Ask Americans to think of a famous architect and the person they are most likely to name is Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright's work, his reputation, and his long and colorful career have made him an icon of modern American architecture. But despite his status as America's most celebrated architect, his influence throughout an active practice spanning the years 1896 to 1959 is so wide and complex that it has been difficult to grasp fully.
The essays in this book look not at the United States, the context usually associated with Wright, but at countries around the globe. Anthony Alofsin has assembled a superb collection of scholars to examine Wright's importance from Japan to Great Britain, France to Chile, Mexico to Russia, and the Middle East. Interwoven in the essays are stories of champions and critics, rivals and acolytes, books and exhibitions, attitudes toward America and individualism, and the many ways Wright's ideas were brought to the world. Together the essays represent a first look at Wright's impact abroad, some from the perspective of natives of the countries discussed and others from that of informed outsiders. Of special note is Bruno Zevi's firsthand account of traveling with Wright in Italy. Zevi was instrumental in bringing Wright's ideas to Italy and in helping launch the movement for organic architecture. Of unusual interest in light of today's events in Iraq is Mina Marefat's essay on Wright's elaborate designs for a cultural center for the city of Baghdad. The Baghdad projects, which were never realized after the assassination of King Faisal II, were Wright's principal focus in his last decade.
In searching out the little known rather than reexamining the well-established aspects of Frank Lloyd Wright's work, this collection is a rewarding exploration of his vision and influence.
Wright, Influence, and the World at Large, Anthony Alofsin
Wright and Japan, Margo Stipe
Kindred Spirits: Holland, Wright, and Wijdeveld, Mariëtte van Stralen
Wright and Italy: A Recollection, Bruno Zevi
Wright and Italy: The Promise of Organic Architecture, Maristella Casciato
Useful Hostage: Constructing Wright in Soviet Russia and France, Jean-Louis Cohen
Wright and Great Britain, Andrew Saint
Wright and South America, Alberto Sartori
Towards an Organic Architecture in Mexico, Keith Eggener
Wright's Baghdad, Mina Marefat
Anthony Alofsin is Martin Kermacy Centennial Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He has written a new introduction to Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Wasmuth monograph, Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright (Studies and Executed Buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1998) and is the author of Frank Lloyd Wright: The Lost Years, 1910-1922 (1993).
"This collection of essays on the international impact of Frank Lloyd Wright is a volume that has long been needed. All the contributors are authorities in their fields. The book is exceptionally well edited and illustrated. Highly recommended."<—leonard k. eaton, author of American Architecture comes of Age
"Frank Lloyd Wright: Europe and Beyond moves architectural history beyond its conventional boundaries. The book opens up new dimensions in our understanding of Wright's own oeuvre (the creation of the architecture, the persona, and the myth) and of the broader patterns of transnational influence in the modern world."—Gwendolyn Wright, author of Moralism and the Model Home
"Alofsin's book solidly rounds out the recent wave of scholarly reappraisal of Wright's work, shedding light on the far reaches of the architect's influence across the globe as well as revealing the many references in Wright's work whose sources can only be found overseas."—Terence Riley, Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art, New York