Trailblazing Women of Architecture in Maryland

SPECIAL PRESENTATION – Saturday, August 11th during Downtown Cambridge’s Second Saturday festivities.

Exhibit and Lecture at the Dorchester Center for the Arts – An Open House reception and a free presentation on early modern Eastern Shore architecture designed by women will be given at the Dorchester Center for the Arts (321 High Street in Cambridge, MD) this Saturday August 11 during Downtown Cambridge’s Second Saturday festivities from 5:00-7:30pm. The Open House also includes lite refreshments, musical entertainment, Studioworks artisans’ shop, and gallery viewing of two exhibits: the Early Women of Architecture in Maryland and the Current Architecture of the Chesapeake Bay Region, currently on display through August 24, 2018.

The slide presentation will highlight the research from the Early Women of Architecture in Maryland exhibit, focusing on the Eastern Shore projects of two of the women: Chloethiel Woodard Smith, FAIA (1910–1992), who had work in Talbot County, and Victorine Du Pont Homsey, FAIA (1900-1998), who designed well over two dozen structures on the Eastern Shore with her husband Samuel Homsey, FAIA, including the Cambridge Yacht Club in 1936. Their husband-and-wife architectural practice founded in Wilmington, Delaware in 1935; was one of the first in the U.S. The yacht club, quite modern for its time, won them design awards in 1940 from the Maryland Society of Architects and the Architecture League in New York, but subsequent additions and modifications have hidden its distinctive nautical theme.

The presentation (worth 1.5 AIA CEU credits) is a further adaption of what was shared during the July Second Saturday presentation by Jillian Storms, AIA, curator of the exhibit. The August 11 presentation will be given by Janice Olshesky, AIA who has taken a keen in interest in the research of the exhibit. She has over 25 years of experience in architecture, serves on the Cambridge Historic Preservation Commission, and is President of Olshesky Design Group, LLC, founded in 2000. The firm’s portfolio has a wide range of project types which have grown to include Disaster Resilience, Historic Preservation and Construction Services, with an emphasis on Sustainable Design.

The Early Women of Architecture in Maryland exhibit delves into the history of 12 extraordinary women who contributed their design talent to the built environment in Maryland at a time when few women were in the profession. Many of the women practiced through the lean years of the Depression and World War II, designing buildings in Maryland and across the country, serving as a story of perseverance and determination. The exhibit was developed in collaboration with the Baltimore Architecture Foundation, under the guidance of the AIA Baltimore Chapter’s EQUITY Committee with research assistance from students at Morgan State University and a starter grant from Maryland Humanities. It has been showcased in multiple jurisdictions across the State and Washington DC, and this is its first time on the Eastern Shore.

The public can view the exhibits during the Center’s working hours of Tues-Thurs 12-8pm and Fri-Sat 10am4pm, or during August’s special Second Saturday reception from 5:00-7:30pm. Sponsors of the exhibit installation and receptions are Becker Morgan Group, Inc., Christine M. Dayton Architect, P.A., Gipe Associates, Inc., Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, Gilbert Architects Inc., RMF Engineering, Inc., and the Maryland State Arts Council. For more information, please visit