Feature: BWAF Bookshelf, May 2014

From the BWAF Bookshelf


From left to right: Louise Blanchard Bethune: America’s First Female Professional Architect; INSIDE: Interior Spaces by Perkins + Will; and Taliesin Diary: A Year with Frank Lloyd Wright (see credits below).

The May 2014 bookshelf features a biography of Louise Blanchard Bethune, the first female practitioner licensed to practice architecture in the U.S.; a monograph of interior projects by Perkins + Will, including contributions by BWAF Trustee Joan Blumenfeld; and the previously unpublished diary of a woman who apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright from 1942-1943.

Louise Blanchard Bethune: America’s First Female Professional Architect
By Joanna Hays
McFarland (January 24, 2014)

Louise Blanchard Bethune, the subject of this biography, was America’s first female professional architect. She belonged to the influential group of pioneer architects—Daniel Burnham, John Root and Louis Sullivan—who supported her in becoming a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. In the booming industrial city of Buffalo, she preceded Frank Lloyd Wright and Alfred Kahn in factory design and was the key designer of the modern urban public school building, developing standards still used today.

During her career (1881–1905) Bethune was consistently one of the most successful architects practicing in Buffalo and the driving force behind New York State’s professional organizations for architects. Beyond setting standards for public schools, she was the go-to architect for factories, warehouses, police stations, a Nikola Tesla power transfer station, and the largest luxury hotel of the early 1900s. Bethune moved from a small town on the Erie Canal—the economic and technological marvel of the antebellum period—to a rapidly industrializing major American city, following the urban migration of many Americans. Unlike many women of her day she seized the promise of the growing nation to pursue life, liberty, and happiness in an occupation of her choice and succeeded.

INSIDE: Interior Spaces by Perkins + Will
By Perkins + Will
ORO Editions (December 1, 2013)

Perkins+Will announces the release of INSIDE: Interior Spaces by Perkins+Will, an interior design monograph showcasing images of the firm’s projects around the world. Inside is the first in-depth book to celebrate Perkins+Will’s interior design work, focusing on how design affects the way people live, work, learn and heal.

The book features a diversity of projects including museums, hospitals, libraries, workspaces, colleges, recreation centers and primary schools. Inside’s outstanding photography captures the way an environment can evoke meaningful moments through the skilled use of lighting, color, texture, and space. The images display the sights, sounds and energy of these spaces, highlighting the unique ways in which art and materials can intersect.

INSIDE was created by Joan Blumenfeld, Gina Berndt, Chika Sekiguchi, and Deidre Mick, with the participation of interior design leaders throughout the firm.

Read a blog entry on the creation of this book by BWAF trustee and Perkins + Will Global Director of Interior Design, Joan Blumenfeld, here.

Taliesin Diary: A Year with Frank Lloyd Wright
By Priscilla J. Henken, edited by Sarah Leavitt
W.W. Norton & Co. (October 8, 2012)

The first publication of the diary of a Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice, 1942–43, with notes, contextual essays, and contemporaneous photographs.

Priscilla J. Henken lived at Taliesin with her husband David as part of The Fellowship, the group of acolytes who made Taliesin an architectural colony from the 1930s through the 1950s. Her lively description of day-to-day life on a communal working farm in south central Wisconsin provides unique insights into the world of Wright during the period and will fascinate Wright enthusiasts as well as those with specialized interest in midcentury architecture; social and spiritual movements; and the clash of cultures represented by two socialist, Jewish New Yorkers and the Midwestern farm community at Taliesin. Henken vividly describes the daily program, from cooking duties to editing the great architect’s autobiography and watching films. The internecine battles of the apprentices and the contentious relationship between Wright, the apprentices, and his third wife, Olgivanna Lazovich, enliven the account. Annotations supplement the diary, and accompanying essays by several scholars explore the cultural history of the period.

Excerpts of the descriptions were obtained from the publishers’ websites and from the website of Perkins + Will.

*Photo Credits: Photos were obtained from publishers’ websites.

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