On the week of what would be the 150th birthday of iconic architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Museum of Modern Art has debuted an exhibit “Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archives.”
The show will highlight the prolific (400 of his works still stand) creative’s designs, 60 years of drawings, building fragments, textiles and TV clips. It may also provide a cold, hard look into the life of the man that MoMA curator Barry Gergdoll describes as “both a social progressive and incredible curmudgeon.”
So why the harsh words? Apparently Mr. Wright, in many ways was Mr. Wrong. The bad boy of design was reported to be quite a scoundrel. Although (mostly) revered for his work, his personal life was far more chaotic. Ever the ladies man — women certainly do love a bad boy — he left his young wife and six kids for a client’s wife. Through the course of his tumultuous life, he wed several more times, once to a woman 32 years his junior, teaming up with her to run a scam when he squandered away his own money.
And while his design was certainly creative in theory, in execution it sometimes lacked — and he didn’t seem to give a damn. When someone complained about one of Wright’s buildings leaking — allowing water to drip on his desk — the unsympathetic Wright simply told him to move the desk.
Quoted as saying shockingly racially insensitive things, he was also brutal to rivals. He once called the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill “Skiddings, Own-More and Sterile,” and suggested Le Corbusier make paintings, not buildings.
Also, a reported narcissist, he declared himself “the world’s greatest living architect.”
The more things change, the more they stay the same it seems. Lacking empathy, narcissistic, regarded as a liar, and having three wives, Wright certainly sounds like someone else famous for buildings who is prominently featured in the news lately…[NYP]