Querido Amancio, organized on the occasion of our new Amancio Williams fonds, featured a public reading of personal letters during which participants—Emilio Ambasz, Florencia Álvarez, Giovanna Borasi, Fernando Diez, Kenneth Frampton, Mario Gandelsonas, Juan Herreros, Martin Huberman, Cayetana Mercé, Inés Moisset, Ciro Najle, Ana Rascovsky, Claudio Williams, and Claudio Vekstein—commented on the legacy of Amancio Williams. We will be publishing all of their letters in the coming weeks.
Inés Moisset shared the following:
I am so glad that your work is to be recognized and safeguarded.
Your contribution has been widely disseminated and will, probably, always be reviewed. A debt is still outstanding to your partner Delfina, one of the first Argentine architects. A precursor of modernity, to boot! Because, Amancio, you weren’t modern before you worked with her. Do you remember your first work, a picturesque residence in Mar del Plata? It was in your joint work like the houses in space and the home the two of you built over the stream for your parents that the avant-garde ideas emerged most forcefully. you worked on these projects together, as the publications of the time testify. You were one of the first to recognize the work of a woman as a partner.
As you wrote in a letter to Le Corbusier, Delfina had to take a step back from work to devote herself to caring for and educating your first three daughters. This is called a gender division of roles, and it was not an impediment to you continuing with your profession.
The archive also contains material about one of your collaborators, Colette Boccara, another pioneer, about whom much still remains unsaid. The archive is, then, also a memory of the work of Argentine women architects who were ignored and rendered invisible in later publications. Your archive will be one of the few to restore the memory and the voice of our pioneers.
Times have changed. We see things from different perspectives. In 1943 you wrote a text to your brother Mario that continues to thrill us today; it read: “The spirit of the time will ultimately triumph. Because it is better to have been among the first, to have helped and not to have hindered, to have understood, and not laughed or been outraged, to have accompanied and encouraged those who went before.” I am sure you will understand.
I send much love to you and kisses for that genius, Delfina.
Buenos Aires, 8 March 2020
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