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Loving Frank

June 26, 2009

I read a fantastic book on the beach last year and through a natural course of events, it all comes full circle this summer. I love historical fiction novels and strangely, I find it hard to keep a consistent list of books to read once I finish the latest find. Last summer I read Loving Frank by Nancy Horan and was really satisfied; not always the case with my selections, I’m so picky! It tells the life story of the famous and infamous Frank Lloyd Wright, yet is told through the eyes of one of his mistresses, Mamah Borthwick Cheney. The story starts at the beginning of Frank’s career and the life with his young family. Eventually the story unfolds to reveal the stereotypical characteristics of a true genius and how he leaves his unmistakable mark on the American world of architecture. Through the pages I became more intrigued by his life and character and fascinated by his passion and style of art. The end left me wanting more, a clear sign of a great book and one worth recommeding.

Later that year I rented the Ken Burns documentary, Frank Lloyd Wright, which expanded upon what I was introduced to in the novel and made me wish I could live in one of his custom designed homes. The film inspired an idea to take a road trip through the United States, using the locations of all of Wright’s buildings and homes as our guide. I hope one day it happens!

I thought that movie was the end of my journey for the time being until I spotted an ad on the 4 express train to Grand Central Terminal. (See, traditional advertising isn’t dead!) The Guggenheim Museum, the last building designed by Wright, which he unfortunately did not get to see completed before he died in 1959 six months before the opening, is currently celebrating the it’s 50th Anniversary. The new exhibit, Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward, reveals 64 different projects including private residences, performance spaces and government buildings. The models, video and original drawings are openly placed among the curved interior hallways of the museum. I have yet to attend but it is on my calendar and I’ll be sure to share my experience afterwards. If you’d like a sneak peak, watch the video on the website.

The Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

The Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

So if anyone has any gripping historical fiction books to recommend I am always looking for suggestions! I have plenty of beach days to look forward to this summer with sadly nothing exciting on my list…

Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward

Guggenheim New York

May 15-August 23, 2009

1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street)

New York, NY 10128

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