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Artists Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright Photo

Frank Lloyd Wright

American Architect and Designer

Movements and Styles: Modern Architecture, Arts and Crafts Movement

Born: 8 June 8, 1867 - Richland Center, Wisconsin, USA

Died: April 9, 1959 - Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Frank Lloyd Wright Timeline

Quotes

"Architecture is the triumph of human imagination over materials, methods, and men, to put man into possession of his own Earth. It is at least the geometric pattern of things, of life, of the human and social world. It is at best that magic framework of reality that we sometimes touch upon when we use the word order."
Frank Lloyd Wright
"You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledgehammer on the construction site."
Frank Lloyd Wright
"A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines."
Frank Lloyd Wright
"Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change."
Frank Lloyd Wright
"I believe in God, only I spell it Nature."
Frank Lloyd Wright
"Beautiful buildings are more than scientific. They are true organisms, spiritually conceived; works of art, using the best technology by inspiration rather than the idiosyncrasies of mere taste or any averaging by the committee mind."
Frank Lloyd Wright
"The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization."
Frank Lloyd Wright

"Every great architect is - necessarily - a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age."

Frank Lloyd Wright Signature

Synopsis

One of the most fitting stories about Frank Lloyd Wright comes from a 1957 article in Look magazine, which recalls a time that Wright was called to testify in court and on the witness stand referred to himself as "the world's greatest living architect." Later, his wife Olgivanna protested that he should have been more modest. "You forget, Olgivanna," Wright quipped, "I was under oath." The anecdote tells us much about Wright the designer - now almost universally acknowledged for some time as the greatest American architect - but also much about his personality - he was so self-assured of his own vaunted place in history that his gigantic ego seemingly knew no bounds. But Wright had reason to feel this way. Over a 70-year career, he designed over 1,000 structures of virtually every possible type - including a doghouse - of which some 532 were built. Wright is often considered the foremost practitioner of the Prairie Style of architecture in the United States, and his philosophy of "organic architecture" has attracted numerous followers; many of them arrived through Wright's own Taliesin Fellowship, which has evolved into its own formal school of architecture that still exists today.

Key Ideas

Wright called his design philosophy "organic architecture," which, at its core, promoted the construction of buildings that exuded harmony with their respective environments, enhancing their surroundings rather than extruding from them. It promoted simplicity and necessity in layout and decoration and the frank exposure of the true properties of materials, befitting their use. Wright, unlike the architects of the International Style, did not shun decoration, but used nature as inspiration for ornament.
Wright was in large part responsible for creating the first indigenous American architecture, the Prairie Style, derived in part from the Arts & Crafts Movement, which reflected the flat landscape of the Midwestern United States and advocated for buildings with a strong emphasis on horizontality and natural materials, with broad, flat roofs with wide overhanging eaves.
Wright's huge ego meant that he was highly individualistic, and regarded himself as the foremost, if not the only, practitioner of modern architecture. At nearly every possible chance, he polemically positioned himself against the European originators of the International Style, in particular Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, whose work he believed was merely derivative of his and not innovative.
Wright was highly unorthodox in both his architecture and his personal life. Nonetheless, in the latter half of his career, he attracted numerous disciples, mainly through the establishment of the Taliesin Fellowship, a kind of work/study apprenticeship on his property in Wisconsin and Arizona where his students assisted him in both design and farm labor. After his death, some, such as William Wesley Peters and Edgar Tafel, became important architects in their own right.
Wright used the concept "Usonia" (standing for the United States of North America) to describe his vision for American society that he eventually developed, beginning with the low-cost Usonian Houses for average citizens. These formed the core of the decentralized communities represented by his prototype called Broadacre City.

Biography

Frank Lloyd Wright Photo

Early Life and Education

He was born Frank Lincoln Wright June 8, 1867 in Richland Center, Wisconsin, USA, which - as many scholars have rightfully noted - was a mere two years after the end of the American Civil War. Thus his lifespan of more than ninety-one years extends between then and the dawn of the Space Age in 1959. And yet, Wright was not even the longest-lived notable American architect born that year: Henry Hornbostel, who left an indelible mark on Pittsburgh and other places, would survive until 1961. 1867, incidentally, proved to be a robust year for architects: in addition to Wright and Hornbostel, the world welcomed Dwight Perkins; and in Europe, two pioneers of Art Nouveau, Joseph Maria Olbrich and Hector Guimard, were also born.

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Frank Lloyd Wright Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Frank Lloyd Wright
Interactive chart with Frank Lloyd Wright's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Louis Sullivan
William MorrisWilliam Morris

Personal Contacts

George Grant Elmslie
George Washington Maher

Movements

Arts and Crafts MovementArts and Crafts Movement
JaponismJaponism
Aesthetic ArtAesthetic Art

Influences on Artist
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright
Years Worked: 1887 - 1959
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Walter Burley Griffin
Marion Mahony Griffin
Antonin Raymond
Richard NeutraRichard Neutra
R.M. Schindler

Personal Contacts

Bruce Goff
Charles R. Ashbee
E. Fay Jones
Lloyd Wright
Eric Lloyd Wright

Movements

Modern ArchitectureModern Architecture
Art DecoArt Deco

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Peter Clericuzio

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Peter Clericuzio
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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