Alexandra Lange on Walter Gropius

Alexandra Lange on Walter Gropius, collaboration, and the myth of the sole genius:

“Gropius is hardly alone in being an architect who couldn’t draw. He worked with a partner, and everything he made was at minimum a joint production. “The ideology of the past century has taught us to see in the individual genius the only embodiment of true and pure art,” Gropius wrote in “Scope of Total Architecture” (1956). His partner Sally Harkness, in a 1972 essay, added, “Nowadays young people are fighting a style of living, a style of practice, realizing again that stereotyped formulas are too restrictive.” For her, the myth of the individual genius was particularly intolerable for women, as it separated public life from private, and kept women minding the hearth.”