A Frank Lloyd Wright Reading List, On the Occasion of His Birthday
Today is the anniversary of the birth of a man who needs no introduction, at least around these parts. On this day in 1867, Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Wisconsin and went on, over a long lifetime, to create some of the most enduring icons of American architecture. One of Wright’s most celebrated buildings, the Robie House, sits just a few block from the Press building, and indeed, Wright’s prairie-style homes dot the landscape of the South Side and all of Chicagoland. So it is only appropriate, given our proximity to so many of his landmarks, that the Press has issued its share of books on Wright. What follows is a Wright reading list, in honor of his 142nd birthday:
Indispensable for anyone with a passion for Wright’s standing architecture, William Allin Storrer’s The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalog is now available in an updated third edition. Fully revised, Storrer’s guidebook features full-color photographs of all extant work along with a description of each building and its history. Storrer also provides full addresses, GPS coordinates, and maps of locations throughout the United States, England, and Japan, indicating the shortest route to each building—perfect for Wright aficionados on the go. See the entries for the Robie and Heller Houses here.
Storrer’s The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion, Revised Edition treats the full range of Wright’s architecture—from vacation cottages in Montana and Michigan, to such monuments of modernism as the Johnson Wax Building and the Guggenheim Museum, to buildings completed after Wright’s death in 1959. Organized chronologically, The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion features a description of each building that details the history of its design, construction, and ownership. Floor plans allow readers intimate access to each of Wright’s built works. With nearly 1,000 photographs (many new to this edition), elevations, historical images, and floor plans that show changes in Wright’s preliminary plans, this reference is unmatched in its authority.
If you are interested in the man behind the manors, Meryle Secrest’s inside look at the architect will not disappoint. Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography focuses on Wright’s family history, personal adventures, and colorful friends and family. Secrest had unprecedented access to an archive of over one hundred thousand of Wright’s letters, photographs, drawings, and books. She also interviewed surviving devotees, students, and relatives. The result is an explicit portrait of both the genius architect and the provocative con-man.
For more on Wright, be sure to check out all of these Press titles:
The Robie House of Frank Lloyd Wright by Joseph Conners
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Larkin Building: Myth and Fact by Jack Quinan
Frank Lloyd Wright—the Lost Years, 1910-1922: A Study of Influence by Anthony Alofsin
The Charnley House: Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Making of Chicago’s Gold Coast edited by Richard Longstreth
A Guide to Oak Park’s Frank Lloyd Wright and Prairie School Historic District by the Oak Park Historic Preservation Committee, Illinois
And check out this excerpt from Cathy Jean Maloney’s Chicago Gardens: The Early Years that considers the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Garden.
Happy birthday to an American master!