Frank Lloyd Wright
|Frank Lloyd Wright|
|Location:||Richland Center, United States|
Born Frank Lincoln Wright in Wisconsin in 1867, Frank Lloyd Wright became one of the most renowned architects of his era. Across the globe, many of Wright’s iconic structures still stand as enduring monuments to Wright’s innovation, artistry, and unique vision.
In addition to his reputation as a master architect, Frank Lloyd Wright was known as a colorful public figure. He enjoyed the mythology built up around him and lived a rich, sometimes scandalous life. Wright was also no stranger to tragedy. He lost his mistress, Mamah Cheney, to a shocking murder in 1914. Her untimely death affected Wright deeply. Wright was married three times. He and his first wife Catherine, known as Kitty, had six children over the course of more than three decades. After they divorced, Wright married Miriam, a clairvoyant who had a flair for the melodramatic. The marriage between Miriam and Wright was passionate and short-lived. Soon after divorcing Miriam, Wright remarried a third time, to Olgivanna, a European mystic. He adopted Olgivanna’s daughter, and the couple also had a second daughter.
Wright had an interest in architecture from an early age. When he was a young man, he left the University of Wisconsin to find work in Chicago, where he landed a position at Adler and Sullivan, working directly with architect Louis Sullivan. He was an apt pupil, developing his own approach towards architecture. One of his first buildings was his family home in Oak Park, Illinois. Wright played with a distinctively American style, eschewing European traditions for a more organic ambiance. By 1893, Wright had branched out on his own, designing homes that embodied a uniquely Midwestern aesthetic. One of the best examples of his work during this time is the William H. Winslow House, located in Illinois. The building’s wide, horizontal lines and clean, open interior illustrate Wright’s distinctive design approach, which he honed over the years, becoming one of the leaders of the Prairie School style. With its striking modern lines, the Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago shows the evolution of Wright’s style. While traveling in Europe and Japan, Wright continued to grow as an architect. He designed a studio for himself, which he called Taliesin. The artistic structure was lost when a servant burned the structure and murdered the inhabitants, including Wright’s lover. Proving his great tenacity, Wright rebuilt the home. Up until the time of his death, he continued adding new buildings to his grounds, resulting in a sprawling work of art. He also built Taliesin West, a similar structure in Arizona. Wright’s numerous commissioned structures are each unique and show his specific vision. He designed the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo with strong, clean lines that show Wright’s American focus, while also adapting to the hotel’s Japanese setting. Another one of Wright’s famous structures is the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The spiraling white building is unlike anything else, incorporating Wright’s modern and organic influences effortlessly.
- Wright was not a humble man, openly preferring “honest arrogance” to “hypocritical humility.”
- Wright’s children grew up to have artistic interests as well. Two of his sons worked as architects, one daughter was an interior designer, and another was an arts administrator.
- With his cane and cape, Wright was a snappy dresser.
Some Examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Architectural Styles