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. — bwaf.org
The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF) has selected a national advisory council of esteemed architectural scholars to oversee 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 $35,000. 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:
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.