A Candid Conversation with Frank Lloyd Wright

by JOHN AMARANTIDES, 1955. ”The Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York)”

If you only know Frank Lloyd Wright for his classic works - Fallingwater and the Guggenheim among them – and not for his bristly personality, then you’re in for a treat.

WNYC has just released a candid they recorded with Wright in 1957, two years before his death, in his Plaza Hotel apartment (where he’d moved to oversee construction of the Guggenheim, which he’d been working on for 14 years). The conversation covers a wide range of topics – from Wright’s quirky personal views on American culture to the significance of architecture for mankind. Some gems from the interview include: 

On the Guggenheim and its critics:  “You’re going to be awakened to the beauty of that thing [a picture, a painting] from a new point of view. And it’s going to be so enlivening and refreshing, that it will make some of these painters quite ashamed of the protest that they issued against it.”

More quotes from Frank Lloyd Wright, after the break…

On the Sydney Opera House: “It has nothing to do with Opera, not whatever, it has nothing to do with architecture whatever. It’s not a building – it could be constructed with folded paper, or blown up with some kind of fabric.”

On the Sydney Opera House and the US Air Force Academy (designed by SOM): “Poetry Crushers with a capital P.”

On Women and the Modern Home: “We did a great deal for you [women] with the open plan. We took the hostess out of the kitchen and made her attractive as a hostess. She was no longer a cook in the kitchen but we made her a feature in her own establishment.”

On how architects can build a better society: “study nature, seriously, intelligently, and with feeling, and appreciation.”

You can listen to the entire interview at WNYC

Cite: Quirk, Vanessa. "A Candid Conversation with Frank Lloyd Wright" 02 Mar 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 Jul 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=338698>

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