Analysis of a Notable Obituary

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The female architect, Gae Aulenti, died at 84 on Wednesday in her Milan home. Aulenti was most famous for designing Paris's Musée d'Orsay, according to an obituary in the Los Angeles Times

A number of different sources are used in the obituary who knew Aulenti as a person, and add a personal perspective of who she was.

For instance, Emily Sano, who worked with Aulenti as director of the Asian Art Museum when Aulenti was renovating it, said that Aunlenti "had a very profound understanding of classical architecture ... but also an extremely modern sensibility." She also provided details about Aulenti's ability to create objects and spaces that deeply affected people.

A couple of other sources include Aunlenti's own words from past articles she wrote for magazines, including Architecture and Urbanism magazine. Also, there is a quote from an interview she did with the New York Times in 1987.

This obituary does use the typical lead that many paid obituaries use. Instead it contains more information about her life rather than her death. It contains all the basic information about her death, but also elaborates on notable achievements in her life, such as the Musée d'Orsay, more than would a typical person's obituary.

The main news value to this story is the importance Aulenti had in the world of architecture. The Musée d'Orsay is one of the most famous museums in the world, so she is an architect more famous than others. The fact that she is a female also makes this a bit more news worthy since most famous architects are male.

The difference between this obituary and a resume is the quality of writing is much more human in the obituary. A resume might be more of a clinical list of achievements and notable facts about a person whereas this obituary tells a story and takes the reader on a short journey of her life.

The reader gets a bit of insight inside her struggle as a female architect and the way she grew up believing that architecture was only a male profession. After reading this obituary, the reader may feel like they know Aulenti as a person with feelings and struggles and not just a face with a list of achievements.


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This page contains a single entry by campb856 published on November 4, 2012 3:22 PM.

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