The World Frank Lloyd Wright Didn't Build

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Broadacre City, project created by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1934–35 (The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York))

A new exhibit shows one of the most famous American architect's love-hate relationship with cities.

"Frank Lloyd Wright and the city: Density versus Dispersal" is at the Museum of Modern Art.

It features drawings, films and architectural models that highlight Wright's passion for suburban sprawl, but also for radical skyscrapers. All but two of them were actually built.

One of the highlights is a model of Wright's manifesto project from 1934-35 called "Broadacre City." The 12-foot-by-12-foot plan envisions a place that has skyscrapers and small factories next to farmland.

Lee Rosenbaum writes about art and architecture for the Wall Street Journal and has a blog on Arts Journal. In this interview, she said even the curators of the show were surprised to learn "Broadacre City" was not constructed by Wright all at once.

"When they started conserving it, when this came to MoMA, they realized that this had been worked on for many years. It was almost like a laboratory for him, to try to work out some of his ideas."

She said the exhibit is also beautiful to look at, because it presents interesting designs. "Very delicate, almost iridescently-colored, luminous, sometimes sort of vaporous drawings of complex geometries that Wright concocted for his buildings," she said.


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Comments [1]

Lee Rosenbaum

For more of my commentary on ths show, plus images of what I mentioned on WNYC, go here:

Feb. 02 2014 05:05 PM

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