Architects in the Archives – Anderson Todd (b. 1921)

Anderson Todd sketching during a class, 1962

Anderson Todd earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Architecture from Princeton, serving in WWII between his degrees. He seemed to live at the center of 20th century American life: waving to Albert Einstein daily on campus at Princeton, challenging Frank Lloyd Wright at a lecture, and meeting Mies van der Rohe, the enormously influential modernist, who would serve as his architectural and philosophical mentor throughout his career.  William Ward Watkin, who had an exceptional eye for recruiting faculty, brought Todd to Rice in 1949, and by1969 Todd had assumed the duties of the Director of the School of Architecture and won the George R. Brown Award for Excellence in Teaching. More information about his creativity as an educator, his contributions to the MFAH, his many awards and accomplishments as an architect, and his partnership with Rice Professor William T. Cannady (whom we will talk about at a later date) can be found in the Anderson Todd Architectural Academic and Career papers.

One surprise in Todd’s materials were his doodles and sketches, which he apparently made wherever he went, on cards and scraps of paper. Here are a few examples:

doodles, pen and ink on paper

scallywag, pencil on paper

Hotel Porto, Torri del Benaco, Italy, pen and ink on paper

2 thoughts on “Architects in the Archives – Anderson Todd (b. 1921)

  1. Only one woman in the class. How times have changed… I wonder if Andy Todd gave her extra grief when he critiqued her work? When I studied with him in 1980, he gave the women in our studio a hard time (in a friendly way), saying that it was good preparation for our future careers. (in the years between 1978 and 1984, students in the architecture program were about 35% female, the faculty only had Elinor Evans for the freshman design studio, plus the occasional visiting female professor or jurist) In my experience, there was still a glass ceiling issue for most women who started their careers in the 1980s. Hope things are getting better.

    • I’m pleased to see that student is front and center in the class.

      Things have improved for women in most professions since the 1980’s. Rice’s Dean of the School of Architecture, Sarah Whiting, would certainly say so.

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