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Julia Morgan was a lifelong trailblazer. She was the first woman admitted to study architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the first licensed to practice architecture in California. Over the first half of the 20th century, she left an indelible mark on the American West. Of her remarkable 700 creations, the most iconic is Hearst Castle. Morgan spent thirty years constructing this opulent estate on the California coast for the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst—forging a lifelong friendship and creative partnership with him. Together, they built a spectacular and unequalled residence that once hosted the biggest stars of Hollywood’s golden age, and that now welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
This compelling biography draws on interviews, letters, and Morgan’s diaries, including never-before-seen reflections on faith, art, and her life experiences. Morgan’s friendship with Hearst, her passion for California’s landscape, her struggles with familial dementia, and her devotion to architecture reveal her to have been a singularly brilliant and determined artist.
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