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Becoming Frank Lloyd Wright

Daytime Program

Noon Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1NV027
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Frank Lloyd Wright


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.

In a richly illustrated program, Bill Keene delves into the backstory and lesser-known aspects of the life and career of one of the most famous of American architects. He traces the importance of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Welsh heritage, his unsettled family life, and his developing love of nature during his formative years in rural Wisconsin. The ups and downs of both his personal and professional life, from the 1890s through the 1950s, form the heart of the story, as Keene details Wright’s struggles through marriages, affairs, scandals, murders, and tragedies that had their impact on his outlook and his career. 

He examines how Wright’s work reflects a view of nature derived from Emerson, Whitman, and other philosophers, along with influences from Louis Sullivan, European architects, and the art and architecture of Japan. Keene also discusses the arc of Wright’s fame—and his role in molding it—and how Frank Lloyd Wright became big business.

Keene is a lecturer in history, urban studies, and architecture.

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