Frank Lloyd Wright is widely touted as the greatest architect of the 20th century. This skilled artist designed hundreds of buildings, of which 25 are designated National Historic Landmarks.Wright’s work doesn’t just live on in his structures; the spirit and the education of his work can continue to be appreciated through the Frank Lloyd Foundation. This organization was created by Wright for the purpose of ensuring his work lives on to inspire artists and architects far into the future.
About Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright was born on June 8, 1867, in Spring Green, Wisconsin. The son of a preacher and a teacher, Wright was raised in Madison, spending summers in the Wisconsin River Valley, working on his uncle’s farm. Wright attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for three years before heading off to Chicago to fulfill his dream of becoming an architect. He began his career working at the firms of J. Lyman Silsbee and Adler and Sullivan, respectively.
Throughout his career, which spanned more than 70 years, Wright designed 1141 buildings that included houses, churches and museums. Out of all of his designs, Wright saw 532 come to full completion, and more than 400 of those structures are still standing today. Wright was also an avid writer, penning more than a dozen books and individual articles. The architect also spent time lecturing throughout Europe and the United States, inspiring young students and artists to pursue their careers in architecture as well. His plans to decentralize urban America, using Broadacre City as a prototype, are plans that continue to be debated by town planners and engineers today.
Wright’s Philosophy and Work
When Wright designed a building, he didn’t just see it as a building. The architect considered the people that would live and work in those structures, and strove to create buildings that would enhance their lives. Wright called his architectural style “organic” and most consider it the epitome of American design. Wright was quick to take advantage of the latest science and technology offered throughout his decades-long career, without ever sacrificing the integrity and originality of his unique designs.
Wright’s work and notoriety was not restricted to the United States. His accomplishments were recognized worldwide, in countries throughout South America, Europe and Asia. Wright has been named the greatest American architect of all time by the American Institute of Architects, and his buildings frequently appear of the lists of the top buildings around the world.
About the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
To ensure the spirit of his work was carried on posthumously, Wright established the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in 1940. This organization is designed to be a center of education, research and scholarship in the field of architecture. It is also the place where Wright’s work can be remembered and celebrated for generations to come. The foundation features two locations, at two of Wright’s homes. The first is Taliesin, near Spring Green, Wisconsin, and the second is Taliesin West, located in Scottsdale, Arizona.
In addition to serving as a central repository for Wright’s work and artifacts, the foundation is also responsible for donating or loaning portions of the archive to museums and other institutions for the purpose of education. For example, the Museum of Modern Art and Columbia University in New York recently acquired archives including drawings, photographs and other documents that will become a part of their permanent collections.
Frank Lloyd Wright is arguably the most notable architect of a century and perhaps throughout history. Much of this artist’s work can be appreciated through the buildings Wright designed that are still standing today. Thanks to Wright’s foresight and planning, his work and legacy will also continue to live on through the collections, information and education provided through the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
- Phoenix Art Museum. Currently offers a collection on display titled, “Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architect for the 21st Century.”
- Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Organization established by Wright in 1940 for the purpose of celebrating his work and inspiring and educating those interested in the field of architecture.
- Wright in Wisconsin. Organization dedicated to promoting and preserving the heritage of Frank Lloyd Wright in his home state of Wisconsin.
- Taliesin Preservation, Inc.. Organization established to help preserve the work and legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright in Wisconsin.
- Columbia University. Website includes news article about the recent acquisition by the university and Museum of Modern Art of a vast Frank Lloyd Wright archive.
- Save Wright. Organization dedicated to the preservation of buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.