Explore different facets of Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright and the Kaufmann family in Fallingwater's Speyer Gallery, featuring an annual exhibition free to all Fallingwater visitors. Funded, in part, by the Speyer Family Trust, the Speyer Gallery is accessible in the Visitors Center and open during regular business hours.
Wright for Wright: The Experimental Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Homes
Today, Frank Lloyd Wright’s three personal homes are available as public sites and offer guided tours. Thousands of visitors annually continue to be inspired by the innovative nature of his homes. Wright continually revised each of his homes, updating them as more space was needed or to incorporate new ideas and materials. This year’s exhibition, Wright for Wright: The Experimental Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Homes, commemorates Wright's legacy in honor of the 150th anniversary of his birth.
Wright’s Oak Park home, completed in 1889, was a modest dwelling that grew to include a playroom for his six children. In 1898, a two-story drafting studio and library was added. The interplay of the home and studio’s geometry—triangle, square, octagon and semicircle—stood out from the more traditional Victorian houses in his suburban Oak Park neighbors.
Taliesin, designed in 1911 as a retreat from publicity for Wright and his mistress following the separations from their respective spouses, expanded to become an architectural studio and a working farm. In 1932, Taliesin became home to the Taliesin Fellowship, an architectural apprenticeship program. Those who joined the Fellowship built structures and additions for their own use, including spaces for sleeping, drafting, cooking, dining and performing. The Taliesin Fellowship soon began a pattern of migration to Arizona’s Sonoran Desert during winter.
In 1937, construction began on Taliesin West at the foot of the McDowell Mountains northeast of Phoenix. Fellows based their earliest structures on temporary wood and canvas camp buildings Wright had designed for a project in the late 1920s. They were soon erecting monolithic walls of “desert masonry,” combining concrete with locally-sourced boulders that are considered among Wright’s most modern, yet basic, inventions.
In addition to materials from the Fallingwater archive, exhibition checklist items were provided by the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust; the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York); the Estate of Pedro Guerrero; the Library of Congress; the Ryerson and Burnham Archives of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Huntington Library; the Wisconsin Historical Society; and Andrew Pielage Photography.