Modern Architecture - Art History 282/682

Week 3, Class 1

Frank Lloyd Wright to 1909

gesamtkunstwerk or total work of art

Prairie Style

Joseph Lyman Silsbee

Dankmar Adler & Louis Sullivan

World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893

Frank Lloyd Wright, Wright House, Oak Park, Illinois, 1893

Winslow House, River Forest, Illinois, 1893

Frank Lloyd Wright "A Home in a Prairie Town," Ladies Home Journal, 1901

Willits House, Highland Park, Illinois, 1902

Dana House, Springfield, Illinois, 1902-1904

Martin House, Buffalo, NY, 1904

Coonley House, Riverside, Illinois, 1908

Robie House, South Woodlawn, Chicago, Illinois, 1908-1910

Beatriz Colomina, 1992: "It is hard to find any account of Mies that does not make a big deal out of his being the son of a stonemason and his supposed apprenticeship in the workshop of his father. Mies's knowledge of building materials may well be attributed to his upbringing, but to invoke his father as the foundation of his architecture is simply to remain within the patriarchal structure of the architectural profession, rather than to clarify Mies's practice. Indeed, the only role of this gesture may be to give Mies the role of the father (no matter how horrific a father he was in his personal life). Not by chance, this tradition of architectural writing which is obsessed with origins is the same one that ends up speaking of the architect as a 'master.' You will remember the title of Peter Blake's book, The Master Builders, where he puts together the vision of Wright, Le Corbusier, and Mies. What is shocking is not so much that Blake could not find a more appropriate label in 1960, but the success of the label and its blind adoption by the presumably more enlightened critics and historians of the end of the twentieth century [and, we might add, the beginning of the twenty-first]."

Frank Lloyd Wright, "The Art and Craft of the Machine," 1901

Opening the essay, he contended: "[that] in the Machine lies the only future of art and craft--as I believe, a glorious future; that the Machine is, in fact, the metamorphosis of ancient art and craft; that we are at last face to face with the machine--the modern Sphinx--whose riddle the artist must solve if he would that art live--for [the machine's] nature holds the key."

Concluding, he proclaimed that: "the texture of the tissue of this great thing, this forerunner of Democracy, the Machine, has been deposited particle by particle, in blind obedience to organic law, the law to which the great solar universe is but an obedient machine. Thus is the thing into which the forces of Art are to breathe the thrill of ideality! A SOUL!"

Margaret Marsh, Suburban Lives, 1990: "[While the] design and function of the rooms [in the Victorian house] suggested not only a separation between family and outsiders, but also a good deal of internal family segregation, [by] the end of the century young husbands and wives would confirm their discontent with Victorian interiors by demanding new houses with open floor plans, or by remodeling the older Victorian interiors to conform to their new inclinations about family life. If middle-class domestic architecture produced in the second and third quarters of the nineteenth century encouraged separation, suburban houses in the early twentieth century almost compelled family togetherness. The new domestic ideal, centered firmly in the suburbs, represented family and community togetherness in the face of an urban society that promised individual achievement, anonymity, and excitement."