Frank Lloyd Wright: The Masterworks


This extraordinary book presents thirty-eight of the most renowned and significant buildings of America's premier architect, from his early Prairie work in Oak Park, Illinois, in the 1890s to his daring creations of the 1940s and 1950s.

In entirely new photographs taken especially for this book by two leading architectural photographers under the direction of co-editor David Larkin, such internationally famous buildings as the Solomon R. ...
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1993 Hardcover New 0847817156. Flawless copy, brand new, pristine, never opened--312 pp. With 305 ills. (267 col. ). 29 x 29 cm.

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This extraordinary book presents thirty-eight of the most renowned and significant buildings of America's premier architect, from his early Prairie work in Oak Park, Illinois, in the 1890s to his daring creations of the 1940s and 1950s.

In entirely new photographs taken especially for this book by two leading architectural photographers under the direction of co-editor David Larkin, such internationally famous buildings as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Fallingwater and Wright's homes Taliesin, Taliesin West, and the Oak Park Home and Studio are seen afresh, benefiting from the photographers' special access.

Several lesser-known residences, such as Auldbrass Plantation in South Carolina, an array of wooden buildings that is Wright's American alternative to antebellum architecture, the William H. Winslow house in River Forest, Illinois, one of the architect's earliest and most surprisingly decorative houses, and the Kenneth Laurent house in Rockford, Illinois, a masterful curvilinear design, are seen in full color and demonstrate dimensions of Wright's work less often seen before. Public buildings, such as the dramatic concrete, glass, and steel Marin County Civic Center and Beth Sholom Synagogue show Wright as engineering virtuoso as well as creative architect. In addition to these existing masterworks, only the most famous of which are open to the public, the book covers buildings that have been demolished, notably the Larkin Company Administration Building, Midway Gardens, and the Imperial Hotel, which are represented here by drawings and rich archival photographs.

Each of the buildings is presented from conceptual sketch, plan, or drawing to finishedmasterwork, and each is accompanied by an in-depth essay detailing the development of the work. Extensive quotes from Wright's writings, unpublished talks, and private letters to the clients give valuable insight into the architect's own thinking about each commission. Never before has Wright's architecture been presented so elaborately in one volume.

Thirty-eight of Wright's architectural designs, ranging from his early work in the 1890s to his daring creations of the 1940s, show each building's evolution from conceptual sketch, plan, or drawings to finished masterwork. Over 300 illustrations, 275 in color.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Wright, as Pfeiffer notes, was primarily a residential architect, and this stunning survey of 38 of his most influential buildings reveals how he created new patterns of living through rooms that open into one another and walls that reach out to engulf gardens and plantings. That the Wisconsin-born pioneer of organic architecture was also an innovative engineer emerges in discussions of Manhattan's Guggenheim Museum with its curved elements, the tripod design of Beth Sholom Synagogue in Elkins Park, Pa., and the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael, Calif., featuring a circular public library at the hub of administrative buildings ensconced in the hills. Wright's home and studio in Oak Park, Ill., the ``Fallingwater'' house in Mills Run, Pa., and the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo are among the projects selected by Pfeiffer, editor of Wright's Collected Writings and author of many books about him. Nearly all of the buildings were newly photographed for this book, which features 275 color plates, including Wright's beautiful working drawings and plans. BOMC alternate. (Nov.)
Probably the most elaborate presentation of Wright's architecture available, this handsome volume presents 38 of the great American architect's most renowned and significant buildings, from his early work in Oak Park in the 1890s to his creations of the 1940s and 1950s. Each building is presented from conceptual sketch, plan, or drawing to finished work and accompanied by an in-depth essay detailing the development of the work, with extensive quotes from Wright's writings, unpublished talks, and private letters. For extant buildings, entirely new color photographs have been taken for this volume, while demolished buildings are represented by rare archival photographs. 11x11" Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Donna Seaman
Wright has been the subject of numerous books, illustrative and historical, popular and scholarly, but Larkin and Pfeiffer have still succeeded in creating something fresh and exciting. This handsome volume presents brand-new photographs of and lucid critical commentary on 38 of Wright's most significant buildings, including such famous public structures as the Unity Temple (1905) in Oak Park, Illinois, and New York's Guggenheim Museum (1943-59), as well as lesser-known but stunning private homes. This selection embraces Wright's entire career, from the early prairie style to the adventurous creations of the 1940s and 1950s. The process of design for each masterwork is documented from Wright's earliest conceptual sketches to his polished drawings, which are works of art in their own right. Some black-and-white photographs of buildings under construction are provided, but the book's strongest visual components are the grand color photographs. The shots were composed to capture the unique aesthetic of each structure's exterior and interior, from its orientation to the land to its elegant decorative detail and dramatic use of natural light. A liberal sampling of excerpts from Wright's writings and correspondence adds to this volume's authority and value.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847817153
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Publication date: 9/28/1993
  • Pages: 312
  • Lexile: 1200L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.36 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 1.19 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2001

    The Master Guide to Wright's Greatest Works!

    I have been a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture for over 30 years, and have seen many of his finest buildings. No book that I have seen in those years is as good as this one for explaining his life, the development of his architectural style, providing the details of his best work, and showing stunning photographs of exteriors, interiors, and views. If you only buy one book about Mr. Wright, I suggest this one. I have it with me tonight as I begin a one week pilgrimage to his finest work in the midwest. Each night, I will reread the sections about the works that I will be seeing the next day. The book would be worth buying, just for the photography alone. For those buildings that still exist, brand new color images were made. These are so magnificently reproduced that they actually exceed the appearances of the originals! I don't know of another book of architectural photography where I could make the same statement. It is as though you are seeing the scenes in Wright's eye, as the pure forms that he was seeking to reproduce. Also, you get lots of images. For example, the home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois section displays 10 large color photographs. Naturally, for the buildings that do not still exist, you have only historical photographs, some in black and white. But these are very fine, as well. Most books with wonderful photographs usually have limited essays. Masterworks is the happy exception. The essays are clear, thoughtful, and extensive. Yet they tie together to tell the story of Mr. Wright's development. So, they are more like chapters in a book rather than stand-alone essays that such books usually inspire. I was particularly pleased with the information about the materials and building methods that Mr. Wright experimented with and used at various stages of his career. As wonderful as the photographs and essays are, what made the book special for me were the many draft sketches and conceptual diagrams in Mr. Wright's own hand. To see the transition from first sketch to final details was wonderful. If you know Mr. Wright's work, you will be aware that he often designed his own furniture and sculptures for the buildings, and had craftsmen execute them. You will see many fine examples in the book of these details presented in their most dramatic ways. The book also has good balance. Many books about Mr. Wright favor his homes, or his famous works, or his public buildings. This one creates a balance over his entire career of all his work. So you get a decent amount about his Usonia period as well as his Prairie years. Here are the works that are covered in the book: Home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois; William H. Winslow House, River Forest, Illinois; Susan Lawrence Dana House, Springfield, Illinois; Arthur Heurtley House, Oak Park, Illinois; Ward W. Willits House, Highland Park, Illinois; Larkin Company Administrative Buidling, Buffalo, New York; Unity Temple, Oak Park, Illinois; E.E. Boynton House, Rochester, New York; Avery Coonley House, Riverside, Illinois; Meyer May House, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Frederick C. Robie House, Chicago, Illinois; Midway Gardens, Chicago, Illinois; Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, Japan; F.C. Bogk House, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Aline Barnsdall House, Los Angeles, California; John Storer House, Hollywood, California; Paul R. and Jean S. Hanna House, Stanford, California; Fallingwater, Mill Run, Pennsylvania; Herbert Jacobs House, Madison, Wisconsin; S.C. Johnson & Son Administrative Building, Racine, Wisconsin; Herbert F. Johnson House, Wind Point, Wisconsin; C. Leigh Stevens House, Yemassee, South Carolina; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City; Arnold Friedman House, Pecos, New Mexico; Herman T. Mossberg House, South Bend, Indiana; Kenneth Laurent House, Rockford, Illinois; Unitarian Church, Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin; David Wright House, Phoenix, Arizona; William Palmer House, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Isadore J. Zimmerman House, Manchester, New Hampshire; H.C. P

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2010

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