Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House: Architecture as Portraiture

Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House: Architecture as Portraiture

by Jack Quinan, Princeton Architectural Press
     
 

The Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, New York, is one of Frank Lloyd Wright's earliest and most important masterpieces. Built in the prairie style, this large residential complex was designed, landscaped, and extensively furnished by the architect. The history of its creation, recorded in over 400 letters exchanged between Wright and Martin, forms a fascinating

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Overview

The Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, New York, is one of Frank Lloyd Wright's earliest and most important masterpieces. Built in the prairie style, this large residential complex was designed, landscaped, and extensively furnished by the architect. The history of its creation, recorded in over 400 letters exchanged between Wright and Martin, forms a fascinating biography not only of the house but of its architect and client.
In this detailed account of the Martin House commission, Quinan mines the Wright-Martin correspondence, along with the physical artifacts and architectural remains of the house, which is currently under restoration, to investigate Wright's often-made claim that his buildings "portray" their clients. The author presents an account of one of Wright's greatest works of "architecture as portraiture" that lends new insight into the ambitions and working methods of this much-studied architect.
Frank Lloyd Wright aficionados will join architects, preservationists, and fans of biography in appreciating the fresh perspective Quinan brings to our understanding of this great American architect and this exceptional house.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Finally, a milestone building in the architectural history of Buffalo has a milestone biography. The Martin House complex in Buffalo, NY, was one of the major commissions of Frank Lloyd Wright's so-called Prairie Years, which lasted up to World War I. Quinan (art history, SUNY, Buffalo), who took 30 years to complete his research, delivers a carefully conceived, soberly argued, and beautifully illustrated account of this important masterpiece by America's, and arguably the world's, greatest architect. Completed in 1905, and now mostly restored as a house museum, the Martin House is one of the major jewels in the cultural crown of Buffalo, along with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Kleinhans Music Hall. Part of the importance of the Martin House lies in the fact that it is located farthest east of all of Wright's Prairie houses; hence its attraction as a major destination for visitors and tourists from all over the Northeast. The Martin House is also the best documented of Wright's Prairie house commissions, by virtue of extensive surviving correspondence between client and architect, all of which help to make this book a success. More than 100 photographs and drawings are included. Highly recommended.-Peter Kaufman, Boston Architectural Ctr. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781568984193
Publisher:
Princeton Architectural Press
Publication date:
12/28/2004
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
7.87(w) x 10.25(h) x 1.25(d)

Meet the Author

Jack Quinan is one of the most important scholars working today on Frank Lloyd Wright. He has devoted more than 12 years to researching and writing this book. He lives in Buffalo, NY.

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