Woods, Mary

Mary Woods

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  • Columbia University
  • Duke University

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Career in Architecture

Both in her teaching and scholarship Mary Woods has a particular interest in how film and photography shape and mediate our experience and understanding of space and the built environment as well as processes of design and the making of cities, landscapes, and buildings across historical periods and around the world.

Beyond the Architect’s Eye: Photographs of the American Built Environment explores tradition and modernity in New York City, the American South, and Miami through art, documentary, and photography. This book received subventions from the Graham Foundation, Andrew Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publications, and, at Cornell, the Clarence Stein Institute and AAP’s architecture department.

She has organized conferences, exhibitions, and film series at Cornell and is the editor for modern and contemporary South Asian architecture for the SAHARA/ArtStor project funded by the Mellon Foundation. She received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Major Buildings and Projects

  • Un Passage vers la Modernite: Les Photographies de Luc Durand en Inde, Luc Durand: Itinerarires d’un Architecte, ed., …tienne Desrosiers, Montreal: Imprimerie Groupe (2009)
  • Gordon Matta-Clark: Past, Present, and Future at Cornell, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art and Cornell Cinema (2007)

Press and Awards

  • Appointment to Michael A. McCarthy Chair of Architectural Theory (2010)
  • Silver Medal, Florida Book Awards, Nonfiction, for New Deal in South Florida: Design, Policy and Community Building 1933-1940, Florida Books Awards Committee (Feb. 1, 2009)
  • Senior Research Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies, for women architects in India (2007-2008)
  • Senior Research Fellowship, Fulbright Foundation, for women architects in India (2002–03)
  • Research Fellow, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and Study Center, for Alfred Stieglitz’s New York photography (2003)


Institutional Affiliations

  • Duke University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University