Frank Lloyd Wright (1867 - 1959)

Birth date: 6/8/1867 Death date: 4/9/1959  
Birth location: Richland Center, Wisconsin Death location: Phoenix, Arizona  
Media: Architecture Web site:
Fair (file rating) - MWA artist file may include basic data, and additional newspaper articles, book references, exhibition information, and images that can be researched on site at MWA.


Frank Lloyd Wright
Born 1867 in Richland Center, Wisconsin
Died 1959 in Scottsdale, Arizona
Frank Lloyd Wright was one of America’s greatest imaginative and influential architects. His career spanned seven decades creating architectural forms that were stylistic and technical innovations. Nature inspired his principles of design. By 1910, Wright had become internationally famous, but never established an architectural style that was dominant in America or Europe, even though he had completed work in 35 states.

Born in Richland Center, his father was a Baptist minister, and music instructor. After completing high school in two years, Frank’s interests turned to engineering and architecture. In the mid-1880’s he obtained practical experience as a draftsman, working for a UW-Madison Engineering Professor. He enrolled at UW-Madison intending to enter the engineering program. Never finishing the program, in 1887, architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee hired Wright to work as a draftsman in Chicago where he designed his first building. Later that year, he was hired as chief draftsman for the influential Chicago architectural firm of Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan. In 1893, he left Adler and Sullivan to establish his own firm in Oak Park, Illinois. His first designs were called “Prairie Style”. They were low horizontal homes, where interior spaces opened and flowed one room into another through the use of porches and terraces.

In 1910-1911, a German publishing firm illustrated Wright’s drawings and plans in two luxurious volumes. Wright’s complicated use of cubic shapes impressed and influenced European architects from 1913-1920.

In 1930, the Madison Art Association was founded and over the next few years, held five exhibitions featuring many of Wright’s Madison designs. The second of these exhibitions was held at the new UW-Madison Memorial Union Gallery under the direction of John Watrous, chairman of the Union’s student gallery committee. Between 1928 and 1932, Wright published many books including his autobiography. Today it is considered one of literature’s great self-portraits of the 1900’s.

In 1932, Wright founded Taliesin Fellowship. Architectural students paid to live and work with him.They spent summers at Taliesin, Spring Green, Wisconsin and winters at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Wright’s personal life was as controversial as his work, however, his creative genius was recognized in 1954 when he received an honorary degree from the UW-Madison. Today hundreds of people from all over the world travel to Wisconsin to see his buildings which are promoted by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. One of these, a cottage in the woods, is available to the public for overnight lodging. Wright’s final Wisconsin work, Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center-Madison designed in 1938 was recently completed.

Selected Frank Lloyd Wright Designs
1904-06            Larkin Soap Company, (sky-lighted court) Buffalo, New York
1906-08            Unity Temple, (concrete construction), Oak Park, Illinois
1916-22            Imperial Hotel Complex, Tokeyo, Japan (designed to withstand earthquakes, survived earthquake of 1932)
1936-37            Falling Water, Kaufmann House, Bear Run, near Uniontown, PA. (built over a waterfall)
1937-39            The Johnson Wax Company Administration Building and later Laboratory, Racine, WI.
1938-97            Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, Madison, WI. (designed in 1938, completed in 1997)
1943-60            Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY (spiral design)
1960-2000         Marion County Civic Center, California (nine futuristic structures built on three hills)
Selected existing Frank Lloyd Wright designs in Wisconsin

1900                  Henry Wallis Summer Cottage, Lake Delavan  
1901                  Fred B. Jones Residence, Lake Delavan / Henry Wallis Gatehouse, Lake Delavan
1902                  Hillside Home School II, Spring Green / Charles S. Ross Residence, Lake Delavan
1901                  Fred B. Jones Barn, Stables and Gatehouse, Lake Delavan
1905                 Thomas P. Hardy Residence, Racine / A.P. Johnson Residence, Lake Delavan / Andrew Porter    Residence,
                         Hillside, Spring Green
1908                Eugene A. Gilmore Residence, (Aeroplane House) Madison
1911                Taliesin I, Spring Green (living quarters destroyed by fire)
1914                Taliesin II, Spring Green, (Taliesin I, Spring Green (living quarters destroyed by fire)
1915                A.D. German Warehouse, Richland Center
1916               Frederick C. Bogk Residence, Milwaukee
1925               Taliesin III, Spring Green
1932               Taliesin Fellowship Complex, Hillside, Spring Green
1936               Herbert Jacobs Residence I, Madison / Johnson Wax Co. (S.C. Johnson and Son Co. Administration Building,
1937              Herbert F. Johnson Residence “Wingspread”, Wind Point (near Racine)
1938              Midway Barns and Farm Buildings, Taliesin, Spring Green
                      John C. Pew Residence, Madison / Charles L. Manson Residence, Wausau
1939              Bernard Schwartz Residence, Two Rivers
1944              Hillside Playhouse Foyer, Spring Green / Herbert Jacobs Residence II, (Solar Hemicycle), Middleton / Johnson
                      Wax Co. Racine (S.C. Johnson and Son Company Research Tower) / Taliesin, Spring Green (Barns and Farm     

1945              Hillside Garden Contours, Taliesin, Spring Green / Taliesin Dams, Spring Green
1946              Hillside Home Building Revisions, Taliesin, Spring Green
1947              Taliesin, Spring Green, (Dairy and Machine Shed, Midway Barns) / First Unitarian Society Meeting House,  
                      Shorewood Hills  
1948              Albert Adelman Residence, final scheme, Fox Point
1949              Hillside Home Building Revisions, Taliesin, Spring Green
1950              Dr. Arnold Jackson Residence, Madison / Richard Smith Residence, Jefferson
1951             Additions to Johnson Wax Co. (S.C. Johnson and Company, Racine) / Patrick Kinney Residence, Lancaster
1952             Hillside Kitchen, Taliesin, Spring Green / Hillside Theater #2, Taliesin, Spring Green
1953             Riverview Terrace Restaurant “The Spring Green”), Spring Green
1954             E.Clarke Arnold Residence, Columbus / Dr. Maurice Greenberg Residence, Dousman / Karen Johnson House
                     (John – Keland Residence), Racine
1956             Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Wauwatosa / Pre-fabricated House, design #1, for Erdman
                     and Associates,                                    
         Madison. Models built for: Eugene Van Tamelen, Madison, Arnold Jackson, (Skyview), Madison, Frank Iber,      
         Stevens Point, Joseph Mollica, Bayside / Wyoming Valley School, Wyoming Valley near Spring Green
1957             Pre-fabricated House, design #2, for Erdman and Associates, Walter Rudin Residence, Madison  
        Duey Wright Residence, Scheme #2, Wausau
1958            Seth C. Peterson Cottage, Lake Delton
1959            Enclosed Garden for Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, Taliesin, Spring Green
1997            Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, Madison, WI. (designs embroiled in city and state politics, 1938 until completion in 1997) 

Selected One-Person Exhibitions

Madison Art Association Exhibitions
1932  Second Madison Art Association Exhibition, UW-Madison, Memorial Union Gallery, Madison, Wisconsin
1990 Frank Lloyd Wright and Madison: Eight Decades of Artistic and Social Interaction, Elvehjem Museum of Art, UW-Madison, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Affiliations

Wisconsin Art Organizations

No art organizations were found.

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