There is a story (true or not) that Frank Lloyd Wright once testified in court that he was the world’s greatest living architect. “I had no choice,” he later explained, “I was under oath.” During his extended lifetime (he lived into his nineties), Wright and his architecture were far less admired than today. He was almost always controversial, as much for his single-mindedness and his point-blank way of speaking as for his architectural achievements. Regrettably, these same aspects tend to distract our attention from a full, more complete understanding of the traditions that Wright had inherited from the Victorian era, and in turn the amazing influence he had on younger architects in the twentieth century. Where did Wright come from, philosophically? What architectural and design traditions contributed to his professional development? What were his most basic ideas on form, function, the use of materials, and the environment? Was he right about architecture, and about the intrinsic connections between human beings and their earthly surroundings—including the houses in which they reside?
This is a thought-provoking, 45-minute presentation, richly illustrated by scores of historical images of his life and the iconic objects he made.
Funded project of Humanities Iowa. Humanities Iowa is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.