The question, raised by a male student in my twentieth-century architecture course, was simple: "What happened to women in architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts after Julia Morgan?" The answer, I found, is not.

But first, why is it important? That women constitute half the human population is obvious, that excluding women from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (purported to be open to all students of merit between fifteen and thirty years of age) challenged the logic of universal rights held by the French Republic and contradicted the claim of equality and justice for all, is less so.

To address the problem, I would like to begin by quoting an essay by renowned historian Keith Thomas, "New Ways in History" in the Times Literary Supplement, October 2006. Discussing changes in the historian's profession over the past forty years and the broadening...

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