Margaret S. Munro, architect. (1993)
AuthorsDuffy, Mary-Janeshow all
Margaret Munro is an architect who practised in Christchurch, New Zealand, officially between 1931 and 1963. Her involvement in the architectural profession was low-key but on-going, yet she is, unlike most of her male contemporaries, an unknown entity. In researching and documenting her life and work as an architect a number of issues about the profession and its history became clear. The profession has been constructed as a male preserve by the omission of women practitioners from its history. Prominence in the architectural profession has been confused with presence and, as only one or two women have come to prominence, it has been assumed that women generally have not been present.
Margaret Munro acts as an expose of this assumption. She was involved in and ran two small but flourishing practices in Christchurch, was· never short of clients and had a reputation for delivering her briefs. Yet these successes can not be acknowledged by patriarchal architectural history in its· promotion of prominence as a prerequisite for inclusion.
In contrast to this, feminist architectural history challenges such concepts of architectural history asserting a perspective which focuses on women and in which their work can be critiqued according to their values. Margaret Munro's career is thus evaluated providing insight into the experiences of some women in the profession and the ways in which women have been rendered invisible.