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Saving Places: The Women who loved and Worked for FLW
Carson Bear | March 29, 2018

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Where Does Frank Lloyd Wright's Genius Come From

From Issue No. 267 | April 1, 2018

Martha Mamah Borthwick

Frank Lloyd Wright, widely considered one of the greatest modern architects, was as known for his temper, narcissism, and dramatic personal life as he was for his innovative designs.

Yet traditionally when history has looked back on him, Wright’s genius is often perceived as an innate, immutable quality outside the influence of others, as if he—along with other perceived male geniuses—stood in the annals of history alone.

Historians have recently begun to examine famous men’s relationships to others more deeply. This redefinition of history focuses less on innate talent, but instead on the emotional support, inspiration, and labor provided by those closest to them. And the redefinition argues that, had it not been for their relationships, these men would likely never have succeeded in honing and implementing their craft to an international audience.

Much of this work has focused on women, whose close relationships to famous men are often hidden in plain sight. Rather than viewing women as passive muses whose beauty alone was a source of inspiration, historians have sought to more fully understand the active roles of these women in men’s lives.

 Wright is no exception. His work was largely supported by his fellow architects, designers, and artisans, over 100 of whom were women; his familial and often romantic relationships with women; and his female patrons.
Editors Notes: The video in the article is really worth a look, it has information on 100 women apprentices. Now women make up more than half of architectural graduates, but the profession still loses many from practice.
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