“Early in my career...I had to choose between an honest arrogance and a hypercritical humility... I deliberately choose an honest arrogance, and I've never been sorry.” - Frank Lloyd Wright
“A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.” - Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank's recovery post 1914 was swift and energetic. He rebuilt Taliesin although it burned down for a second time in 1925. Commissions were less plentiful than they had been prior to the scandal and tragedy at Taliesin but two developments in particular helped re establish his career and reputation:
1932 The Taliesin Fellowship was founded by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1932' In its early years, Wright's apprentices worked on his projects including Fallingwater , and the Guggenheim Museum. It survives today as The School of Architecture .
1936 In 1936 Frank got lucky. He scored three commissions, all of which were completed and all of which were hailed as masterpieces. They were:
2. Johnson Wax Administration Building
3. Herbert & Katherine Jacobs House
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
One of Wright's most famous and striking designs in his later career, was for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Frank worked on the initial sketches between 1943 and 1944 and the museum first opened in 1959 a few years after his death.
From the Wikipedia :- " The spiral design recalled a nautilus shell, with continuous spaces flowing freely one into another. Even as it embraced nature, Wright's design also expresses his take on modernist architecture's rigid geometry. Wright ascribed a symbolic meaning to the building's shapes. He explained, "these geometric forms suggest certain human ideas, moods, sentiments – as for instance: the circle, infinity; the triangle, structural unity; the spiral, organic progress; the square, integrity." Forms echo one another throughout: oval-shaped columns, for example, reiterate the geometry of the fountain. Circularity is the leitmotif, from the rotunda to the inlaid design of the terrazzo floors. Several architecture professors have speculated that the helical ramp and glass dome of Giuseppe Momo's 1932 staircase at the Vatican Museums was an inspiration for Wright's ramp and atrium. Jaroslav Josef Polívka assisted Wright with the structural design and managed to design the gallery ramp without perimeter columns. "
Frank Lloyd Wright in Print
Frank Lloyd Wright wrote and published extensively on the subject of architecture throughout his career. Amongst his most important works are:
An essential, though frequently inaccurate, source for the authors life.
The Living City
In this book Wright discusses his vision for Broadacre City. For a review go here .
In The Cause of Architecture
A fascinating series of articles published in the Architectural Record between 1908 and 1928. The articles give an insight into the development of Wright's thoughts on architecture in this period.
Second Marriage: Maude Miriam Noel
Maude Miriam Noel introduced herself by letter to Frank in late December 1914. Their relationship grew and Miriam was living at Taliesin, now rebuilt after the first fire, by the summer of 1915. Frank married Miriam in 1924 after his divorce from his first wife, Catherine, became final. Miriam was, among other things, a morphine addict and a spiritualist. Their time together was not a happy one and the marriage failed after less than a year. They separated and eventually divorced in 1928. The separation and divorce were bitter and acrimonious as Maude sought the best possible settlement. She harassed Frank with threats of legal proceedings throughout the process.
Third Marriage: Olgivanna Lloyd Wright
Wright met Olga (Olgivanna) Lazovich Hinzenburg at a ballet performance in Chicago in 1924 while still married to Miriam. Olgivanna moved in to Taliesin in 1925 and the couple's first daughter, Iovanna, was born in December of that year. They were married in 1928 after Frank's divorce from Miriam became final the previous year.
Olga Ivanovna Lazović was the daughter of Jovan Lazović (the first Chief Justice of Montenegro) and Milica Miljanov. Her mother was a soldier and Montenegrin war heroine in World War I. She became a follower of G. I. Gurdjieff and left her first husband and child to follow Gurdjieff to Paris where she spent seven years as a student and teacher of sacred dance. In 1924, Gurdjieff disbanded his group and advised Olgivanna to go to the United States.
They remained married until, at the age of 91, Frank died in 1959. Olgivanna, who was 30 years younger than Wright, survived until 1985.
Death & Legacy
Frank Lloyd Wright died peacefully on April 6th 1959 at the age of 91. He was buried initially at Unity Chapel near Taliesin in Wisconsin. He was later exhumed, cremated and re-interred near Taliesin West at his third wife Oligvanna's instruction.
In recognition of his lifetime achievements he was awarded a Gold Medal by The Royal Institute of British Architects in 1941. In 1949 the American Institute of Architects followed suit awarding him an AIA Gold Medal. He received an honorary degree from the University of Wales In 1956.
Wright had designs built in three centuries (19th, 20th and 21st). The Blue Sky Mausoleum in Buffalo was completed in 2004 from an original 1928 design. He designed more than 1100 architectural works in the course of his career of which a total of 532 were constructed.
His influence on subsequent generations of architects around the world has been undeniably massive. It can truly be said of him that he changed the way we build and live.