Lectures

Each summer, the Fallingwater Lecture Series examines a variety of topics related to Fallingwater, Wright’s ideas and influence and the history of the Kaufmann family. 

In recognition and commemoration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th anniversary of his birth and Wright’s remarkable contribution to domestic design, Fallingwater presents a series of lectures that focus on Wright’s homes and philosophy of organic architecture as sources of inspiration. Visitors will learn more about the homes Wright designed for himself and how he used each to explore new ideas that would inform his other works. And, visitors will have the opportunity to obtain a deeper understanding of the union of art and nature.

Our summer lecture series takes place on Thursdays (see schedule below) at 2:00 p.m. in the Hillman Education Pavilion. Attend one of these lectures before or after your tour for just an additional $5. Friends of Fallingwater members may attend any of the lectures for free. Please contact Visitor Services at 724-329-8501 to register.

“What Is Organic Architecture, Anyway?”

June 15, July 20, August 17

Drawing inspiration from nature, Frank Lloyd Wright developed a philosophy of “organic architecture” that informed his design process, from buildings to the complete interior. Yet Wright was not alone in this endeavor, with other architects also using organic analogies to describe their own work. This lecture by Lynda Waggoner will discuss Wright’s definition or organic architecture, placing it within twentieth-century architectural history and exploring how it has defined his legacy.

Playing with Architecture: The Froebel Gifts and Frank Lloyd Wright

June 22, August 3, August 31

In his 1932 autobiography, Frank Lloyd Wright recalled his playing with wooden blocks as a boy, as part of the educational training developed by German educator Friedrich Froebel in the 1830s. Wright drew upon Froebel’s “gifts” later, when incorporating patternmaking, geometry, and color theory into his architecture. This lecture by Ashley Andrykovitch explores the impact of Froebel gifts on Wright as an architect and the ways in which his designs reflected their principles.

A Total Work of Art: The Interiors of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Homes

July 6, August 24

Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings were thought to be designed “from within outward.” Creating a unified whole, Wright’s architectural designs were often part of a larger program that included furnishings, tabletop objects, textiles, and art glass. Scott Perkins will explore the evolution of a Wrightian interior and how it changed over time to reflect shifts in the architect’s interests in non-Western cultures, technology, social norms, and ways of living and working.

Living, Working, Experimenting: The Homes of Frank Lloyd Wright

August 10

Frank Lloyd Wright’s three designs for his personal living and working space are among his most experimental. As biographical representations of his life and a career as designer, teacher, and businessman, Wright’s Home and Studio, Taliesin, and Taliesin West represent evolving approaches to his philosophy of organic architecture. Their building materials, interior space planning, and finishes set the tone for modern American architecture and design in the twentieth century. Lecture by Scott Perkins.