The venerable James Room in Barnard Hall has a new look. Through the concerted efforts of Karen Fairbanks, Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Professional Practice and chair of the architecture department, who headed a group that included students, alumnae, and faculty, and Barnard photo archivist Astrid Cravens, Faces of Barnard, a photo exhibit highlighting remarkable alumnae, recently opened as
the new fall semester began. Students selected this first display, and Fairbanks noted, “It is our intention that this exhibition will continue to evolve so that more of our accomplished alumnae can be included over time.” Before mounting the photographs, renovation work was undertaken with environmental concerns in mind. Walls were repainted with low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint, the carpeting was removed and replaced with a new sustainable, certified wood floor, and Eco-veil shades were installed at the windows.
1 Zora Neale Hurston ’28, novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist, was the College’s first black graduate. In addition to her masterpiece, Their Eyes Were Watching God, she is known for her journalistic, cinematic, and nonfiction work, as well as her active role in the politics of Harlem. Photography by Carl Van Vechten, used with permission granted by the Van Vechten Trust.
2 Francine du Plessix Gray ’52, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and literary critic, received the National Book Critic’s Circle Award in 2006 for Them: A Memoir of Parents. Also in 2006, she was awarded Barnard’s Medal of Distinction and delivered the Commencement address. Photograph by Jacques Moritz-Miller.
3 Susan (Levitt) Stamberg ’59 is a radio journalist and special correspondent for National Public Radio. As co-host of All Things Considered she was the first woman full-time anchor of a national nightly news program in the United States. She has received the Edward R. Murrow Award and been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the Radio Hall of Fame. Photograph courtesy of National Public Radio.
4 Ida Rolf ’16 was a biochemist and the creator of a method of structural integration that came to be known as Rolfing®. Rolf worked at the Rockefeller Institute and her book, Rolfing: The Integration of Human Structure, was written in 1977. Photograph by Ron Thompson, courtesy of the Rolf Institute.
5 Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick ’48 was the first woman to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She became professor of political science at Georgetown University, contributed to many journals and, although initially a Democrat, held consistently conservative and staunch anti-communist views. Kirkpatrick served as Reagan’s foreign policy advisor and in his Cabinet; she was the only woman on the National Security Council.
6 Ntozake Shange ’70 is a poet, performance artist, playwright, and novelist whose work includes the 1975 OBIE-winning choreopoem, for colored girls...who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuff. Among her awards are The Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry, an Outer Critics Circle award, a Barnard Medal of Distinction, and a Columbia University Medal for Excellence. Photograph by Val Wilmer.
-photographs by Dorothy Hong, portraits courtesy of Barnard Archives