Monday, November 07, 2005

Frank Lloyd Wright's Right-Hand Woman

Marion Mahony Griffin: Drawing the Form of Nature, an exhibition at Evanston's Block Museum, brings the work and career of Marion Mahony, the first woman to be licensed as an architect, out of the shadow of her collaborators Frank Lloyd Wright and Walter Burley Griffin. Read all about her remarkable career and rediscovered legacy here.


Anonymous said...

Dear Lynn Becker (or site administrator/author),

Thank you for the great article on Mary Mahoney on "Repeat," it was fascinating. I wanted to point out one minor unexpected statement that is in all likelihood an oversight on the author's part. Namely, ranking Mahoney as a superior to FL Wright is fully understandable, but ranking him above "European masters" such as "Adolph Loos" (it's actually Adolf Loos) is to suggest that somehow Loos was highly respected as a draftsman. He was not. He was VERY respected as an architect, and rightly so. His drawing skills, however, were minimal, because A) he failed out of the Technical University of Dresden after 1 semester, never completing any formal architectural education, and
B) he had Paul Engelmann, a close friend and architect, sign all the drawings for his designs (and even delineate many of them, as Mahoney did for Wright) so he could have an actual, registered architect submit his building designs to the City of Vienna for legal approval.

In short, Loos was no European master of delineation or rendering, even though he is certainly a very great European master of architecture and design. I write on Loos in my essay, "Adolf Loos and the Aphoristic Style: Rhetorical Practice in Early Twentieth-Century Design Criticism," in the journal Design Issues 16 (Summer 2000): 75-86, and have been fortunate to live and research in Vienna for some time.


John Maciuika

John Maciuika
Assistant Professor of Art and Architectural History
Baruch College of CUNY
Department of Fine and Performing Arts
55 Lexington Avenue (at 24th St.)
Box B7-235
New York, NY 10010-5585
T 646 312 4069

Anonymous said...

hi guys
you rock
votes for woman

Anonymous said...

There is a building on the campus of the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque) that was (is?) used for the ceramics and scuplture programs that is said to have been designed by the Griffins as they were passing through on their way to the west coast and on to Australia? Very distinctive and very much within the range of their stylistic apprach to Prairie architecture. Any additional information about this building?