Frank Lloyd Wright
For this Art Wednesday we’ll look at the buildings and designs of architect and artist Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright designed over 1,000 structures over a span of 70 years. He believed in architecture designed to foster harmony between people and the environment.
Frank Lloyd Wright portrait
Wright was raised in Wisconsin, where he studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin. After college he apprenticed at a firm in Chicago—home to several of Wright’s houses.
Wright’s studio viewed from Chicago Avenue, 1898
Wright pioneered the Prairie School movement in architecture—a Midwest sensibility of horizontal lines, slightly pitched roofs, broad overhangs, windows grouped in bands, and complimentary landscaping.
Charles Weltzheimer Residence, Oberlin, Ohio (1948)
Wright didn’t just design houses, but also their windows and furniture. The interior was as important as the exterior for achieving the harmony he wanted. I love the look of Wright’s window and furniture designs.
Frank Lloyd Wright Table designed for the Robie House
I visited The Robie House in Chicago as an art student in High School. Wright included a play area for children which featured a low ceiling designed to make adults feel uncomfortable. That space wasn’t for them, and he wanted it to be awkward for grown-ups to linger there.
Wright-designed window in Robie House, Chicago (1906)
Wright’s life was filled with trouble, divorce, and tragedy. One of his workers set fire to the living quarters of his house and murdered seven people, including Wright’s mistress. His wife then divorced him.
Frank Lloyd Wright, Window, 1912
Business Week’s Mike Brewster called Wright’s Fallingwater “the best all-time work of American architecture.” 70 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, the house is built atop a waterfall on the Bear Run River.