Frank Lloyd Wright was a visionary architect but, at times, questionable in his business practices and personal pursuits. That dichotomy has been the subject of numerous articles, essays, and books since his death in 1959. The latest work to join that list explores the same subject, but with tongue firmly in cheek. This is Frank Lloyd Wright (Laurence King Publishing, 2016), written by design journalist and ARCHITECT contributor Ian Volner and richly illustrated by Michael Kirkham, follows the Taliesin founder from his childhood (difficult) through apprenticeships and his early career (successful, if volatile) to a host of mid-career setbacks (mostly personal) and on to the work for which he’s best known: pioneering Prairie Style architecture, founding the Taliesin school, developing the Usonian home concept, and many prominent commissions.
This is Frank Lloyd Wright is the first architectural title to join Laurence King Publishing’s “This Is” series, which launched in 2014 as a collection of illustrated art monographs intent on turning the traditional art history book on its head by portraying historical artists in a contemporary light.
The hardback Wright component measures a handy 9 inches by 6.75 inches. Its 80 pages contain 50 color illustrations plus archival photographs and text that tell the story of Wright’s life alongside that of his work—including Fallingwater, in Mill Run, Pa., the Guggenheim, in New York, and the Charnley-Persky House, in Chicago.