legacy: reflections

“Wright considered architecture to be the master art form. The art form that subordinated all other art forms because contained within it were the visual arts, the plastic arts, sculpture, any kind of aesthetic experience could be brought within a building and in creating that building that building would house a complete aesthetic experience of the universe which for Wright is a complete spiritual experience of the universe. And so, what he tried to do was to bring in all of these elements, control them all, subordinate them to his vision as a way of creating a perfect realization of beauty and his vision of what it would be like to be to live within that beautiful space would be that it would be genuinely transformative. It would make the people different who inhabited that space. And so, his vision is of an aesthetics which serves all of human spiritual life.”—William Cronon, Historian
There’s a wonderful passage from Emerson which seems to me to come closer to capturing Frank Lloyd Wright than any other...
—William Cronon, Historian
william cronon
“What I can take away from [Wright’s buildings] is just his celebration of the intimacy of a human scale... it brought back a, a wonderful scale that is based in part on the Japanese tradition, where, say, your window height is dropped lower. And it focuses your view out the window, out into the horizon and it becomes a real integration, which is why his buildings have a sense of place because they’re as much focusing your view out towards the landscape as they’re about being in a place.”—Maya Lin, Architect
maya lin I think he was one of the more controlling architects you could have ever met...—Maya Lin, Architect
“Jeffferson really invented a position for our culture that married politics, national traits, and architecture. And Wright, in a way, tried to restate that synthesis for his own, or our own time.

Part of his greatness was the degree to which he was in touch with American life, American psychology and to some extent, the degree to which he was in touch with the 20th Century. We dismiss him as a 19th Century figure often. It’s easy to do that. But he understood the car. He understood the modern workplace.”—Robert A.M. Stern, Architect

Trying to find the genius of a man like that...—Phillip Johnson, Architect phillip johnson
“It’s a contemptible retrogressive architecture that we practice domestically in this country now and to my mind, it’s mysterious that that we couldn’t have followed in the Wright course. That we couldn’t have developed something as new as...what it was when Frank developed it... And the plantation house and the English Tudor manor house and all these houses being built in our suburbs are ...false to the intention of the families living in them and they’re false to the hopes of the people who will grow up in them. They don’t bear any relationship to the aspirations that a contemporary American citizen should feel about themselves. Done for. Gone. And the architectural profession consents to it. Foments it, aids it. That’s contemptible.”—Brendan Gill, Writer
meryle secrest Wright never saw any limits for himself...—Meryle Secrest, Biographer
“I think of him always as the great American confidence man. He really is. Who’s changing the world according to his own images. Who [wears] many disguises all the time, his wonderful, his wonderful clothes, the pork pie hat, the cane, the thing. He’s right out of Mark Twain, he’s right out of Melville, he feels himself to be part of the Whitmanesque view of things. He’s the man in his rebuilt Lincoln Continental in which he’s taken out the rear window because he says, “I never look behind.”—Vincent Scully, Architectural Historian
I think that he didn’t think much about the hereafter...—Edgar Tafel, Former FLW apprentice edgar tafel
“If you’re a composer, I presume you don’t want to sit down and make a write a symphony that sounds like Beethoven’s. But how can Beethoven not be an immense part of the legacy of the art that you devote your life to? And so it is in architecture with Frank Lloyd Wright. There is this immense present, this great mountain and even if you want to make your own world on the other side of it, you have to climb it and understand it and then you begin to be ready to go to wherever you want to go on the other side of that mountain. But Frank Lloyd Wright is the great mountain of late 19th and early 20th century architecture. And you have to climb it if you want to go anywhere else...Wright was a vast figure. He was enormous. He...bridged time, space, styles, he transformed himself constantly throughout this long career which went through phase after phase and type after type. He seemed to do absolutely everything. So in that sense he was protean. He was he was large, he was many-sided, he was many different things at many different times. The only real figure in the world of the arts that equaled him in the twentieth century, I think, was Picasso. Another figure with its roots, with its legs planted in the nineteenth century but the body did this great jump into the twentieth century.”—Paul Goldberger, Architecture Critic