Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright
Born Frank Lincoln Wright
(1867-06-08)June 8, 1867
Richland Center, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died April 9, 1959(1959-04-09) (aged 91)
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Wisconsin-Madison
Buildings
Projects Usonian Houses
Broadacre City

Frank Lloyd Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright, June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 532. Wright believed in designing structures that were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called Fallingwater (1935), which has been called "the best all-time work of American architecture".[1] Wright was a leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture and developed the concept of the Usonian home, his unique vision for urban planning in the United States.

His work includes original and innovative examples of many building types, including offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, and museums. Wright also designed many of the interior elements of his buildings, such as the furniture and stained glass. Wright wrote 20 books and many articles and was a popular lecturer in the United States and in Europe. His colorful personal life often made headlines, most notably for the 1914 fire and murders at his Taliesin studio. Already well known during his lifetime, Wright was recognized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as "the greatest American architect of all time".[1]

Contents

  • Early years 1
  • Education and work for Silsbee (1885–1888) 2
  • Adler & Sullivan (1888–1893) 3
  • Transition and experimentation (1893–1900) 4
  • Prairie houses 5
  • Midlife controversy and architecture 6
    • Family abandonment 6.1
    • Tragedy at Taliesin and further troubles 6.2
  • California and the textile block houses 7
  • Mature organic style 8
    • Usonian Houses 8.1
    • Personal style and concepts 8.2
    • Significant later works 8.3
  • Other projects 9
    • Wright's last design and first European project 9.1
    • Community planning 9.2
  • Japanese art 10
  • Death and legacy 11
    • Colleagues and influences 11.1
    • Recognition 11.2
  • Family 12
  • Archives 13
  • Selected works 14
  • See also 15
  • References 16
  • Further reading 17
    • Wright's philosophy 17.1
    • Biographies 17.2
    • Surveys of Wright's work 17.3
    • Selected books about specific Wright projects 17.4
  • External links 18

Early years

Frank Lloyd Wright was born Frank Lincoln Wright in the farming town of Richland Center, Wisconsin, United States, in 1867. His father, William Carey Wright (1825–1904), was a locally admired orator, music teacher, occasional lawyer, and itinerant minister. William Wright had met and married Anna Lloyd Jones (1838/39 – 1923), a county school teacher, the previous year when he was employed as the superintendent of schools for Richland County. Originally from Massachusetts, William Wright had been a Baptist minister, but he later joined his wife's family in the Unitarian faith. Anna was a member of the large, prosperous and well-known Lloyd Jones family of Unitarians, who had emigrated from Wales to Spring Green, Wisconsin. One of Anna's brothers was Jenkin Lloyd Jones, who would become an important figure in the spread of the Unitarian faith in the Western United States. Both of Wright's parents were strong-willed individuals with idiosyncratic interests that they passed on to him. According to his biography his mother declared, when she was expecting her first child, that he would grow up to build beautiful buildings. She decorated his nursery with engravings of English cathedrals torn from a periodical to encourage the infant's ambition.[2] The family moved to Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1870 for William to minister a small congregation.

In 1876, Anna visited the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia and saw an exhibit of educational blocks created by Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel. The blocks, known as Froebel Gifts, were the foundation of his innovative kindergarten curriculum. A trained teacher, Anna was excited by the program and bought a set of blocks for her family. Young Wright spent much time playing with the blocks. These were geometrically shaped and could be assembled in various combinations to form three-dimensional compositions. This is how Wright described, in his autobiography, the influence of these exercises on his approach to design: "For several years I sat at the little Kindergarten table-top ... and played ... with the cube, the sphere and the triangle—these smooth wooden maple blocks ... All are in my fingers to this day ..."[3] Many of his buildings are notable for their geometrical clarity.

The Wright family struggled financially in Weymouth and returned to Spring Green, Wisconsin, where the supportive Lloyd Jones clan could help William find employment. They settled in Madison, where William taught music lessons and served as the secretary to the newly formed Unitarian society. Although William was a distant parent, he shared his love of music, especially the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, with his children.

Soon after Wright turned 14, his parents separated. Anna had been unhappy for some time with William's inability to provide for his family and asked him to leave. The divorce was finalized in 1885 after William sued Anna for lack of physical affection. William left Wisconsin after the divorce and Wright claimed he never saw his father again.[4] At this time Wright changed his middle name from Lincoln to Lloyd in honor of his mother's family, the Lloyd Joneses. As the only male left in the family, Wright assumed financial responsibility for his mother and two sisters.

Education and work for Silsbee (1885–1888)

Wright attended Madison High School, but there is no evidence he ever graduated.[5] He was admitted to the George G. Elmslie. Wright soon befriended Corwin, with whom he lived until he found a permanent home.

In his autobiography, Wright recounts that he also had a short stint in another Chicago architecture office. Feeling that he was underpaid for the quality of his work for Silsbee (at $8 a week), the young draftsman quit and found work as a designer at the firm of Beers, Clay, and Dutton. However, Wright soon realized that he was not ready to handle building design by himself; he left his new job to return to Joseph Silsbee—this time with a raise in salary.[11]

Although Silsbee adhered mainly to Victorian and revivalist architecture, Wright found his work to be more "gracefully picturesque" than the other "brutalities" of the period.[12] Still, Wright aspired for more progressive work. After less than a year had passed in Silsbee's office, Wright learned that the Chicago firm of Adler & Sullivan was "looking for someone to make the finish drawings for the interior of the Auditorium [Building]".[13] Wright demonstrated that he was a competent impressionist of Louis Sullivan's ornamental designs and two short interviews later, was an official apprentice in the firm.[14]

Adler & Sullivan (1888–1893)

Wright did not get along well with Sullivan's other draftsmen; he wrote that several violent altercations occurred between them during the first years of his apprenticeship. For that matter, Sullivan showed very little respect for his employees as well.[15] In spite of this, "Sullivan took [Wright] under his wing and gave him great design responsibility." As an act of respect, Wright would later refer to Sullivan as Lieber Meister (German for "Dear Master").[16] Wright also formed a bond with office foreman Paul Mueller. Wright would later engage Mueller to build several of his public and commercial buildings between 1903 and 1923.[17]

Wright's home in Oak Park, Illinois

On June 1, 1889, Wright married his first wife, Catherine Lee "Kitty" Tobin (1871–1959). The two had met around a year earlier during activities at All Souls Church. Sullivan did his part to facilitate the financial success of the young couple by granting Wright a five-year employment contract. Wright made one more request: "Mr. Sullivan, if you want me to work for you as long as five years, couldn't you lend me enough money to build a little house?"[18] With Sullivan's $5,000 loan, Wright purchased a lot at the corner of Chicago and Forest Avenues in the suburb of Oak Park. The existing Gothic Revival house was given to his mother, while a compact Shingle style house was built alongside for Wright and Catherine.[19]

According to an 1890 diagram of the firm's new, 17th floor space atop the Auditorium Building, Wright soon earned a private office next to Sullivan's own.[17] However, that office was actually shared with friend and draftsman George Elmslie, who was hired by Sullivan at Wright's request.[20] Wright had risen to head draftsman and handled all residential design work in the office. As a general rule, Adler & Sullivan did not design or build houses, but they obliged when asked by the clients of their important commercial projects. Wright was occupied by the firm's major commissions during office hours, so house designs were relegated to evening and weekend overtime hours at his home studio. He would later claim total responsibility for the design of these houses, but careful inspection of their architectural style and accounts from historian Robert Twombly suggest that it was Sullivan who dictated the overall form and motifs of the residential works; Wright's design duties were often reduced to detailing the projects from Sullivan's sketches.[20] During this time, Wright worked on Sullivan's bungalow (1890) and the James A. Charnley bungalow (1890) both in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, the Berry-MacHarg House (1891) and Louis Sullivan's House (1892) both in Chicago, and the most noted 1891 James A. Charnley House also in Chicago. Of the five collaborations, only the two commissions for the Charnley family still stand.[21][22]

The Walter Gale House (1893) is Queen Anne in style yet features window bands and a cantilevered porch roof which hint at Wright's developing aesthetics

Despite Sullivan's loan and overtime salary, Wright was constantly short on funds. Wright admitted that his poor finances were likely due to his expensive tastes in wardrobe and vehicles, and the extra luxuries he designed into his house. To compound the problem, Wright's children — including first born Walter Gale houses.[24]

As with the residential projects for Adler & Sullivan, Wright designed his bootleg houses on his own time. Sullivan knew nothing of the independent works until 1893, when he recognized that one of the houses was unmistakably a Frank Lloyd Wright design. This particular house, built for Allison Harlan, was only blocks away from Sullivan's townhouse in the Chicago community of Kenwood. Aside from the location, the geometric purity of the composition and balcony tracery in the same style as the Charnley House likely gave away Wright's involvement. Since Wright's five-year contract forbade any outside work, the incident led to his departure from Sullivan's firm.[22] A variety of stories recount the break in the relationship between Sullivan and Wright; even Wright later told two different versions of the occurrence. In An Autobiography, Wright claimed that he was unaware that his side ventures were a breach of his contract. When Sullivan learned of them, he was angered and offended; he prohibited any further outside commissions and refused to issue Wright the deed to his Oak Park house until after he completed his five years. Wright could not bear the new hostility from his master and thought the situation was unjust. He "threw down [his] pencil and walked out of the Adler and Sullivan office never to return." Dankmar Adler, who was more sympathetic to Wright's actions, later sent him the deed.[25] On the other hand, Wright told his Taliesin apprentices (as recorded by Edgar Tafel) that Sullivan fired him on the spot upon learning of the Harlan House. Tafel also accounted that Wright had Cecil Corwin sign several of the bootleg jobs, indicating that Wright was aware of their illegal nature.[22][26] Regardless of the correct series of events, Wright and Sullivan did not meet or speak for twelve years.

Transition and experimentation (1893–1900)

After leaving Louis Sullivan, Wright established his own practice on the top floor of the Sullivan designed Schiller Building (1892, demolished 1961) on Randolph Street in Chicago. Wright chose to locate his office in the building because the tower location reminded him of the office of Adler & Sullivan. Although Cecil Corwin followed Wright and set up his architecture practice in the same office, the two worked independently and did not consider themselves partners.[27] Within a year, Corwin decided that he did not enjoy architecture and journeyed east to find a new profession.[28]

With Corwin gone, Wright moved out of the Schiller Building and into the nearby and newly completed Steinway Hall Building. The loft space was shared with Robert C. Spencer, Jr., Myron Hunt, and Dwight H. Perkins.[29] These young architects, inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement and the philosophies of Louis Sullivan, formed what would become known as the Prairie School.[30] They were joined by Perkins apprentice, Marion Mahony, who in 1895 transferred to Wright's team of drafters and took over production of his presentation drawings and watercolor renderings. Mahony, the third woman to be licensed as an architect in Illinois and one of the first licensed female architects in the U.S., also designed furniture, leaded glass windows, and light fixtures, among other features, for Wright's houses.[31][32] Between 1894 and the early 1910s, several other leading Prairie School architects and many of Wright's future employees launched their careers in the offices of Steinway Hall.

Wright's projects during this period followed two basic models. On one hand, there was his first independent commission, the Winslow House, which combined Sullivanesque ornamentation with the emphasis on simple geometry and horizontal lines that is typical in Wright houses. The Francis Apartments (1895, demolished 1971), Heller House (1896), Rollin Furbeck House (1897), and Husser House (1899, demolished 1926) were designed in the same mode. For more conservative clients, Wright conceded to design more traditional dwellings. These included the Dutch Colonial Revival style Bagley House (1894), Tudor Revival style Moore House I (1895), and Queen Anne style Charles E. Roberts House (1896).[33] As an emerging architect, Wright could not afford to turn down clients over disagreements in taste, but even his most conservative designs retained simplified massing and occasional Sullivan inspired details.[34]

Soon after the completion of the Winslow House in 1894, Edward Waller, a friend and former client, invited Wright to meet Chicago architect and planner Daniel Burnham. Burnham had been impressed by the Winslow House and other examples of Wright's work; he offered to finance a four-year education at the École des Beaux-Arts and two years in Rome. To top it off, Wright would have a position in Burnham's firm upon his return. In spite of guaranteed success and support of his family, Wright declined the offer. Burnham, who had directed the classical design of the World's Columbian Exposition was a major proponent of the Beaux Arts movement, thought that Wright was making a foolish mistake. Yet for Wright, the classical education of the École lacked creativity and was altogether at odds with his vision of modern American architecture.[35][36]

Wright's studio (1898) viewed from Chicago Avenue
Nathan G. Moore House (1895), Oak Park, IL

Wright relocated his practice to his home in 1898 in order to bring his work and family lives closer. This move made further sense as the majority of the architect's projects at that time were in Oak Park or neighboring River Forest. The past five years had seen the birth of three more children — Catherine in 1894, David in 1895, and Frances in 1898 — prompting Wright to sacrifice his original home studio space for additional bedrooms. Thus, moving his workspace necessitated his design and construction of an expansive studio addition to the north of the main house. The space, which included a hanging balcony within the two story drafting room, was one of Wright's first experiments with innovative structure. The studio was a poster for Wright's developing aesthetics and would become the laboratory from which the next ten years of architectural creations would emerge.[37]

Prairie houses

By 1901, Wright had completed about 50 projects, including many houses in Oak Park. As his son John Lloyd Wright wrote:
"[38]

Between 1900 and 1901, Frank Lloyd Wright completed four houses which have since been considered the onset of the "Prairie style". Two, the Hickox and Bradley Houses, were the last transitional step between Wright's early designs and the Prairie creations.[39] Meanwhile, the Thomas House and Willits House received recognition as the first mature examples of the new style.[40][41] At the same time, Wright gave his new ideas for the American house widespread awareness through two publications in the Ladies' Home Journal. The articles were in response to an invitation from the president of Curtis Publishing Company, Edward Bok, as part of a project to improve modern house design. Bok also extended the offer to other architects, but Wright was the sole responder. "A Home in a Prairie Town" and "A Small House with Lots of Room in it" appeared respectively in the February and July 1901 issues of the journal. Although neither of the affordable house plans were ever constructed, Wright received increased requests for similar designs in following years.[39]

Wright's residential designs were known as "prairie houses" because the designs complemented the land around Chicago. These houses featured extended low buildings with shallow, sloping roofs, clean sky lines, suppressed chimneys, overhangs and terraces all using unfinished materials. The houses are credited with being the first examples of the "open plan". Windows whenever possible are long, and low, allowing a connection between the interior and nature, outside, that was new to western architecture and reflected the influence of Japanese architecture on Wright. The manipulation of interior space in residential and public buildings are hallmarks of his style.

Public buildings in the Prairie style include Unity Temple, the home of the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Oak Park. As a lifelong Unitarian and member of Unity Temple, Wright offered his services to the congregation after their church burned down in 1905. The community agreed to hire him and he worked on the building from 1905 to 1909. Wright later said that Unity Temple was the edifice in which he ceased to be an architect of structure, and became an architect of space. Many architects consider it the world's first modern building, because of its unique construction of only one material: reinforced concrete. This would become a hallmark of the modernists who followed Wright, such as Mies van der Rohe, and even some post-modernists, such as Frank Gehry.

Arthur Heurtley House (1902), Oak Park, IL
Hillside Home School, 1902, Taliesin, Spring Green, Wisconsin

Many examples of this work are in Buffalo, New York as a result of a friendship between Wright and Darwin D. Martin, an executive of the Larkin Soap Company. In 1902, the Larkin Company decided to build a new administration building. Wright came to Buffalo and designed not only the Larkin Administration Building (completed in 1904, demolished in 1950), but also homes for three of the company's executives including the Darwin D. Martin House in 1904, and later, their summer residence, the Graycliff Estate, also designed for Darwin D. Martin and his wife, Isabelle.

Other Wright houses considered to be masterpieces of the late Prairie Period (1907–2000) are the Frederick Robie House in Chicago and the Avery and Queene Coonley House in Riverside, Illinois. The Robie House, with its soaring, cantilevered roof lines, supported by a 110-foot-long (34 m) channel of steel, is the most dramatic. Its living and dining areas form virtually one uninterrupted space. This building had a profound influence on young European architects after World War I and is sometimes called the "cornerstone of modernism". However, Wright's work was not known to European architects until the publication of the Wasmuth Portfolio.

Midlife controversy and architecture

Family abandonment

Aerial photo of Taliesin, Spring Green, Wisconsin

Local gossips noticed Wright's flirtations, and he developed a reputation in Oak Park as a man-about-town. His family had grown to six children, but Wright was not paternal and the brood required most of Catherine's attention. In 1903, Wright designed a house for Edwin Cheney, a neighbor in Oak Park, and immediately took a liking to Cheney's wife, Mamah Borthwick Cheney. Mamah Cheney was a modern woman with interests outside the home. She was an early feminist and Wright viewed her as his intellectual equal. The two fell in love, and they became the talk of the town, as they often could be seen taking rides in Wright's automobile through Oak Park. Wright's wife, Kitty, sure that this attachment would fade as the others had, refused to grant him a divorce. Neither would Edwin Cheney grant one to Mamah.

In 1909, even before the Robie House was completed, Wright and Mamah Cheney went together to Europe, leaving their own spouses and children behind. Scholars argue that Wright felt by 1907 that he had done everything he could do with the Prairie Style, particularly from the standpoint of the single-family house. He was not getting larger commissions for commercial or public buildings, which frustrated him.

What drew Wright to Europe was the chance to publish a portfolio of his work with Berlin publisher Ernst Wasmuth.[42] The resulting two volumes, titled Studies and Executed Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright, were published in 1911 in two editions, creating the first major exposure of Wright's work in Europe. The work contained more than 100 lithographs of Wright's designs and was commonly known as the Wasmuth Portfolio.

Wright remained in Europe for almost a year and set up home first in Eisteddfod in Wales.[43]

Tragedy at Taliesin and further troubles

On August 15, 1914, while Wright was working in Chicago, Julian Carlton, a male servant from Barbados who had been hired several months earlier, set fire to the living quarters of Taliesin and murdered seven people with an axe as the fire burned.[44] The dead included Mamah; her two children, John and Martha; a gardener; a draftsman named Emil Brodelle; a workman; and another workman's son. Two people survived the mayhem, one of whom helped to put out the fire that almost completely consumed the residential wing of the house. Carlton swallowed hydrochloric acid immediately following the attack in an attempt to kill himself.[44] He was nearly lynched on the spot, but was taken to the Dodgeville jail.[44] Carlton died from starvation seven weeks after the attack, despite medical attention.[44]

In 1922, Kitty Wright finally granted Wright a divorce. Under the terms of the divorce, Wright was required to wait one year before he could marry his then-partner, Maude "Miriam" Noel. In 1923, Wright's mother, Anna (Lloyd Jones) Wright, died. Wright wed Miriam Noel in November 1923, but her addiction to morphine led to the failure of the marriage in less than one year. In 1924, after the separation but while still married, Wright met Olga (Olgivanna) Lazovich Hinzenburg at a Petrograd Ballet performance in Chicago. They moved in together at Taliesin in 1925, and soon Olgivanna was pregnant with their daughter, Iovanna, born on December 2, 1925.

On April 20, 1925, another fire destroyed the bungalow at Taliesin. Crossed wires from a newly installed telephone system were deemed to be responsible for the blaze, which destroyed a collection of Japanese prints that Wright estimated to be worth $250,000 to $500,000.[45] Wright rebuilt the living quarters, naming the home "Taliesin III".

In 1926, Olga's ex-husband, Vlademar Hinzenburg, sought custody of his daughter, Svetlana. In October 1926, Wright and Olgivanna were accused of violating the Mann Act and arrested in Tonka Bay, Minnesota.[46] The charges were later dropped. During this period, Wright designed Graycliff (1926–1931), the summer estate of Isabelle and Darwin D. Martin.

Wright and Miriam Noel's divorce was finalized in 1927, and once again, Wright was required to wait for one year before remarrying. Wright and Olgivanna married in 1928.

California and the textile block houses

In the 1920s, Wright designed a number of houses in California using precast "textile" concrete blocks reinforced by an internal system of bars. Wright first used his textile block system on the

  • Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Official Website
  • Frank Lloyd Wright, Wisconsin Historical Society
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy
  • Works by or about Frank Lloyd Wright in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust – FLW Home and Studio, Robie House
  • Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin Heritage Tourism Program
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Original Letters Shapell Manuscript Foundation
  • Frank Lloyd Wright – PBS documentary by Ken Burns and resources
  • Frank Lloyd Wright. Designs for an American Landscape 1922–1932
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings Recorded by the Historic American Buildings Survey
  • Complete list of Wright buildings by location
  • Sullivan, Wright, Prairie School, & Organic Architecture
  • Audio interview with Martin Filler on Frank Lloyd Wright from The New York Review of Books
  • Article on the 50th anniversary of Wright's only automobile service station
  • Frank Lloyd Wright and Quebec
  • Frank Lloyd Wright interviewed by Mike Wallace on The Mike Wallace Interview recorded September 1 & 28, 1957
  • Interactive Map of Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings, created in the Harvard WorldMap Platform
  • Map of the Frank Lloyd Wright works - Wikiartmap, the art map of the public space

External links

  • Toker, Franklin. Fallingwater Rising: Frank Lloyd Wright, E. J. Kaufmann, and America's Most Extraordinary House. New York: Alford A. Knopf, 2003. ISBN 1-4000-4026-4
  • Whiting, Henry, II. At Nature's Edge: Frank Lloyd Wright's Artist Studio. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-87480-877-3

Selected books about specific Wright projects

  • Aguar, Charles and Berdeana Aguar. Wrightscapes: Frank Lloyd Wright's Landscape Designs. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002. ISBN 0-07-140953-X
  • Blake, Peter. Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture and Space. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1964.
  • Fell, Derek. The Gardens of Frank Lloyd Wright. London: Frances Lincoln, 2009. ISBN 978-0-7112-2967-9
  • Heinz, Thomas A. Frank Lloyd Wright Field Guide. Chichester, West Sussex: Academy Editions, 1999. ISBN 0-8101-2244-8
  • Hildebrand, Grant. The Wright Space: Pattern and Meaning in Frank Lloyd Wright's Houses. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1991. ISBN 0-295-97005-7
  • Larkin, David and Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer. Frank Lloyd Wright: The Masterworks. New York: Rizzoli, 1993. ISBN 0-8478-1715-6
  • Levine, Neil. The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-691-03371-4
  • Lind, Carla. Frank Lloyd Wright's Glass Designs. San Francisco: Pomegranate Artbooks, 1995. ISBN 0-87654-468-5
  • McCarter, Robert. Frank Lloyd Wright. London: Phaidon Press, 1997. ISBN 0-7148-3148-4
  • Pfeiffer, Bruce Brooks. Frank Lloyd Wright, 1867–1959: Building for Democracy. Los Angeles: Taschen, 2004. ISBN 3-8228-2757-6
  • Pfeiffer, Bruce Brooks and Peter Gössel (eds.). Frank Lloyd Wright: The Complete Works. Los Angeles: Taschen, 2009. ISBN 978-3-8228-5770-0
  • Riley, Terence and Peter Reed (eds.). Frank Lloyd Wright: Architect. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1994. ISBN 0-87070-642-X
  • Smith, Kathryn. Frank Lloyd Wright: America's Master Architect. New York: Abbeville Press, 1998. ISBN 0-7892-0287-5
  • Storrer, William Allin. The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalog. 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. ISBN 0-226-77620-4
  • Storrer, William Allin. The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993. ISBN 0-226-77621-2

Surveys of Wright's work

  • Farr, Finis. Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography. New York: Scribner, 1961.
  • Friedland, Roger and Harold Zellman. The Fellowship: The Untold Story of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Fellowship. New York: Regan Books, 2006. ISBN 0-06-039388-2
  • Gill, Brendan. Many Masks: A Life of Frank Lloyd Wright. New York: Putnam, 1987. ISBN 0-399-13232-5
  • Huxtable, Ada Louise. Frank Lloyd Wright. New York: Lipper/Viking, 2004. ISBN 0-670-03342-1
  • Secrest, Meryle. Frank Lloyd Wright: a Biography. New York: Knopf, 1992. ISBN 0-394-56436-7
  • Twombly, Robert C. Frank Lloyd Wright: His Life and Architecture. New York: Wiley, 1979. ISBN 0-471-03400-2
  • Wright, Iovanna Lloyd. Architecture: Man in Possession of His Earth. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1962.

Biographies

  • Hoffmann, Donald. Understanding Frank Lloyd Wright's Architecture. New York: Dover Publications, 1995. ISBN 0-486-28364-X
  • Lind, Carla. Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian Houses. San Francisco: Promegranate Artbooks, 1994. ISBN 1-56640-998-5
  • McCarter, Robert (ed.). Frank Lloyd Wright: A Primer on Architectural Principles. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1991. ISBN 1-878271-26-1
  • Meehan, Patrick, ed. Truth Against the World: Frank Lloyd Wright Speaks for an Organic Architecture. New York: Wiley, 1987. ISBN 0-471-84509-4
  • Nisbet, Earl. Taliesin Reflections: My Years Before, During, and After Living with Frank Lloyd Wright. Petaluma, Calif.: Meridian Press, 2006. ISBN 0-9778951-0-6
  • Rosenbaum, Alvin. Usonia : Frank Lloyd Wright's Design for America. Washington, DC: Preservation Press, 1993. ISBN 0-89133-201-4
  • Russell, Virginia L. "You Dear Old Prima Donna: The Letters of Frank Lloyd Wright and Jens Jensen", Landscape Journal, 20.2 (2001): 141-155.
  • Sergeant, John. Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian Houses: The Case for Organic Architecture. New York: Watson-Guptill, 1984. ISBN 0-8230-7178-2
  • Treiber, Daniel. Frank Lloyd Wright. 2nd ed. Basel: Birkhäuser, 2008. ISBN 978-3-7643-8697-9
  • Wright, Frank Lloyd. Frank Lloyd Wright: An Autobiography. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1943.
  • Wright, Frank Lloyd. "In the Cause of Architecture", Architectural Record, March, 1908. Reprinted in Frank Lloyd Wright: Collected Writings, vol. 1: 1894–1930. New York: Rizzoli, 1992. ISBN 0-8478-1546-3
  • Wright, Frank Lloyd. The Natural House. New York: Horizon Press, 1954.

Wright's philosophy

Further reading

  1. ^ a b Brewster, Mike (July 28, 2004). "Frank Lloyd Wright: America's Architect". Business Week (The McGraw-Hill Companies). Retrieved January 22, 2008. 
  2. ^ Secrest, Meryle (1998). Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography. University of Chicago Press. p. 58. 
  3. ^ Alofsin, Anthony (1993). Frank Lloyd Wright--the Lost Years, 1910–1922: A Study of Influence. University of Chicago Press. p. 359. ISBN 0-226-01366-9; Hersey, George (2000). Architecture and Geometry in the Age of the Baroque. University of Chicago Press. p. 205. ISBN 0-226-32783-3.
  4. ^ An Autobiography, by Frank Lloyd Wright, Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York City, 1943, p. 51
  5. ^ Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography, by Meryle Secrest, University of Chicago Press, 1992, p.72
  6. ^ Phi Delta Theta list of Famous Phis, accessed on May 26. 2008
  7. ^ Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography, by Meryle Secrest, p. 82
  8. ^ Wright, Frank Lloyd (2005). Frank Lloyd Wright: An Autobiography. Petaluma, CA: Pomegranate Communications. pp. 60–63.  
  9. ^ "A brief Biography". Wright's Life + Work. Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. 2010. Retrieved May 16, 2010. 
  10. ^ O'Gorman, Thomas J. (2004). Frank Lloyd Wright's Chicago. San Diego: Thunder Bay Press. pp. 31–33.  
  11. ^ Wright 2005, p. 69
  12. ^ Wright 2005, p. 66
  13. ^ Wright 2005, p. 83
  14. ^ Wright 2005, p. 86
  15. ^ Wright 2005, pp. 89–94
  16. ^ Tafel, Edgar (1985). Years With Frank lloyd Wright: Apprentice to Genius. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. p. 31.  
  17. ^ a b Saint, Andrew (May 2004). "Frank Lloyd Wright and Paul Mueller: the architect and his builder of choice". Architectural Research Quarterly (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) 7 (2): 157–167.  
  18. ^ a b Wright 2005, p. 97
  19. ^ Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust (2001). Zarine Weil, ed. Building A Legacy: The Restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright's Oak Park Home and Studio. San Francisco: Pomegranite. p. 4.  
  20. ^ a b Gebhard, David; Patricia Gebhard (2006). Purcell & Elmslie: Prairie Progressive Architects. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith. p. 32.  
  21. ^ Wright 2005, p. 100
  22. ^ a b c Lind, Carla (1996). Lost Wright: Frank Lloyd Wright's Vanished Masterpieces. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. pp. 40–43.  
  23. ^ Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust 2001, p. 7.
  24. ^ O'Gorman 2004, pp. 38–54
  25. ^ Wright 2005, p. 101
  26. ^ Tafel 1985, p. 41
  27. ^ Wright 2005, p. 112
  28. ^ Wright 2005, pp. 118–119
  29. ^ Wright 2005, p. 119
  30. ^ Brooks, H. Allen (2005). "Architecture: The Prairie School". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  31. ^ Cassidy, Victor M. (October 21, 2005). "Lost Woman". Artnet Magazine. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Marion Mahony Griffin (1871–1962)". From Louis Sullivan to SOM: Boston Grads Go to Chicago. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1996. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  33. ^ O'Gorman 2004, pp. 56–109
  34. ^ Wright 2005, p. 116
  35. ^ Wright 2005, pp. 114–116
  36. ^ Goldberger, Paul (March 9, 2009). "Toddlin' Town: Daniel Burnham's great Chicago Plan turns one hundred". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 26, 2009. 
  37. ^ Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust 2001, pp. 6–9.
  38. ^ My Father: Frank Lloyd Wright, by John Lloyd Wright; 1992; page 35
  39. ^ a b Clayton, Marie (2002). Frank Lloyd Wright Field Guide. Running Press. pp. 97–102.  
  40. ^ Sommer, Robin Langley (1997). "Frank W. Thomas House". Frank Lloyd Wright: A Gatefold Portfolio. Honk Kong: Barnes & Noble Books.  
  41. ^ O'Gorman 2004, p. 134
  42. ^ Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography, by Meryle Secrest, Alfred A. Knopf, 1993, p. 202
  43. ^ "Home Country". Unitychapel.org. July 1, 2005. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  44. ^ a b c d "Mystery of the murders at Taliesin".  
  45. ^ Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography, by Meryle Secrest, p. 315–317. "$500,000 Fire in Bungalow,"The New York Times, April 22, 1925
  46. ^ Minnesota Historical Society, Collections Up Close, "Frank Lloyd Wright Arrested in Minnesota"
  47. ^ a b "The Genius of Frank Lloyd Wright". Library of Congress. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  48. ^ a b "The Textile Block System [Concrete International]". TMCnet. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  49. ^ State University of New York at Buffalo Archives http://ubdigit.buffalo.edu/collections/lib/lib-ua/lib-ua001_DDMartin.php
  50. ^ "What is Fallingwater". Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  51. ^ a b Twombly, Robert (1979). Frank Lloyd Wright His Life and Architecture. Canada: A Wiley-Interscience. pp. 276–278. 
  52. ^ Denzer, Anthony (2013). The Solar House: Pioneering Sustainable Design. Rizzoli.  
  53. ^ Lind, Carla (1995). Frank Lloyd Wright's glass designs. San Francisco: Pomegranate Artbooks. p. 57.  
  54. ^ a b "Biography in Sound: Frank Lloyd Wright". Old Time Radio. Retrieved 2012-09-09. 
  55. ^ Guggenheim Museum — History
  56. ^ National Park Service — National Historic Landmarks Designated, April 13, 2007
  57. ^ The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalog, by William Allin Storrer, University of Chicago Press, 1992 (third edition)
  58. ^ "Preservation Online: Today's News Archives: Fire Guts Rare FLW House in Indiana". Nationaltrust.org. Archived from the original on June 12, 2008. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  59. ^ Berstein, Fred A. "Near Nagoya, Architecture From When the East Looked West," New York Times. April 2, 2006.
  60. ^ Monona Terrace Convention Center, history web page
  61. ^ "Frank Lloyd Wright Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe". Tahoelocals.com. January 8, 2007. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  62. ^ "Wright On". constructireland.ie. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  63. ^ Wright On – Late 1950s Frank Lloyd Wright design realized in Wicklow (Retrieved November 18, 2009)
  64. ^ Wrightscapes: Frank Lloyd Wright's Landscape Designs, Charles E. and Berdeana Aguar, McGraw-Hill, 2002, p.344
  65. ^ Aguar, Charles E.; Aguar, Berdeana (2002). Wrightscapes: Frank Lloyd Wright's Landscape Designs. McGraw-Hill. pp. 51–56. 
  66. ^ "Undoing the City: Frank Lloyd Wright's Planned Communities," American Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Oct., 1972), p. 544
  67. ^ "Undoing the City: Frank Lloyd Wright's Planned Communities". American Quarterly 24 (4): 542. October 1972. 
  68. ^ Treasures of Taliesin: Seventy Seven Unbuilt Designs, Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, Director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Archive
  69. ^ a b c d Cotter, Holland (April 6, 2001). "Seeking Japan's Prints, Out of Love and Need". New York Times. 
  70. ^ Julia Meech. Frank Lloyd Wright and the Art of Japan: The Architect's Other Passion. New York: Abrams, 2000.
  71. ^ a b c d e Reif, Rita (March 18, 2001). "Frank Lloyd Wright's Love of Japanese Prints Helped Pay the Bills". New York Times. 
  72. ^ "Frank Lloyd Wright Dies; Famed Architect Was 89". nytimes.com. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  73. ^ The Unity Chapel, designed by Joseph Silsbee, should not be confused with the much larger and vastly more famous Unity Temple, designed by Wright and located in Oak Park, Illinois. Wright was the draftsman for the design of the Unity Chapel.
  74. ^ Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography, Meryle Secrest, University of Chicago Press, 1992.
  75. ^ "The Magic of America", Marion Mahony Griffin
  76. ^ "Oasis - Frank Lloyd Wright's Design for the Capitol". Arizona Library. Arizona Capitol Museum. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  77. ^ ascedia.com. "Taliesin Preservation, Inc. – Frank Lloyd Wright – FAQs". Taliesinpreservation.org. Archived from the original on June 10, 2008. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  78. ^ a b Mann, Leslie (February 1, 2008). "Reflecting pools: Descendants follow in Frank Lloyd Wright's footsteps". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 28, 2008. 
  79. ^ Kimmelman, Michael (October 2, 2012). "Wright Masterwork Is Seen in a New Light: A Fight for Its Life". New York Times. 
  80. ^ Rose, Jaimee (Mar 14, 2009). "Growing up Wright". The Arizona Republic. 
  81. ^ "The Short List". Chicago Magazine. November 2006. Retrieved March 10, 2008. 
  82. ^ a b Robin Pogrebin (September 3, 2012), A Vast Frank Lloyd Wright Archive Is Moving to New York New York Times.
  83. ^ Robin Pogrebin (March 9, 2014), Models Preserve Wright’s Dreams New York Times.

References

See also

Taliesin West Panorama from the "prow" looking at the "ship"
Gammage Auditorium viewed from one of the pedestrian ramps
Beth Sholom Synagogue, the only synagogue Wright ever designed

Selected works

The architect's personal archives are located at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Frank Lloyd Wright archives include photographs of his drawings, indexed correspondence beginning in the 1880s and continuing through Wright's life, and other ephemera. The Getty Research Center in Los Angeles, California, also has copies of Wright's correspondence and photographs of his drawings in their "Frank Lloyd Wright Special Collection". Wright's correspondence is indexed in An Index to the Taliesin Correspondence, ed. by Professor Anthony Alofsin, which is available at larger libraries.

Photographs and other archival materials are held by the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago. The Herbert and Katherine Jacobs Residence and Frank Lloyd Wright Records, 1924–1974, Collection includes drawings, correspondence, and other materials documenting the construction of two homes for the Jacobs as well as research files on Wright's life. The Frank Lloyd Wright in Michigan Collection, 1945–1988, consists of research documents, including photocopied correspondence between Wright and his clients, used for the book "Frank Lloyd Wright in Michigan." The Wrightiana Collection, c. 1897–1997 (bulk 1949–1969), includes a variety of printed materials and photographs about Wright and his projects. The Joseph J. Bagley Cottage Collection, c. 1916–1925, contains photographs and drawings documenting the Bagley cottage which was completed in 1916.

In order to guarantee a high level of conservation and access as well as to transfer the considerable financial burden of maintaining the archive,[83] the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in 2012 partnered with the Museum of Modern Art and the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library to move the archive to New York. Wright’s furniture and art collection remain with the foundation, which will also have a role in monitoring the archive. Together the three parties established an advisory group to oversee exhibitions, symposiums, events and publications.[82]

From Wright’s death in 1959 most of his collections were stored at the headquarters of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation — Taliesin, in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and Taliesin West. The collection includes more than 23,000 architectural drawings, about 40 large-scale, architectural models, some 44,000 photographs, 600 manuscripts and more than 300,000 pieces of office and personal correspondence. The archive’s architectural models include notable Wright projects like the unrealized St. Mark’s Tower and a version of the Guggenheim. Most of these models were not made for clients; they were constructed for MoMA’s retrospective of Wright in 1940.[82]

Archives

A great-grandson of Wright, S. Lloyd Natof, currently lives and works in Chicago as a master woodworker who specializes in the design and creation of custom wood furniture.[81]

His step-daughter Svetlana (daughter of Olgivanna) and her son Daniel died in an automobile accident in 1946. Her widower, William Wesley Peters, was later briefly married to Svetlana Alliluyeva, the youngest child and only daughter of Joseph Stalin. They divorced after she could not adjust to the communal lifestyle of the Wright communities, which she compared to life in the Soviet Union under her father, and because of the constant interference of Wright's widow. Peters served as Chairman of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation from 1985 to 1991.

The Oscar-winning actress Anne Baxter was Wright's granddaughter. Baxter was the daughter of Catherine Baxter, a child born of Wright's first marriage. Baxter's daughter, Melissa Galt, currently lives and works in Atlanta as an interior designer.[78]

Wright designed a house for David Samuel Wright, his son by his first marriage to Catherine, and David's wife, Gladys.[79][80]

Another son and architect, John Lloyd Wright, invented Lincoln Logs in 1918, and practiced extensively in the San Diego area. John's daughter, Elizabeth Wright Ingraham, was an architect in Colorado Springs, Colorado and died September 15, 2013 of congestive heart failure. She is the mother of Christine, an interior designer in Connecticut, and Catherine, an architecture professor at the Pratt Institute.[78]

One of Wright's sons, Frank Lloyd Wright, Jr., known as Lloyd Wright, was also a notable architect in Los Angeles. Lloyd Wright's son (and Wright's grandson), Eric Lloyd Wright, is currently an architect in Malibu, California where he has a practice of mostly residences, but also civic and commercial buildings.

  • Catherine "Kitty" (Tobin) Wright (1871–1959); social worker, socialite (married in June 1889; divorced November 1922)
  • Maude "Miriam" (Noel) Wright (1869–1930), artist (married in November 1923; divorced August 1927)
  • Olga Ivanovna "Olgivanna" (Lazovich Milanoff) Lloyd Wright (1897–1985), dancer and writer (married in August 1928)

His wives were:

Frank Lloyd Wright was married three times and fathered seven children, four sons and three daughters. He also adopted Svetlana Milanoff, the daughter of his third wife, Olgivanna Lloyd Wright.[77]

Family

This collection also includes an early version of the Oasis with three spires, a typewritten transcript where Wright expresses his opinions regarding the various plans for Arizona's Capitol Building, and images of the restoration work completed by Kenneth C. Truong.[76] In 2004, one of the spires included in his design was erected in his memory. Consisting of roughly 1,700 individual pieces of steel, the Frank Lloyd Wright Spire is visible from nearly everywhere in residential Scottsdale and illuminates the night sky with a stunning, futuristic architectural ambiance of teal and blue.

In 1957 Arizona made plans to construct a new Capitol building. Believing that the submitted plans for the new Capitol were tombs to the past, Frank Lloyd Wright offered an alternative to the people of Arizona. Wright felt that Arizona's Capitol should inspire the citizens to loftier heights. Wright's architectural dream of the Oasis captures the spirit of his vision - an oasis from the heat of the desert, an oasis from the mediocrity of our past decisions, an oasis for open government and unconstrained ideas.

In 1966, the United States Postal Service honored Wright with a Prominent Americans series 2¢ postage stamp. Several of Wright's buildings have been proposed by the United States to be UNESCO World Heritage sites.

In 1992, The Madison Opera in Madison, Wisconsin commissioned and premiered the opera Shining Brow, by composer Daron Hagen and librettist Paul Muldoon based on events early in Wright's life. The work has since received numerous revivals, including a June 2013 revival at Fallingwater, in Bull Run, Pennsylvania, by Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. In 2000, Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright, a play based on the relationship between the personal and working aspects of Wright's life, debuted at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

Later in his life and well after his death in 1959, Wright received much honorary recognition for his lifetime achievements. He received Gold Medal awards from The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1941 and the American Institute of Architects (AIA Gold Medal) in 1949. The medal was a symbolic "burying the hatchet" between Wright and the AIA. In a radio interview he commented, "Well, the AIA I never joined, and they know why. When they gave me the gold medal in Houston, I told them frankly why. Feeling that the architecture profession is all that's the matter with architecture, why should I join them?"[54] He was awarded the Franklin Institute's Frank P. Brown Medal in 1953. He received honorary degrees from several universities (including his "alma mater", the University of Wisconsin) and several nations named him as an honorary board member to their national academies of art and/or architecture. In 2000, Fallingwater was named "The Building of the 20th century" in an unscientific "Top-Ten" poll taken by members attending the AIA annual convention in Philadelphia. On that list, Wright was listed along with many of the USA's other greatest architects including Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Louis Kahn, Philip Johnson and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and he was the only architect who had more than one building on the list. The other three buildings were the Guggenheim Museum, the Frederick C. Robie House and the Johnson Wax Building.

1966 U.S. postage stamp honoring Frank Lloyd Wright

Recognition

Simon & Garfunkel recorded So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright as a tribute to Wright.

Bruce Goff never worked for Wright but maintained correspondence with him. Their works can be seen to parallel each other.

Later in the Taliesin days, Wright employed many architects and artists who later become notable, such as Aaron Green, John Lautner, E. Fay Jones, Henry Klumb and Paolo Soleri in architecture and Santiago Martinez Delgado in the arts. As a young man, actor Anthony Quinn applied to study with Wright at Taliesin. However, Wright suggested that he first take voice lessons to help overcome a speech impediment.

The Czech-born architect Antonin Raymond, recognized as the father of modern architecture in Japan, worked for Wright at Taliesin and led the construction of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. He subsequently stayed in Japan and opened his own practice. Rudolf Schindler also worked for Wright on the Imperial hotel. His own work is often credited as influencing Wright's Usonian houses. Schindler's friend Richard Neutra also worked briefly for Wright and became an internationally successful architect.

He also routinely claimed the architects and architectural designers who were his employees' work as his own design and claimed that the rest of the Prairie School architects were merely his followers, imitators and subordinates.[75] But, as with any architect, Wright worked in a collaborative process and drew his ideas from the work of others. In his earlier days, Wright worked with some of the top architects of the Chicago School, including Sullivan. In his Prairie School days, Wright's office was populated by many talented architects including William Eugene Drummond, John Van Bergen, Isabel Roberts, Francis Barry Byrne, Albert McArthur, Marion Mahony Griffin and Walter Burley Griffin.

  1. Louis Sullivan, whom he considered to be his Lieber Meister (dear master),
  2. Nature, particularly shapes/forms and colors/patterns of plant life,
  3. Music (his favorite composer was Ludwig van Beethoven),
  4. Japanese art, prints and buildings,
  5. Froebel Gifts

Wright rarely credited any influences on his designs, but most architects, historians and scholars agree he had five major influences:

Colleagues and influences

Turmoil followed Wright even many years after his death on April 9, 1959, shortly after undergoing surgery in Phoenix, Arizona, to remove an intestinal obstruction.[72] After the death of his third wife, Olgivanna in 1985, it was learned that her dying wish had been that Wright, she, and her daughter by her first marriage all be cremated and interred together in a memorial garden being built at Taliesin West. By then, and according to his own wishes, Wright's body had lain for over 25 years in the Lloyd-Jones cemetery, next to the Unity Chapel, near Taliesin, Wright's beloved home in Spring Green, Wisconsin.[73] Although Olgivanna had taken no legal steps to move Wright's remains and against the wishes of other family members as well as the Wisconsin legislature, Wright's remains were removed from his grave by members of the Taliesin Fellowship, cremated and sent to Scottsdale where they were later interred in the memorial garden. Today, the original gravesite in Wisconsin, while empty, is still marked with Wright's name.[74]

Wright-designed window in Robie House, Chicago (1906)
1954 portrait by Al Ravenna, New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer

Death and legacy

The extent of his dealings in Japanese art went largely unknown, or underestimated, among art historians for decades until, in 1980, Julia Meech, then associate curator of Japanese art at the Metropolitan Museum, began researching the history of the museum's collection of Japanese prints. She discovered "a three-inch-deep 'clump of 400 cards' from 1918, each listing a print bought from the same seller—'F. L. Wright'" and a number of letters exchanged between Wright and the museum's first curator of Far Eastern Art, Sigisbert C. Bosch Reitz, in 1918 to 1922.[71] These discoveries, and subsequent research, led to a renewed understanding of Wright's career as an art dealer.

Wright continued to collect and deal in prints until his death in 1959, using prints as collateral for loans, often relying upon his art business to remain financially solvent[71]

In 1920, however, rival art dealers began to spread rumors that Wright was selling retouched prints; this combined with Wright's tendency to live beyond his means, and other factors, led to great financial troubles for the architect. Though he provided his clients with genuine prints as replacements for those he was accused of retouching, this marked the end of the high point of his career as an art dealer.[71] He was forced to sell off much of his art collection in 1927 to pay off outstanding debts; the Bank of Wisconsin claimed his Taliesin home the following year, and sold thousands of his prints, for only one dollar a piece, to collector Edward Burr Van Vleck.[69]

Wright first traveled to Japan in 1905, where he bought hundreds of prints. The following year, he helped organize the world's first retrospective exhibition of works by Hiroshige, held at the Art Institute of Chicago.[69] For many years, he was a major presence in the Japanese art world, selling a great number of works to prominent collectors such as John Spaulding of Boston,[69] and to prominent museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.[71] He penned a book on Japanese art in 1912.[71]

Though most famous as an architect, Wright was an active dealer in Japanese art, primarily ukiyo-e woodblock prints. He frequently served as both architect and art dealer to the same clients; he designed a home, then provided the art to fill it.[69] For a time, Wright made more from selling art than from his work as an architect. Wright was also an avid collector of Japanese prints and used them as teaching aids with his apprentices in what were called "print parties".[70]

Japanese art

  • 1900–03 – Quadruple Block Plan. 24 homes in Oak Park, Illinois (unbuilt)
  • 1909 – Como Orchard Summer Colony. Town site development for new town in the Bitterroot Valley, Montana
  • 1913 – Chicago Land Development competition. Suburban Chicago quarter section
  • 1934–59 – Broadacre City. Theoretical decentralized city plan, exhibits of large-scale model
  • 1938 – Suntop Homes also known as Cloverleaf Quadruple Housing Project—commission from Federal Works Agency, Division of Defense Housing—low-cost multifamily housing alternative to suburban development
  • 1942 – Cooperative Homesteads, commissioned by a group of auto workers, teachers and other professionals, 160-acre farm co-op was to be the pioneer of rammed earth and earth berm construction.[68] (unbuilt)
  • 1945 – Usonia Homes,a 47 homes (three designed by Wright) in Pleasantville, New York
  • 1949 – The Acres, also known as Galesburg Country Homes, five homes (four designed by Wright) in Charleston Township, Michigan
  • 1949 – Parkwyn neighborhood, a plat in Kalamazoo, Michigan developed by Wright containing mostly Usonian homes on circular lots with common spaces in between (since replatted)
Notable Community Planning Designs

The more ambitious designs of entire communities were exemplified by his entry into the City Club of Chicago Land Development Competition in 1913. The contest was for the development of a suburban quarter section. This design expanded on the Quadruple Block Plan and included several social levels. The design shows the placement of the upscale homes in the most desirable areas and the blue collar homes and apartments separated by parks and common spaces. The design also included all the amenities of a small city: schools, museums, markets, etc.[66] This view of decentralization was later reinforced by theoretical Broadacre City design. The philosophy behind his community planning was decentralization. The new development must be away from the cities. In this decentralized America, all services and facilities could coexist "factories side by side with farm and home."[67]

His thoughts on suburban design started in 1900 with a proposed subdivision layout for Charles E. Roberts entitled the "Quadruple Block Plan." This design strayed from traditional suburban lot layouts and set houses on small square blocks of four equal-sized lots surrounded on all sides by roads instead of straight rows of houses on parallel streets. The houses, which used the same design as published in "A Home in a Prairie Town" from the Ladies' Home Journal, were set toward the center of the block to maximize the yard space and included private space in the center. This also allowed for far more interesting views from each house. Although this plan was never realized, Wright published the design in the Wasmuth Portfolio in 1910.[65]

Frank Lloyd Wright was interested in site and community planning throughout his career. His commissions and theories on urban design began as early as 1900 and continued until his death. He had 41 commissions on the scale of community planning or urban design.[64]

Community planning

A design that Wright signed off on shortly before his death in 1959 — possibly his last completed design — was realized in late 2007 in the Republic of Ireland.[62] Wright scholar and devotee Marc Coleman worked closely with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, dealing with E. Thomas Casey, the last surviving Foundation architect who trained under Wright. Working with the Foundation, Coleman selected an unbuilt design that was originally commissioned for Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Wieland and due to be built in Maryland, USA. However, the Wielands subsequently had financial problems and the design was shelved. The Foundation looked through its archive of 380 unbuilt designs and selected 4 for Coleman that were the closest fit for his site. In the end, he chose the Wieland house, largely because the topography of his site is virtually identical to that for which the building was originally designed. The completed house,[63] in only the fourth country in which a Wright design has been realized, is attracting broad interest from the international architectural community. Casey visited the site in County Wicklow, but died before construction began.

Wright's last design and first European project

The Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas, Texas was Wright's last project before his death.

A lesser known project that never came to fruition was Wright's plan for Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe.[61] Few Tahoe locals know of the iconic American architect's plan for their natural treasure.

Florida Southern College, located in Lakeland, Florida, constructed 12 (out of 18 planned) Frank Lloyd Wright buildings between 1941 and 1958 as part of the Child of the Sun project. It is the world's largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.

One of his projects, Monona Terrace, originally designed in 1937 as municipal offices for Madison, Wisconsin, was completed in 1997 on the original site, using a variation of Wright's final design for the exterior with the interior design altered by its new purpose as a convention center. The "as-built" design was carried out by Wright's apprentice Tony Puttnam. Monona Terrace was accompanied by controversy throughout the 60 years between the original design and the completion of the structure.[60]

In addition, other buildings were intentionally demolished during and after Wright's lifetime, such as: Midway Gardens (1913, Chicago, Illinois) and the Larkin Administration Building (1903, Buffalo, New York) were destroyed in 1929 and 1950 respectively; the Francis Apartments and Francisco Terrace Apartments (both located in Chicago and designed in 1895) were destroyed in 1971 and 1974, respectively; the Geneva Inn (1911) in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin was destroyed in 1970; and the Banff National Park Pavilion (1911) in Alberta, Canada was destroyed in 1939. The Imperial Hotel, in Tokyo (1913) survived the Great Kantō earthquake but was demolished in 1968 due to urban developmental pressures.[59]

Wright designed over 400 built structures[57] of which about 300 survive as of 2005. Four have been lost to forces of nature: the waterfront house for W. L. Fuller in Pass Christian, Mississippi, destroyed by Hurricane Camille in August 1969; the Louis Sullivan Bungalow of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005; and the Arinobu Fukuhara House (1918) in Hakone, Japan, destroyed in the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923. The Ennis House in California has also been damaged by earthquake and rain-induced ground movement. In January, 2006, the Wilbur Wynant House in Gary, Indiana was destroyed by fire.[58]

Other projects

The only realized skyscraper designed by Wright is the Price Tower, a 19-story tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. It is also one of the two existing vertically oriented Wright structures (the other is the S.C. Johnson Wax Research Tower in Racine, Wisconsin). The Price Tower was commissioned by Harold C. Price of the H. C. Price Company, a local oil pipeline and chemical firm. It opened to the public in February 1956. On March 29, 2007, Price Tower was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior, one of only 20 such properties in the state of Oklahoma.[56]

Wright's Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City occupied Wright for 16 years (1943–1959)[55] and is probably his most recognized masterpiece. The building rises as a warm beige spiral from its site on Fifth Avenue; its interior is similar to the inside of a seashell. Its unique central geometry was meant to allow visitors to easily experience Guggenheim's collection of nonobjective geometric paintings by taking an elevator to the top level and then viewing artworks by walking down the slowly descending, central spiral ramp, the floor of which is embedded with circular shapes and triangular light fixtures to complement the geometric nature of the structure. However, when the museum was completed, a number of details of Wright's design were ignored, such as his desire for the interior to be painted off-white. Further, the Museum currently designs exhibits to be viewed by walking up the curved walkway rather than walking down from the top level.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City (1959)

Significant later works

Wright strongly believed in individualism and did not affiliate with the [54]

Wright also designed some of his own clothing. His fashion sense was unique, and he usually wore expensive suits, flowing neckties, and capes. Wright drove a custom yellow 'raceabout' in the Prairie years, a red Cord convertible in the 1930s, and a famously customized 1940 Lincoln for many years. He earned many speeding tickets in each of his vehicles.

As Wright's career progressed, so did the mechanization of the glass industry. Wright fully embraced glass in his designs and found that it fit well into his philosophy of organic architecture. Glass allowed for interaction and viewing of the outdoors while still protecting from the elements. In 1928, Wright wrote an essay on glass in which he compared it to the mirrors of nature: lakes, rivers and ponds. One of Wright's earliest uses of glass in his works was to string panes of glass along whole walls in an attempt to create light screens to join together solid walls. By utilizing this large amount of glass, Wright sought to achieve a balance between the lightness and airiness of the glass and the solid, hard walls. Arguably, Wright's best-known art glass is that of the Prairie style. The simple geometric shapes that yield to very ornate and intricate windows represent some of the most integral ornamentation of his career.[53] Wright responded to the transformation of domestic life that occurred at the turn of the 20th century, when servants became less prominent or completely absent from most American households, by developing homes with progressively more open plans. This allowed the woman of the house to work in her 'workspace', as he often called the kitchen, yet keep track of and be available for the children and/or guests in the dining room. Much of modern architecture, including the early work of Mies van der Rohe, can be traced back to Wright's innovative work.

Some of the built-in furniture remains, while other restorations have included replacement pieces created using his plans. His Prairie houses use themed, coordinated design elements (often based on plant forms) that are repeated in windows, carpets and other fittings. He made innovative use of new building materials such as precast concrete blocks, glass bricks and zinc cames (instead of the traditional lead) for his leadlight windows, and he famously used Pyrex glass tubing as a major element in the Johnson Wax Headquarters. Wright was also one of the first architects to design and install custom-made electric light fittings, including some of the very first electric floor lamps, and his very early use of the then-novel spherical glass lampshade (a design previously not possible due to the physical restrictions of gas lighting).

Personal style and concepts

His Usonian homes set a new style for suburban design that was a feature of countless developers. Many features of modern American homes date back to Wright, including open plans, slab-on-grade foundations, and simplified construction techniques that allowed more mechanization and efficiency in building.

Intended to be highly practical houses for middle-class clients, and designed to be run without servants, Usonian houses often featured small kitchens — called "workspaces" by Wright — that adjoined the dining spaces. These spaces in turn flowed into the main living areas, which also were characteristically outfitted with built-in seating and tables. As in the Prairie Houses, Usonian living areas focused on the fireplace. Bedrooms were typically isolated and relatively small, encouraging the family to gather in the main living areas. The conception of spaces instead of rooms was a development of the Prairie ideal; as the built-in furnishings related to the Arts and Crafts principles from which Wright's early works grew. Spatially and in terms of their construction, the Usonian houses represented a new model for independent living, and allowed dozens of clients to live in a Wright-designed house at relatively low cost. The diversity of the Usonian ideal can be seen in houses such as the Gregor S. and Elizabeth B. Affleck House (1941) in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, which projects over a ravine; and the Hanna-Honeycomb House (1937) in Palo Alto, California, which features a honeycomb planning grid. Gordon House, completed in 1963, was Wright's last Usonian design. Fewer than 60 of Wright's Usonian houses were built.

Concurrent with the development of Broadacre City, also referred to as Usonia, Wright conceived a new type of dwelling that came to be known as the Usonian House. An early version of the form can be seen in the Malcolm Willey House (1934) in Minneapolis; but the Usonian ideal emerged most completely in the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs First House (1937) in Madison, Wisconsin. Designed on a gridded concrete slab that integrated the house's radiant heating system, the house featured new approaches to construction, including sandwich walls that consisted of layers of wood siding, plywood cores and building paper, a significant change from typically framed walls. Usonian houses most commonly featured flat roofs and were mostly constructed without basements, completing the excision of attics and basements from houses, a feat Wright had been attempting since the early 20th century. The Jacobses also commissioned the "Solar Hemicycle" by Wright in 1944, a seminal project in the solar house movement.[52]

Charles Weltzheimer Residence (1948) in Oberlin, Ohio

Usonian Houses

Wright is responsible for a series of concepts of suburban development united under the term Broadacre City. He proposed the idea in his book The Disappearing City in 1932, and unveiled a 12-square-foot (1.1 m2) model of this community of the future, showing it in several venues in the following years. He continued developing the idea until his death.

Taliesin West, Wright's winter home and studio complex in Scottsdale, Arizona, was a laboratory for Wright from 1937 to his death in 1959. Now the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and archives, it continues today as the site of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

of the lowest terrace was completed. post-tensioning Kaufmann's own engineers argued that the design was not sound. They were overruled by Wright, but the contractor secretly added extra steel to the horizontal concrete elements. In 1994, Robert Silman and Associates examined the building and developed a plan to restore the structure. In the late 1990s, steel supports were added under the lowest cantilever until a detailed structural analysis could be done. In March 2002, [51] for all verticals and concrete for the horizontals. The house cost $155,000, including the architect's fee of $8,000. It was one of Wright's most expensive pieces.limestone The construction is a series of cantilevered balconies and terraces, using [51] It was made with three bedrooms, a massive living room and a dining room. The house was more of a design for a family getaway, not for a live-in family.[50]. It was designed according to Wright's desire to place the occupants close to the natural surroundings, with a stream and waterfall running under part of the building. Wright wanted the new residents to live with the waterfalls, to make them part of their everyday lives. He didn't want them to just look at them every now and again. Constructed over a 30-foot waterfall, the house may look very big on the outside but on the inside it is quite small, which surprises some visitors.Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, near Mill Run, at Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr.—for Mr. and Mrs. FallingwaterOne of Wright's most famous private residences was built from 1934 to 1937—
Fallingwater, Mill Run, Pennsylvania (1937)

Graycliff, located just south of [49] Graycliff consists of three buildings set within 8.5 acres of landscape, also designed by Wright. Its site, high on a bluff overlooking Lake Erie, inspired Wright to create a home that was transparent, with views through the building to the lake beyond. Terraces and cantilevered balconies also encourage lake views, and water features throughout the landscape were designed by Wright to echo the lake as well.

During the later 1920s and 1930s Wright's Organic style had fully matured with the design of Graycliff, Fallingwater and Taliesin West.

Mature organic style

He also designed a fifth textile block house for Arch Oboler Gatehouse & Studio (Malibu).[48]

The Ennis House after in 1923, Wright had the opportunity to further test the limits of the textile block system when he received a commission from Charles and Mabel Ennis to build a home on a hillside in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, California. Because the Ennises had the resources for a large house on a grand scale, Wright's budget would not be as constrained as it was with the Freeman House. Wright took the opportunity to further flesh out his mono-material concept.

Unfortunately, the cost of completion was almost two and a half times Wright's original estimate. The cost overruns were probably due to several factors: excessive labor costs resulting from not having a concrete mixer on site, Wright's penchant to embellish his designs and refuse compromise, and delayed communications with the contractor when Wright returned to Wisconsin. Wright's original estimate stated that 9000 blocks would be required at a cost of 30 cents each, totaling $2700. The project actually required 11,000 blocks at 66 cents each, for a total cost of $7260. In spite of the cost overruns, the Freemans loved their house and remained the only owners and occupants until it was bequeathed by Harriet Freeman to the University of Southern California School of Architecture, Los Angeles, California, in 1986.

The Samuel Freeman House was also built in 1923. Wright was commissioned to design a home for Samuel and Harriet Freeman in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA. This was to be a relatively small house for a client of modest means. Because his new textile block system used inexpensive materials and could (at least in theory) be assembled using unskilled labor, Wright undoubtedly felt that the Freeman project would be a good test case.

According to the original specifications, the blocks were to be made from one part Portland cement to four parts sand or decomposed granite. Consistency was to be such that the mixture would hold its shape when squeezed by hand, and it was to be used within a half hour. Blocks were to be formed on site by pressing the stiff mixture into machined metal molds. A freshly formed block was to be removed immediately from the mold and kept moist for at least 10 days. The module for the Storer House was 16 in. and the actual block dimensions were exactly 16 x 16 in. with no tolerance. There was no mortar joint between the blocks-a formed reveal was used to give the appearance of a tooled joint-so precision-machined molds were required. The wall system consisted of a double-wythe precast block wall with an air gap between the outer and inner wythes. The blocks were stacked and reinforced horizontally and vertically with a "fabric" or mesh of grouted reinforcing bars.

The textile block system arose from Wright's desire to wed machine-age production techniques with organic architecture – the principle that a structure should look as though it naturally grew on a site – so as to make his designs affordable to people of modest means. [48]