Frank Lloyd Wright in the Realm of Ideas

Frank Lloyd Wright in the Realm of Ideas

Frank Lloyd Wright in the Realm of Ideas

Frank Lloyd Wright in the Realm of Ideas

Synopsis

"One hundred years from now, people will look at his ideas, his principles, his forms, and see- with wonder and amazement- that those ideas are still fresh, vibrant, applicable, and intensely prophetic."- Olgivanna Lloyd Wright (1969).

Nearly twenty years later, this exhibition of Frank Lloyd Wright's principles and forms validates Mrs. Wright's prophecy highlighting his ideas- the foundation of his achievement. Part 1 of the book, prepared by Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, contains four sections defined by Wright's own words: "The Destruction of the Box: The Freedom of Space"; "The Nature of the Site"; "Materials and Methods"; and "The Architecture of Democracy." The 150 illustrations in this part (86 in full color), are dazzling visions of what was but is no more, what was planned but never built, as well as those architectural treasures that continue to enrich and challenge our society. The illustrations are accompanied by quotations from Frank Lloyd Wright that demonstrate how his ideas found expression in his designs. Part 2 contains 5 essays that serve to increase our awareness and appreciation of Frank Lloyd Wright's contribution: Jack Quinan, "Frank Lloyd Wright in 1893: The Chicago Context"; Aaron Green, "Organic Architecture: The Principles of Frank Lloyd Wright"; E. T. Casey, "Structure in Organic Architecture"; Narciso Menocal, "Frank Lloyd Wright's Architectural Democracy: An American Jeremiad"; and Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, "The Second Career: 1924–1959." An appendix provides full descriptions of the works in part 1, including notes on media, methods, and measurements.

Excerpt

On June 8, 1967, several organizations across the United States celebrated a Frank Lloyd Wright "centennial." Since Mr. Wright always considered 1869 the year of his birth, we his heirs at the Taliesin Fellowship--including Mr. Wright's widow, Olgivanna Lloyd Wright--celebrated another "centennial" on June 8, 1969. At that occasion, held at Taliesin West, there were several speeches by some of the many friends and guests there assembled. One was by Mrs. Wright, who told us that the truly important event would not be Mr. Wright's centennial but his bicentennial. "One hundred years from now," she said, "people will look at his ideas, his principles, his forms, and see--with wonder and amazement-- that those ideas are still fresh, vibrant, applicable, and intensely prophetic. That will be the remarkable occasion--two hundred years after his birth--to see those ideas and that work still alive and looking into the future."

Architecturally, we are living in the age of Frank Lloyd Wright, the father of modern architecture. That age has been with us since Mr. Wright started his practice in 1893. Time seems to expand and contract in unpredictable ways until we realize that time has no real bearing on any matter of real import. It is nothing more than a measuring device, like an architect's scale. The impact that Frank Lloyd Wright has had on architecture in this century will surely go on into further centuries, not only because the forms themselves are so timeless, but above all because his ideas remain so vibrant.

Using Frank Lloyd Wright's work as example and his own words as explanatory text, this book and this exhibition endeavor to highlight and illustrate those ideas that constitute the foundation upon which everything he designed and built is based. The sole purpose for compiling both the book and the exhibition is to generate an understanding of ideas, not forms. The forms shown here are unmistakably and irrevocably Mr. Wright's. But the ideas will be a never-ending source of inspiration for the future of architecture as subsequent generations of architects create their own forms.

Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer

January 30, 1987 . . .

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