Mahony Griffin: Unsung Genius

Architecture pioneer emerges from Wright's shadow
By News Dude,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2008 9:38 AM CST
Mahony Griffin: Unsung Genius
Marion Mahony Griffin's drawing for a house in Mason City, Iowa in 1912   (Art Institute of Chicago)

You may never have heard of her, but you have seen her work. Marion Mahony Griffin illustrated much of Frank Lloyd Wright's early work. She also illustrated the work of Walter Burley Griffin, her architect husband. She may have been one of America's greatest  architects in her own right, the New York Times reports, overlooked because of her self-effacing nature and the tendency of scholars to pursue "great men" theories of history.

Mahony Griffin was the second woman to graduate from MIT with a degree in architecture and the first woman licensed to practice architecture in Illinois. She labored in Wright's studio for 10 years. She worked with her husband in Australia and India, eventually returning to her native Chicago, where she died in 1961. (More Walter Burley Griffin stories.)

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