This article was originally published on Common Edge.
There’s a famous quote—it’s usually attributed to Winston Churchill—that goes, “History is written by the victors.” This cynical and largely erroneous belief could only be true if history was fixed, settled, static. It never is, and that’s precisely why we have historians. It might be more accurately said that history’s first draft is written by the victors. But first drafts, as any writer will tell you, are famously unreliable. So it is with architectural history. Women have played significant roles in the field since the start of the profession, but that is not how history has recorded it. A new book, The Women Who Changed Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press), a collection of more than 100 mini-biographies of important women architects, covering more than a century, hopes to take a step toward correcting that oversight. Recently, I spoke to Jan Cigliano Hartman, the editor of the volume, about creating the book, important and overlooked figures, and why this isn’t a definitive list.