FALLINGWATER: A Book celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Beloved Masterwork Print
Thursday, 26 May 2011 08:06

Fallingwater

FALLINGWATER


Edited by Lynda Waggoner
Photographed by Christopher Little
Essays by David G. De Long, Rick Darke, Justin Gunther, Neil Levine, John Reynolds, and Robert Silman
In Association with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Rizzoli / HC w/jacket / 328 pages / 11” x 11”
250 color and b&w illustrations



Arguably the greatest residential work of Architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterwork is celebrating its seventy-fifth anniversary. Conceptualized by Wright for the Kaufmann family back in 1935, this weekend getaway, built over a waterfall, is the perfect synergy between nature and architecture.

“The union of powerful art and powerful nature into something beyond the sum of their separate powers deserves to be kept living.”— Edgar Kaufmann jr.

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This new book commemorates the event through essays, comments, photographs and illustrations. Author Lynda Waggoner is Fallingwater’s Director and Vice President of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy that owns and preserves the villa. She has observed and participated in the house’s evolution since landing a summer job at the site over forty years ago as a high school student. Through the years Ms Wagonner strived to preserve the house and its site and defines as her most challenging task as “the preservation of the spirit of the place.” She also supervised the restoration of Fallingwater and the strengthening of its failing cantilevers.

Why another book? The author argues that there is still much about the residence to be learned. The book wants the reader to live the Fallingwater experience. While a good portion of the book feels like a guided tour with photographs and descriptive comments, it also includes essays on the history, structure, restoration, and collections, including the house’s relationship to its setting and its importance to the sustainability movement. We particularly appreciated an interesting essay from Neil Levine, a History of Art and Architecture Professor, who describes the perceptual attributes of the house, its relationship with our senses, nature, and time.

Photographer Christopher Little had already worked 25 years ago on Edgar Kaufmann jr’s Fallingwater (1986). Here, he documents the project inside and out giving the reader a comprehensive visit of the house. The lens reflects what can be seen by the naked eye and avoids artificially enhanced dramatic shots.

We appreciated the book for going beyond the systematic visual survey of the project and its surroundings. It reflects the importance of Fallingwater as a cultural icon, covering multiple facets of the celebrated house. The historical background is well developed, documenting the owner’s life and how they came to embrace of Frank Lloyd Wright’s concept. Wright’s organic vision gets explained through his writings then analyzed by the authors. Finally, the book brings to the foreground the emotional experience that a visitor can extract from visiting this exceptional place.


Last Updated on Monday, 30 May 2011 15:30