Visiting the Yale Architecture Gallery

September 1, 2021 – December 10, 2021

Room(s): Yale School of Architecture Graduate Women Alums 1942-

Room(s): Yale School of Architecture Graduate Women Alums 1942- celebrates the complex history of the school’s alums. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with two events: the 50th anniversary of undergraduate coeducation at Yale College beginning in 1969 and the 150th anniversary of the first women students at the university in the School of Fine Arts, 1869 . In 1916 Yale University established the Department of Architecture in the School of Fine Arts. Nearly thirty years later, following a drop in enrollment coinciding with World War II, the department, under the leadership of Everett V. Meeks, admitted women for the first time, in 1942.

Beginning with Elizabeth Betsey Mackay Ranney (B.Arch. ‘46), the first known woman to graduate from the Yale School of Architecture’s professional program, the show highlights the work of more than five hundred alums over the school’s almost eighty-year history of coeducation. Curated by Jessica Varner, Ph.D. (M.Arch. '08, M.E.D. '14), assisted by Mary Carole Overholt (M.E.D. '21), and Limy Fabiana Rocha (M.Arch. '20), the collection recognizes the significant but often overlooked accomplishments of alums and includes materials from institutional archives, as well as personal records, conversations, emails, and work acquired from graduates in an open call.

By establishing an institutional collection and archive, the exhibition asks, “What happens when we make room?” More than seven hundred pieces-from patent drawings of “The Boater,” by Marion O'Brien Donovan (B.Arch. '58), to Mountain Moving Day, a vinyl record by Harriet Cohen (M.C.P. '66) and the New Haven Women’s Liberation Rock Band highlight work by Yale women graduates as students, architects, urban and landscape designers, academics, politicians, inventors, engineers, artists, developers, planners, la ers, activists, and citizens. The exhibition features the work of three alums- Noel Phyllis Birkby (B.Arch. '66), Toni Nathaniel Harp (M.E.D. '77), and Constance Marguerite Adams (M.Arch. '90). Viewed collectively, the works speak to what it means to make room-to build, bear, create, care, learn, rest, redefine, witness, compromise, and thrive.

*The B.Arch. degree was considered a professional degree during the first decades of coeducation in the School of Architecture.

Visiting the Yale Architecture Gallery

Exhibition Credits

Curator and Exhibition Design:
Jessica Varner, Ph.D.
(M.Arch. ‘08, M.E.D. '14)

Student Curatorial Research Assistants:
Mary Carole Overholt (M.E.D. '21)
Limy Fabiana Rocha (M.Arch. '20)

Exhibition Graphic Design and Identity:
Omnivore Inc.
Julie Cho (M.F.A. '07)
Alice Chung
Karen Hsu (M.F.A.'98)

Exhibition Typefaces:
Julia Schaffer (M.F.A. '20)
Yuanbo Wang (M.F.A. '20)

Yale Exhibition Organization:
Andrew Benner (M.Arch. II, '03),
director of exhibitions
Alison Walsh,
exhibitions coordinator

Exhibition Fabricators:
Yale School of Architecture Gallery Installation Team:
Charlie Taylor, Tom Reilly, Matthew Shropshire

Nina Rappaport,
publications director
David Reinfurt (M.F.A. '99),
0-R-G inc, designer

The Yale School of Architecture’s exhibition program is supported in part by the James Wilder Green Dean’s Resource Fund, the Kibel Foundation Fund, the Nitkin Family Dean’s Discretionary Fund in Architecture, the Pickard Chilton Dean’s Resource Fund, the Paul Rudolph Publication Fund, the Robert A. M. Stern Fund, the Rutherford Trowbridge Memorial Fund, the Fred Koetter Exhibitions Fund, and the School of Architecture Exhibitions Fund.

Exhibition Fair Use Statement
The doctrine of “fair use” under United States Copyright Law allows for the free use of copyrighted materials under certain circumstances for purposes such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. There are no hard and fast rules to the application of fair use. As a general approach, we use only the amount of copyrighted material necessary for our intended purposes and attribute the source of a work whenever possible.