Bliznakov, Milka T., 1927-2010
- Existence: 1927 - 2010
Milka Bliznakov was born in Varna, Bulgaria in 1927. She attended the State Polytechnic Institute of Sofia and graduated with a master's degree in architecture in 1951. Bliznakov began practicing architecture in Bulgaria in 1952. In 1959, Bliznakov moved her practice to France. Two years later, Bliznakov emigrated to the United States.
During her first years in the United States, Bliznakov worked as an architect and studied Soviet architecture. She earned her Ph.D in architectural history from Columbia University in 1971. She taught at the University of Texas from 1972-1974, where she co-founded the Institute of Modern Russian Culture.
In 1974, Milka Bliznakov became a professor at Virginia Polytechnic Insitute and State University's College of Architecture and Urban Planning, where she taught in the urban design program. Bliznakov became an authority on the Russian avante-garde and constructivism movements. In 1985, Bliznakov worked with the Virginia Tech University Libraries and the College of Architecture and Urban Studies to establish the International Archive of Women in Architecture. She served as the chair of the IAWA Board of Advisors from 1985-1993.
Milka Bliznakov retired in 1998 in conjunction with the establishment of the Milka Bliznakov Prize. The Milka Bliznakov Prize is awarded annually to those whose research furthers the knowledge of women's contributions to architecture and design.
Bliznakov continued to acquire and donate works to the IAWA until her death on November 4, 2010.