context in which each house was created. The works considered are thus brought to life through the people who commissioned, designed, and lived in them.
Alice T. Friedman is Grace Slack McNeil Professor of the History of American Art and Director of the McNeil Program for Studies in American Art at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She is author of House and Household in Elizabethan England: Wollaton Hall and the Willoughby Family.
No Ordinary House: Frank Lloyd Wright, Aline Barnsdall, and Hollyhock House 32
Family Matters: The Schroder House Gerrit Rietveld Truus Schroder Maristella Casciato 64
Being Modern Together: Le Corbusier's Villa Stein-de Monzie 92
People Who Live in Glass Houses: Edith Farnsworth, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Philip Johnson 126
Southern California Modern: The Constance Perkins House Richard Neutra 160
It's a Wise Child: The Vanna Venturi House Robert Venturi 188
Conclusion: The 1980s and 1990s 214
Photograph credits 240