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Frank Lloyd Wright: An Autobiography (1932)

af Frank Lloyd Wright

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Opening with his life as a child with his Welsh forebears in the midwest, his running away to plunge into the creative ferment of the Chicago 1890s, this is the story of one of the world's most productive careers.
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Personal revelations show a heritage of Welsh forebears and a variety of experiences creating FLW...
  SHCG | Aug 8, 2017 |
Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, the venerable architectectural historian and critic, once remarked that an architect's talent to write well was inversely proportional to his talent to design. And she was talking about Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) at the time. Wright, she thought, was one of the worst writers on matters architectural, which may account, in part, for the greatness of his architecture.

I've often spoken of this book, Wright's "An Autobiography" as being one of the perhaps three most important architectural books of the 20th century, along with Le Corbusier's "Towards a New Architecture" and Robert Venturi's "Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture". I would further propose that of these three, Wright's book was the most important and influential because it was intended for, and in fact has reached, the general reading public as well as its professional audience.

While on one level this is an autobiographical overview of Wright's life and career, he talks at length about his design philosophy of buildings and cities, and goes on to discuss just about everything else imaginable, from the wonders of rural American life to pacificsm in wartime. Because of who he was, and more importantly because what he did, those views are worth hearing.

This book was published three times -- first, in 1932; then a second time, with a large additional section in 1943; and finally as a postumous third edition, with a further large additional section in 1977.

This 1943 edition, as a piece of book production, is by far the most aesthetically pleasing. Bound in in red cloth in a square format, the volume is divided into several "books", each of which has a specially designed graphic plate or divider page, printed in silver on a chocolate brown stock. A very handsome piece of graphic design. Though this edition lacks the plentiful illustrations of the other editions, there are numerous other books on and by Wright that have all the illustrations one could want or need.

Remebering that Wright was essentially a Victorian, we can perhaps overlook the overly verbose and purple prose style, and just enjoy this fascinating look into the personal and professional worlds in which Frank Lloyd Wright revolutionized architecture as we know it.
  atelier | Aug 18, 2008 |
This is a masterful work of both autobiography and propaganda. It is extremely well written and interesting both for its content and the obvious ploys for attention and respect. I would suggest it to anyone studying FLW in any depth. ( )
  janemarieprice | Jul 10, 2008 |
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Opening with his life as a child with his Welsh forebears in the midwest, his running away to plunge into the creative ferment of the Chicago 1890s, this is the story of one of the world's most productive careers.

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