Synopses & Reviews
This is the definitive study of Frank Lloyd Wright and his work, an eloquent summation of an outstanding career that spanned nearly seventy years of American architectural history. Writing with warmth and penetrating intelligence, Henry-Russell Hitchcock, America's leading architectural expert, explores Wright's distinctive approach to the design and construction of homes, civic centers, housing projects, country clubs, and office buildings—emphasizing throughout Wright's skillful use of materials to create harmony between structure and environment.Hitchcock covers each of the major phases in Wright's first fifty years as an architect: the apprenticeship with J.L. Selsbee; the movement toward maturity with "Lieber Meister" Sullivan, and the links with Richardson, the "prairie" architecture of the early 1900s and the non-domestic work of the same period which exerted so great an influence upon the development of modern European architecture; the textile block housing and cantilevered skyscraper projects of the early ‘20s; the creative hiatus of the late ‘20s and early ‘30s; and the projects of the Depression years, interrupted in 1942 by World War II.More than 400 illustrations are presented in chronological order in a format Wright himself designed, revealing an endless assortment of shapes, materials and structural ornament that indicate the scope and focus of Wright's genius. Accompanying the photographs, plans, and perspectives is Hitchcock's perceptive commentary, linking each building to a particular phase in Wright's development and showing how in each case the architect forged the elements of materials, mass, space, and ornament into a powerful visual statement.Hitchcock also contributes a list of the architect's completed projects through 1941, and, in a new foreword specially prepared for this Da Capo edition, assesses Wright's major projects during the last two decades of his life.