HomeArt EducationWhy I Never Met Robert Pincus-Witten


Why I Never Met Robert Pincus-Witten — 9 Comments

  1. I had a graduate school experience similar, but not as devastating. The professor told me “People like you always make Cs in my classes.” People like me? Women? Married women? WHAT THE HELL? 50% of the grade was class participation. I participated my little 20 year old heart out. I made a C. With 50% of the grade subjective he did as he pleased. I should have gone to the Dean, but I did not.

    I am sorry for this man’s misogynistic abuse. Thank you for blazing a trail for your sisters. We appreciate your hard work and sacrifices.

    • No, I didn’t take any action at the time. I was too numb to react at all. It took me 6 months to mull over my options and make decisions about my future. The decision I made was that if I couldn’t stay home with my sons and give them cookies at 3 o’clock plus having to give up my dreams of being an Artist, I would go out into the world and make the most money I could. And I did. I went back to school after graduating with a degree in Fine Arts and studied computer programming at Columbia University School of Engineering. I zig-zagged my career into the field of computer graphics and sold that equipment into the TV Broadcast & Production industries. My art background enabled me to more effectively present my products to the creative communities within those organizations. All the while I maintained my studio whether I was able to create art or not. It has been my life long anchor which I’m able now to embrace full-time. Success is the sweetest revenge!

  2. Mary, this is an extremely sad and irritating story. My heart hurts to read it and unfortunately I can relate. I must add too that for all the reasons that I respected you for your talent and accomplishments before I read this, it is all ten-fold now. Well done sister! from me and all other women.

  3. Yikes! What a terrible blow. Hopefully, things have improved for young women today, but I know that bias always exists. Yes, success is the best revenge. Bravo to you. Love the work that you did while in school, and what you are doing now.

  4. Upon entering the Bronx High School of Science in 1966, I became a charter member of the National Organization for Women. I enrolled at Queens College in 1969. In 1970, I created an urban studies major that included my taking some of the first college-level ethnic, gender and sexuality studies courses in the U.S. One of my best teachers was Bernice Kliman who was a part-time instructor between ’69 and ’73 as she had been at C.W. Post and Stony Brook since 1964.

    Bernice became a full-time assistant professor at Baruch in 1974, a full-time professor at Nassau Community College in 1976, retiring as an Emerita Professor in 1999. She really began to publish in 1976. She would ultimately become Chair of the Columbia University Shakespeare Seminar as well as an award winning scholar. The reason for the delay in her teaching full-time as well as publishing was that she had been raising four children including one with special needs.

    In 1969, urban studies meant regional planning in rural areas, land use in suburbia and landscape architecture in cities. I studied art history with Robert Pincus-Witten who introduced me to landscape architecture. He was openly gay, an ardent feminist, a supportive instructor and a lovely person. He spoke with what sounded like an affected British accent and had a Crispian flair. I am sorry that sexism both damaged your career and prevented you from meeting RPW.

    • Thanks for commenting on my blog post and giving additional information about that era in NY education. It was a tough time for many people and not only women. I love your poetic description of RPW and it makes me even sadder that I never got to meet him in person!

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