Frank Lloyd Wright BiographyEdit
June 8, 1867- April 9, 1959
One of the greatest, if not the greatest, American architect.
Frank Lloyd Wright was born as Frank Lincoln Wright in Richland Center in southwestern Wisconsin, on June 8, 1867. His father, William Cary Wright, was a musician and a preacher. His mother, Anna Lloyd-Jones was a teacher. Wright was of Welsh ethnic heritage, and was brought up in the Unitarian faith.
Wright briefly studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, after which he moved to Chicago to work for a year in the architectural firm of J.L. Silsbee. In 1887, he hired on as a draftsman draftsman in the firm of Adler and Sullivan, run by Louis Sullivan (design) and Dankmar Adler (engineering) at the time the firm was designing Chicago's Auditorium Building. Wright eventually became the chief draftsman and also the man in charge of the firm's residential designs. Under Sullivan, whom Wright called "Lieber Meister" (beloved master), Wright began to develop his own architectural ideas. He began to design houses on his own, homes Wright called "bootlegged" which were done against Alder and Sullivan's policies concerning such moonlighting. When Louis Sullivan found out about these homes Wright was fired from the firm. The bootlegged houses showed the start of Wright's low, sheltering rooflines, the prominence of the central fireplace, and "the destruction of the box" open floorplans. The Adler and Sullivan firm was just the right place to be for a young man aspiring to be a great architect as it was at the leading edge of American architecture at the time.
Wright started his own firm in 1893 after being fired from Adler and Sullivan, first working out of the Schiller building (designed by Adler and Sullivan) and then out of a studio which was built onto his home in Oak Park, an affluent suburb of Chicago which is located just to the west of the center of the city.
Between 1893 and 1901, 49 buildings designed by Wright were built. During this period he began to develop his ideas which would come together in his "Prairie House" concept. Into 1909, he developed and refined the prairie style. Frank Lloyd Wright founded the "prairie school" of architecture and his art of this early productive period in his life is also considered as part of the "Arts and Crafts movement".
Wright's Taliesin Fellowship was founded in 1932 with thirty apprentices who came to live and learn under Mr. Wright. An Autobiography served as an advertisement, inspiring many who read it to seek him out. The architect's output became more organized and prolific with help of the numerous apprentices who assisted in design detail and site supervision. The fellowship was expanded as Taliesin West was built in Arizona as a winter location for the school. The Taliesin Associated Architects, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation are living legacies of what Mr. Wright founded in 1932.
Few buildings were produced during the war years but the G.I. Bill brought many new apprentices when the war ended. From this post-war period to the end of Wright's life was his most productive. He received 270 commissions including the Price Tower skyscraper, the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, and the Marin County Civic Center.
Wright espoused the beauty of natural materials and insisted that buildings grow naturally from their surroundings. He wished to free homeowners from the Victorian "boxes" of the 19th century and create open floor plans with rooms that flowed into and opened out to each other. His ideas changed American architecture.
Wright's creative mind was not confined to architecture. He often custom designed furnishings to go into his homes, including furniture, fabrics, carpet, art glass, lamps, dinnerware, silver, linens and graphic arts. In addition, he was a prolific writer, an educator and a philosopher.
Frank Lloyd Wright died on April 9, 1959 at the age of ninety-two in Phoenix, Arizona. He never retired and had a career spanning almost 70 years. The American Institute of Architects recognized Frank Lloyd Wright to be "the greatest American architect of all time." Some of Wright's most famous works include "Wingspread" (in Wind Point, Wisconsin), "Fallingwater" (in Mill Run, Pennsylvania), and the Guggenheim Museum (New York City).
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