Frank Lloyd Wright: The Lost Years, 1910-1922 uncovers the real story of Wright's travels in Europe. By examining this elusive and influential period in Wright's development, Alofsin restores an important chapter to the history of modern architecture. Bringing new definition and insight to the story of Frank Lloyd Wright, this book has become a standard work on America's greatest architect.
"Alofsin has set out to explain the impact of European culture on Wright by integrating its artistic influence with the tumultuous events in his private life. . . . [He] succeeds in this ambitious goal."—Kevin Nute, Architects' Journal
"A convincing and well-documented case that these were in fact crucial and fruitful years in Wright's development as an architect. . . . Absorbing."—Catherine Maclay, San Jose Mercury News
"One of the best."—Robert Fulford, Toronto Globe and Mail
In When Buildings Speak,Anthony Alofsin explores the rich yet often overlooked architecture of the late Austro-Hungarian Empire and its successor states. He shows that several different styles emerged in this milieu during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Moreover, he contends that each of these styles communicates to us in a manner resembling language and its particular means of expression.
Covering a wide range of buildings—from national theaters to crematoria, apartment buildings to warehouses, and sanatoria to postal savings banks—Alofsin proposes a new way of interpreting this language. He calls on viewers to read buildings in two ways: through their formal elements and through their political, social, and cultural contexts. By looking through Alofsin’s eyes, readers can see how myriad nations sought to express their autonomy by tapping into the limitless possibilities of art and architectural styles. And such architecture can still speak very powerfully to us today about the contradictory issues affecting parts of the former Habsburg Empire.
“The book itself as a production is spectacular.”—David Dunster, Architectural Review