Friday, June 21, 2013


Christopher Vernon (Photo by J. Quinan)

Marion Mahony Griffin (photo by Frank Lloyd Wright)

Christopher Vernon gave a fascinating presentation on Wednesday in the Greatbatch Pavilion of the Martin House on the  careers of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin, two American architects who met and worked in Frank Lloyd Wright's office, established their own practice in the midwest after 1906, won the competition to design Canberra, the new capital of Australia where they moved in 1913 and 14 and established another practice that was so successful that Griffin appeared on an Australian stamp and Marion, alas, should have as well. Christopher's talk skillfully wove Griffin's work on the Martin House landscape into a larger narrative that led the Griffins to set up a third practice in India where, after two years, Walter tragically died leaving Marion to return to the United States where she lived until 1961. While it is well known that Marion was one of the finest draftspersons in our history Vernon took pains to point out that she has never been given her just due as an architect and was frequently maligned in the 1950s and 60s by (male) historians for being unattractive. 
Walter Burley Griffin

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