Frank Lloyd Wright: An Autobiography

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Pomegranate, 2005 - Architecture - 561 pages
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Frank Lloyd Wright exerted perhaps the greatest influence on twentieth century design. In a volume that continues to resonate more than seventy years after its initial publication, Frank Lloyd Wright: An Autobiography contains the master architect's own account of his work, his philosophy, and his personal life, written with his signature wit and charm. Wright (1867-1959) went into seclusion in a Minnesota cabin to reflect and to record his life experiences. In 1932, the first edition of the Autobiography was published. It became a form of advertising, leading many readers to seek out the master architect--thirty apprentices came to live and learn at Taliesin, Wright's Wisconsin home/school/studio, under the master's tutelage. (By 1938, Taliesin West, in Arizona, was the winter location for Wright's school.) The volume is divided into five sections devoted to family, fellowship, work, freedom, and form. Wright recalls his childhood, his apprenticeship with Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan, the turmoil of his personal life, and the background to his greatest achievements, including Hollyhock House, the Prairie and the Usonian Houses, and the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.
 

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Frank Lloyd Wright: An Autobiography (Review)
Frank Lloyd Wright: an Autobiography is a well written and well structured piece of literature. Being an autobiography, the book was obviously
written by The Mr. Frank Lloyd Wright himself. Wright uses a very detailed, informative style of writing to portray his life, and personal history thus far.
Wright’s book was originally published in the golden year of 1943 by the highly esteemed publishing company, Pomegranate Communications. This heart-warming piece of literature was well received by critics of its day, and still is to this very day.
This strikingly beautiful piece of written work is the closest thing to flawless that has ever been constructed. I have read this book numerous times, and never have I found a single flaw within the gold-trimmed covers of this modern day bible, so to speak.
Any person who is on the fence about reading such a timeless classic by one of the greatest innovators ever to exist, I strongly suggest you read it. It is a very intriguing piece that deserves the affection, and adornment of all who are literate. If you read this wonderful autobiography, you will not regret it.
 

Contents

CONTENTS
2
Fellowship
61
Work
121
Freedom
301
Form
379
Index
561
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About the author (2005)

Wright is widely considered the greatest American architect and certainly one of the most influential. Throughout a career of nearly 70 years, he produced masterpiece after masterpiece, each different and boldly new and yet each with the unmistakable touch of Wright's genius in the treatment of material, the detailing, and the overall concept. Born in Wisconsin of Welsh ancestry, Wright studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin and began his career in Chicago as chief assistant to Louis Henry Sullivan, who influenced his early thinking on the American architect as harbinger of democracy and on the organic nature of the true architecture. Out of these ideas, Wright developed the so-called prairie house, of which the Robie House in Chicago and the Avery Coonley House in Riverdale, Illinois, are outstanding examples. In the "prairie-style," Wright used terraces and porches to allow the inside to flow easily outside. Movement within such houses is also open and free-floating from room to room and from layer to layer. Public buildings followed: the Larkin Administration Building in Buffalo (destroyed) and the Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois, the former probably the most original and seminal office building up to that time (1905). The Midway Gardens in Chicago and the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo (both gone) came next, winning Wright still greater acclaim. Personal tragedy, misunderstanding, and neglect dogged Wright's middle years, but he prevailed, and in his later life gathered enormous success and fame. The masterworks of his mature years are the Johnson Wax Building in Racine, Wisconsin, and Fallingwater, Bear Run, Pennsylvania---with its bold cantilevered balconies over a running stream, probably the most admired and pictured private house in American architecture; then, toward the end of his life, the spiral design of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Wright's own houses, to which he joined architectural studios, are also noteworthy: Taliesin West was a true Shangri-la in the Arizona desert, to which he turned in order to escape the severe winters in Wisconsin, where he had built his extraordinary Taliesin East. Wright was a prolific and highly outspoken writer, ever polemical, ever ready to propagate his ideas and himself. All of his books reflect a passionate dedication to his beliefs---in organic architecture, democracy, and creativity.

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