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This entry is in honor of Mary Barnes, a woman I feel honored to have known. 2010 is the centennial of her birth. My first job out of architectural school was working for her husband Ed- otherwise known as Edward Larrabee Barnes ( 1915-2004) one of America’s great modern architects. The office was very much a Mom and Pop organization. Mary ran the interiors department, but more importantly, she was the heart and soul of the place. Possessed of a razor sharp intellect, she also loved to laugh. I can still hear bell like voice ringing through the studio, I still remember her total recall for details and people, I am still inspired by her exquisite taste- modern, pure, classical, unerring. When I met her, she was 73, and still a great beauty with startling blue eyes and she favored wearing that color from a Santa Fe turquoise work shirt to the chicest Armani navy. I treasured working under her and later- when she and Ed “retired” to Cambridge to live in a modernist apartment overlooking the Charles I adored visiting them …we discussed life and people and books… she recommended her favorite authors Tracy Chevalier and Alan Furst to me. Happy 100 years to Mary!
In Ed’s monograph he writes this acknowledgment:
“Finally there is Mary, whose sure eye, color sense, understanding of people, architectural sensitivity have underpinned all of my work”

One Response to “Mary Coss Barnes 1910-2008”

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