BLACKSBURG, Va., March 15, 2010 – Pioneering women in architecture and the related design fields and their drawings, materials, and inventions are the subjects of a new exhibition assembled by Donna Dunay, the G. T. Ward Professor of Architecture in Virginia Tech's School of Architecture + Design.
One is a University of Dresden-trained architect who fled the Nazis with her student portfolio in hand. Another is an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright. Another is of the first licensed women architects in Japan.
The exhibition, Glass Ceilings: Highlights from the International Archive of Women in Architecture, is on display at the Virginia Center for Architecture in Richmond, Va., March 4-June 6.
The exhibition — presented in recognition of Minds Wide Open, the statewide initiative celebrating women in the arts — features such architects and designers as Lilia Skala and her student portfolio, drawings by early Japanese architect Nobuko Nakahara, photographs by Wright apprentice Lois Gottlieb, and Beverly Willis’s 1970s software invention for the analysis of land development. The exhibition includes artifacts from Virginia Tech’s International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA) collection, including drawings by Mary Brown Channel, the first registered woman architect in Virginia, and a blueprint by Han Schroeder, who was educated in Switzerland and later taught interior design at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Joining Dunay in assembling the exhibition were: Kay Edge, associate professor of architecture; William Galloway, associate professor of architecture; Wendy Jacobson, associate professor of landscape architecture; Helene Renard, associate professor of interior design; and Lisa Tucker, assistant professor of interior design.
The exhibition also includes a collection of postcards that highlight the contributions of women from historic moments in architectural history. The collection, 100 Postcards: A Glimpse into the IAWA Center, reveals the breadth of holdings from around the world available in the IAWA. The postcard collection was designed and produced by School of Architecture + Design students Marisa Brown of Nottingham, Pa., fifth-year architecture major; Antonia Ciaverella of Manassas, Va., fifth-year architecture major; Candice Davis of Edinburg, Va., architecture graduate student; Alexandra Phelan of Canonsburg, Pa., fifth-year architecture major; Heather Riley of Midlothian, Va., third-year interior design major; and Rehanna Rojiani of Ithaca, N.Y., architecture graduate student.
Glass Ceilings is sponsored by Dominion and Barboursville Winery. The Virginia Center for Architecture is located at 2501 Monument Avenue in Richmond's historic Fan District and is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. Admission to the exhibition is $2 and free for members, students, seniors, and active military. There is no admission charge on Tuesdays.
The IAWA was established by Emeritus Architecture Professor Milka Bliznakov in 1985 as a joint program of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the University Libraries at Virginia Tech. The purpose of the archive is to document the history of women's contributions to the built environment by collecting, preserving, storing, and making available to researchers the professional papers of women architects, landscape architects, designers, architectural historians and critics and urban planners, and the records of women's architectural organizations.
Women who are retiring and are interested in enhancing the IAWA’s record of architecture and related design professions should contact the IAWA Archivist about donating their work.