The Women Behind Historic House Designs

The Women Behind Historic House Designs

The Women Behind Historic House Designs

Alexandra Lange   /  Source:  Bloomberg
02/12/2021


Built in 1951 and renamed 70 years later: the Edith Farnsworth House. Photographer: Mike Crews

On Nov. 17, the Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois, took a new name: the Edith Farnsworth House. This five-letter change marks a small but significant gesture in the decades-long effort to tell the story of one of America’s most famous modern homes, designed by Mies van der Rohe, without silencing the woman who lived in it on her own, paid for it with her earnings as a physician, and eventually decided to sell it to someone who would ensure its preservation.

Renaming the Edith Farnsworth House is a high point in the efforts to diversify the sites that we preserve and the stories we tell about them — often by discarding the narrative of the solo male genius.

Bloomberg: The Women Behind Historic House Designs

Azurest South, a 1939 home in the International Style designed by Amaza Lee Meredith. Photographer: Dean Jeffrey

Wildenhain and ceramicist artists and students at Pond Farm, circa 1952. Photographer: Otto Hagel


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