Alice Friedman

Grace Slack McNeil Professor Emerita of American Art & Professor Emerita of Art

Interested in building an interdisciplinary, feminist approach to architecture through research, teaching, and public education.

As Grace Slack McNeil Professor of the History of American Art at Wellesley College, my research and teaching focus on modern architecture and the history of design in the United States. I am particularly interested in mid-century modern architecture, in the culture of the United States in the years following World War II. Broadly speaking, I am concerned with the social and cultural history of architecture, with an emphasis on issues of gender, patronage, and the history of taste, both in the United States and in Europe, 1750 to the present.

My lecture and seminar courses focus on modern architecture and design, engaging students in an interdisciplinary analysis that emphasizes the significance of culture, conventions, and values in the making of buildings, interiors, and urban spaces. Through my work as founding director of the Architecture Program, Wellesley has built a distinctive and internationally recognized approach to architectural education, one in which each student creates her own program of study, choosing from courses in studio art, the history of architecture, digital media, and architectural design (through cross-registration at MIT).

In the McNeil Program for Studies in American Art, which I direct, we focus on three areas of study, including the art and architecture of New England; modern architecture and design in the United States; and the art and architecture of the Americas. We run internship programs for students that enable them to gain experience in historic preservation, museum studies, and archival research.


  • A.B., Radcliffe College
  • M.Phil., University of London
  • Ph.D., Harvard University