Suggested Reading List
The Fabulous Lunts: A Biography of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne
Author: Jared Brown
Description: For 40 years, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne were the most acclaimed stage actors in America. From 1928 (six years after their marriage) until their retirement in 1960, they appeared only together most notably in drawing-room comedies perfecting the subtle team playing that became their hallmark. In this comprehensive biography, Brown, theater professor at Western Illinois University, meticulously documents the couple's lives. Describing the perishable art of stage performance (the Lunts made few film or TV appearances) is difficult, but Brown succeeds in explicating the couple's nuanced technique. Though generally adulatory, the author criticizes the Lunts' increasingly "unadventurous" taste in their later years, when they appeared in plays that were little more than star vehicles. Dedicated to their craft, the team rehearsed long hours even after performing a play hundreds of times; their perfectionism continues to inspire theater people.
Author: Philip Jodidio
Description: Santiago Calatrava is not only one of the world's most prominent architects, but also an engineer and an artist. With recent projects such as the stadiums for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens or the new railway station in Liege, Belgium, he has reached a level of undeniable notoriety in Europe and continues to move further ahead. The only architect ever to have his work exhibited at both the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, he is currently working on the main transportation hub for Ground Zero in Manhattan as well as the tallest building in the United States: the 160-story Chicago Spire Tower. His first commission in the United States is the addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Frank Lloyd Wright: An Autobriography
Author: Frank Lloyd Wright
Description: Frank Lloyd Wright exerted perhaps the greatest influence on twentieth century design. In a volume that continues to resonate more than seventy years after its initial publication, Frank Lloyd Wright: An Autobiography contains the master architect's own account of his work, his philosophy, and his personal life, written with his signature wit and charm. Wright (1867-1959) went into seclusion in a Minnesota cabin to reflect and to record his life experiences. In 1932, the first edition of the Autobiography was published. It became a form of advertising, leading many readers to seek out the master architect--thirty apprentices came to live and learn at Taliesin, Wright's Wisconsin home/school/studio, under the master's tutelage. (By 1938, Taliesin West, in Arizona, was the winter location for Wright's school.) The volume is divided into five sections devoted to family, fellowship, work, freedom, and form. Wright recalls his childhood, his apprenticeship with Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan, the turmoil of his personal life, and the background to his greatest achievements, including Hollyhock House, the Prairie and the Usonian Houses, and the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.
Author: Nancy Horan
Description: Horan's ambitious first novel is a fictionalization of the life of Mamah Borthwick Cheney, best known as the woman who wrecked Frank Lloyd Wright's first marriage. Despite the title, this is not a romance, but a portrayal of an independent, educated woman at odds with the restrictions of the early 20th century. Frank and Mamah, both married and with children, met when Mamah's husband, Edwin, commissioned Frank to design a house. Their affair became the stuff of headlines when they left their families to live and travel together, going first to Germany, where Mamah found rewarding work doing scholarly translations of Swedish feminist Ellen Key's books. Frank and Mamah eventually settled in Wisconsin, where they were hounded by a scandal-hungry press, with tragic repercussions. Horan puts considerable effort into recreating Frank's vibrant, overwhelming personality, but her primary interest is in Mamah, who pursued her intellectual interests and love for Frank at great personal cost. As is often the case when a life story is novelized, historical fact inconveniently intrudes: Mamah's life is cut short in the most unexpected and violent of ways, leaving the narrative to crawl toward a startlingly quiet conclusion. Nevertheless, this spirited novel brings Mamah the attention she deserves as an intellectual and feminist.
The Fellowship: The Untold Story of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Fellowship
Author: Roger Friedland and Harold Zellman
Description: Frank Lloyd Wright was renowned during his life not only as an architectural genius but also as a subject of controversy—from his radical design innovations to his turbulent private life, including a notorious mass murder that occurred at his Wisconsin estate, Taliesin, in 1914. But the estate also gave rise to one of the most fascinating and provocative experiments in American cultural history: the Taliesin Fellowship, an extraordinary architectural colony where Wright trained hundreds of devoted apprentices and where all of his late masterpieces—Fallingwater, Johnson Wax, the Guggenheim Museum—were born. Drawing on hundreds of new and unpublished interviews and countless unseen documents from the Wright archives, The Fellowship is an unforgettable story of genius and ego, sex and violence, mysticism and utopianism. Epic in scope yet intimate in its detail, it is a stunning true account of how an idealistic community devolved into a kind of fiefdom where young apprentices were both inspired and manipulated, often at a staggering personal cost, by the architect and his imperious wife, Olgivanna Hinzenberg, along with her spiritual master, the legendary Greek-Armenian mystic Georgi Gurdjieff. A magisterial work of biography, it will forever change how we think about Frank Lloyd Wright and his world.