This year marks the 150th birthday of Frank Lloyd Wright, arguably the greatest architect America has ever produced.
Around the country, Wright sites are celebrating his iconic creations and trailblazing legacy.
Of his more than 400 buildings scattered across the US, Wright is perhaps best known for his Prairie-style houses. The flat-roofed technique is both rooted in the Midwest and best represented there (the Chicago area boasts more than 50 Wright buildings), but we have plenty to explore right here in New York City.
This week, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy’s annual conference is taking place at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and while the conference itself is sold out, the gathering’s symposia are open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. On Thursday and Friday, architects, critics, and historians will gather at MoMA to debate Wright’s work and influence.
Visit SaveWright.org for details and to RSVP for the free (and wonky!) events.
Even if symposia aren’t your thing, consider wandering through MoMA’s fascinating exhibition, “Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive,” which delves into Wright’s drawings for projects both built and never realized and is open through Oct. 1.
Wright had a strong Utopian streak — he conceived of a suburban dream community called “Broadacre City” — which is explored there and in the exhibition “Living in America: Frank Lloyd Wright, Harlem, and Modern Housing” at Columbia’s Wallach Gallery, which is located on their new Mahattanville campus in Harlem. The exhibition runs through Dec. 17.
Of course, the best way to experience Wright is to visit his work itself. Luckily, New York is home not only to Staten Island’s residential Crimson Beech (profiled on pages 37, 38 and above) but to Wright’s mature masterpiece, the Guggenheim Museum.
It was completed in 1959, six months after the architect’s death. Though controversial when it opened, the museum has come to be seen as one of Wright’s most important projects; millions visit each year, many of them to merely admire the unique corkscrew design.
(To enjoy it as Wright intended, take the elevator to the top and work your way down the spiral.) To honor his birthday, the museum shop has expanded the amount of Wright material for sale.
From the Guggenheim, stroll down Fifth Avenue to the Metropolitan Museum of Art,…