Frank Lloyd Wright: Architect: An Illustrated Biography

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9780847816835: Frank Lloyd Wright: Architect: An Illustrated Biography
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Traces the life and work of the twentieth-century American architect who called his innovative ideas "organic architecture."

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A handsome, large-sized volume, attractively illustrated with photos, Wright's own drawings, and decorative designs based on his works, but one whose audience is a bit problematic. Boulton's account of Wright's early life seems to be addressed to young people; the architect's personal life as an adult (a typical genius, he was irresponsible with money, left a wife and six children, and had relationships with three more women; some assistants were notably loyal, but he was such an idiosyncratic autocrat that others found him impossible) is narrated in a forthright, nonjudgmental style. But the author's assessment of Wright as an architect verges on scholarly--anyone not already versed in art history will find it difficult, even with the help of the glossary of technical terms, key figures, etc. Also, though the illustrations are fine as far as they go, there are intriguing descriptions of buildings that, frustratingly, are not shown; and while the spidery sans-serif is in harmony with Wright's style, it's not easy to read, especially in large blocks. Still, for the informed reader, a coherent, intelligent portrayal of an extraordinarily fecund imagination, and of the evolution of Wright's architectural innovations and their importance in architectural history. Chronology; glossary; bibliography; index. (Nonfiction. YA+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Booklist:

Gr. 8-12. There are many adult books about Wright, including one just out from the same publisher (Frank Lloyd Wright: The Masterworks ), but this handsomely designed, large-size volume is an exciting introduction to Wright's life and work. In considerable detail and without condescension, Boulton shows how Wright changed forever contemporary architecture with his radical approach to creating a uniquely American design for homes and buildings--a design that included an open plan; the use of steel, reinforced concrete, and plate glass; and a harmony with the natural environment. This is also an art book: interspersed throughout the spacious text are many fine reproductions of Wright's drawings and color photographs of his famous homes and buildings. His life story, including the scandal that surrounded his private life, is presented in a straightforward style. Most moving are the quotes from Wright himself, which reveal his creative genius, his arrogance ("Yes, I intend to be the greatest architect of all time"), and his political idealism ("I don't build a house without predicting the end of the present social order"). There are no source notes, but Boulton ends with a detailed chronology and glossary and an annotated bibliography. Hazel Rochman

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