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C820
Scoundrel Genius: The Life and Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright

Jeffrey Syken

By the mid-1930s, architect Frank Lloyd Wright was nearing the age of seventy. It seemed his best years – and work, were far behind him. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s lament that: “There are no second acts in American lives,” seemed to be especially true, in his case. In 1893, he had struck out on his own, creating an architectural style all his own: Prairie Style. However, in the proceeding years his contempt for convention – both personal and professional, would lead to the “Wilderness Years,” when clients were scarce, FLW set about writing his autobiography while architectural critic Philip Johnson disparigingly referred to FLW as: “The Greatest Architect of the 19th Ccnetury.” Then, in 1932, he and his third wife Oglivanna founded the Taliesin Fellowship. The first few years were barren of architectural work and the focus was on establishing the rudimentary school of architecture. By 1935, things would change. Edgar Kaufman, Sr. – the wealthy father of an apprentice, asked FLW to design for him and his family a country house in southwestern Pennsylvania. The result was Fallingwater – “The Greatest Building of the 20th Century” (according to the American Institute of Architects). On its heels (in 1936) came the S.C, Johnson Wax Administration Building and a series of “Usonian” houses (the model for the post-WWII suburban “Ranch” house). Frank Lloyd Wright’s second act had begun.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.


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