Frank Lloyd Wright; A Biography

James Klebau (author photograph) New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. First Edition [stated]. Presumed first printing. Hardcover. xviii, 634, [2] pages. Front board has some weakness and has been restrengthened with glue. Complete and complex portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright, from boyhood, apprenticeship, marriages, and on to his later Bohemian style of life, and all his creations along the way. Meryle Secrest is an American biographer, primarily of American artists and art collectors. Secrest was born in Bath, England, and educated at the City of Bath Girls School, a city-run grammar school strong in the arts and Humanities. Her family emigrated to Canada, where she began her career as a journalist. She worked as women's editor for the Hamilton News in Ontario, Canada; shortly thereafter she was named "Most Promising Young Writer" by the Canadian Women's Press Club. After marrying an American in 1964, she began writing for The Washington Post, doing profile interviews of notable personalities from Leonard Bernstein to Anaïs Nin. In 1975, she left the Post to write books full-time. Since then she has written a number of biographies; her subjects have included Frank Lloyd Wright, Lord Duveen, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, Salvador Dalí, Kenneth Clark, Bernard Berenson, Romaine Brooks, Richard Rodgers, and Amedeo Modigliani. Her autobiography is entitled Shoot the Widow. Derived from a Kirkus review: Engrossing story of the Balzac-scaled life of the great architect. Wright (1867-1959) was born in Wisconsin to a Welsh family of radical thinkers and was nurtured to be an architect by his mother, who told him he was destined for greatness. He dropped out of the University of Wisconsin after two semesters to take a draftsman's job at $8.00 a week, and soon was working for the master architect Louis Sullivan (inventor of the skyscraper). Within a year, Wright had become chief designer at Adler and Sullivan and also had married the first of his three wives. In the next 30 years, he was to abandon his wife and six children, calling marriage a ``barnyard institution. I am a wild bird''; marry a morphine- addicted heiress and follower of Mary Baker Eddy who was killed by an axe-stroke to the brain by an insane servant; marry a Serbian beauty 30 years his junior who was an instructor for G.I. Gurdjieff; build his beloved house Taliesen (East) three times— it twice burned to the ground; time and again ingeniously raise prodigious sums of money and spend them in profligate excess; revive his career with the building of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo—the only major structure to remain undamaged in the largest earthquake of the century in 1923 in Japan; and go on to greater triumphs, culminating with the Guggenheim Museum in 1956. Secrest who had access to the newly opened archives at Wright's Memorial Foundation, does a superb job in telling the human side of Wright's story. And without allowing it to overmaster her narrative, she provides clear architectural background to explicate Wright's designs, stature, and influence. Definitive. Condition: Good / Very good.

Keywords: Frank Lloyd Wright, Architecture, Architects, Louis Sullivan, Fallingwater, Taliesin, Darwin Martin, Edgar Kaufmann, Usonian Houses

ISBN: 0394564367

[Book #86062]

Price: $42.50

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