Frank Lloyd Wright (Wisconsin 1867-1959)

“If you foolishly ignore beauty, you'll soon find yourself without it. But if you wisely invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.” Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Wisconsin and those first years growing up in the Wisconsin countryside had a lasting and profound impact on Wright as a person and later informed much ofhis work. After the divorce of his parents, Wright got a job with the University of Wisconsin to help support his family. Wright worked with the Dean of the department of Engineering and spent some time studying civil engineering and assisting a local architect. In 1888, Wright now twenty-one,took his first drafting job and six years later, established his own architectural practice in Chicago. Wright advanced the idea that architecture should be a link between man and his environment. "Organic architecture" as helater called his work, should understand the specific needs of the client, the nature of the site, and the native materials available. Wright’s extensive use of native materials and his determination to meld his structures with the surrounding landscape was his effort to create a new American architecture. Wright abhorred the idea of rooms as little one purpose boxes, instead envisioning the concept of interior spaces that overlapped and served a multitude of purposes, deftly used subtle changes like ceiling heights to denote different spaces within a home. Wright, at the forefront, worked with other Chicago architects interested in similar ideas in what became known as "The Prairie School.” This movement was a departure from the predominant movement of the time, the Arts and Crafts Movement, which attributed the decline in craftsmanship to the machine. By contrast, Wright embraced the machine and its ability to help him emphasize simplicity, and use natural materials in a natural way.