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Frank Lloyd Wright denounced New York as an “unlivable prison,” but in the 1920s the city gave him a refuge from personal and creative troubles, provided key clients and commissions, and helped to resurrect his foundering career.
The massive, sprawling metropolis unlocked new creative energies and later served as a foil for Wright’s work in the desert and in promoting “organic architecture.” And at the end of his life, Wright spent many of his final years at the Plaza Hotel working on the Guggenheim.
Within this previously unknown history a major cultural contest occurs: the battle for what will become of the future for modern architecture in America. Will it be Art Deco, the International Style, or Wright’s vision of organic architecture? This struggle takes place while Wright—like countless others—experiences New York as a crucible to challenge and to define himself. Without New York Wright would not be the architect we know today.
Prize-winning author and leading Wright authority Anthony Alofsin discusses Wright’s complex relationship to New York City and confirms how the city continues to catalyze hopes and dreams. He is the author of Wright and New York: The Making of America’s Architect, Yale University Press, 2020.
This class takes place on Wednesday, March 10 from 7-8:10 pm ET.
This program will take place live online with an opportunity to interact with the instructor. Session will be recorded and made available for patrons for later viewing as well.
Purchase Wright and New York: The Making of America’s Architect.
Programs taking place online:An access link will be emailed to you after purchase.
Programs taking place in our NYC facilities:Please read our safety guidelines before visiting our building.
Programs taking place online and in our NYC facilities:Please select which experience you wish to participate in when registering. Online participants will be emailed an access link after purchase. In-person participants should read our safety guidelines before attending the program.
Anthony Alofsin is an architect and art historian, known internationally as an expert on Frank Lloyd Wright …
Anthony Alofsin is an architect and art historian, known internationally as an expert on Frank Lloyd Wright. His recent, critically acclaimed book, Wright and New York: The Making of America’s Architect, was a finalist in the PROSE awards for 2020. His first book, Frank Lloyd Wright: the Lost Years (1993), established the chronicle of the architect’s life and work in the teens and early 1920s. In addition to studies on Wright, his books cover subjects from the history of design education at Harvard to Central European Architecture to production housing in the suburbs. His review essays have appeared in Il Giornale d’Arte, Times Literary Supplement, Burlington Magazine, The New Criterion, and Casabella.
Alofsin has been elevated as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a three-time Fellow of the MacDowell Colony, a Fellow of the Bogliasco Foundation, and Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow at the National Gallery of Art, Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts. He was received numerous grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. He was awarded the Wright Spirit Award from the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy for his contributions to scholarship. He is the Roland Gommel Roessner Centennial Professor of Architecture Emeritus at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas where he taught for thirty-three years. He founded the school’s PhD program in architecture, chaired it history program, and was Director of the Center for American Architecture and Design from 1990-1993.
He is a graduate of Harvard College, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Columbia University where he received his PhD in Art History and Archaeology.