architect/artist: Frank Lloyd Wright
interview title:Frank Lloyd Wright: the Mike Wallace Interview
interviews compilation no: T-61,V-14
interview format: Text, Video
date: 9/01/57 and 9/28/57
appeared in: PBS and Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
interviewer: Mike Wallace
(click the "read more" below)
This interview was recorded in two parts. Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the greatest architects of the 20th century, talks to Wallace about religion, war, mercy killing, art, critics, his mile-high skyscraper, America's youth, sex, morality, politics, nature, and death.
For more than 70 years, Frank Lloyd Wright showed his countrymen new ways to build their homes and see the world around them. He created some of the most monumental, and some of the most intimate spaces in America. He designed everything: banks and resorts, office buildings and churches, a filling station and a synagogue, a beer garden and an art museum. From his first house to his final masterpiece, follow Frank Lloyd Wright’s extraordinary career, his life, and 20th century American architecture.
MW: What do you think of these people who either don’t understand or don’t care?
FLW: I don’t think they matter, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t think they’re for me and why should I be for them?
On The Common Man
MW: I understand that last week, in all seriousness, you said: “If I had another 15 years to work, I could rebuild this entire country. I could change the nation.”
Flw: I did say it and it’s true. Having had now the experience building (going on) 769 buildings, it’s quite easy for me to shake them out of my sleeve. It’s amazing what I could do for this country.
On Calling Himself The World’s Greatest Architect
FLW: I’ve been accused of saying I was was the greatest architect in the world and if I had said so, I don’t think it would be very arrogant, because I don’t believe there are many [great architects]—if any. For 500 years what we call architecture has been phony.
On Marilyn Monroe As An Example Of Architecture
FLW: I think Ms. Monroe as architecture is extremely good architecture.
On St. Patrick’s Cathedral
MW: You feel nothing when you go into St. Patrick’s?
FLW: Regret...because it isn’t the thing that really represents the spirit of independence and the sovereignty of the individual which I feel should be represented in our edifices devoted to culture.
MW: When you go out into a big forest with towering pines and [experience] almost a feeling of awe that frequently you do get in the presence of nature...do you not feel insignificant? Do you not feel small?
FLW: On the contrary, I feel large. I feel enlarged and encouraged. Intensified. More powerful.
On Growing Old
MW: Do you think that you are any less rebellious—less of a radical—in your art and life than you were a quarter-century ago?
FLW: Rather more so...only more quiet about it.
On Organic Architecture
FLW: I would like to have a free architecture. Architecture that belonged where you see it standing—and is a grace to the landscape instead of a disgrace.
On Being Called An Intellectual
FLW: I don’t like intellectuals...They are from the top down, not from the ground up. I’ve always thought of myself—of what I represented—as from the ground up.
Mike Wallace’s interviews with Frank Lloyd Wright
have been re-released by Archetype Associates.
To order, please call (212)777-9080.
to watch the video please click HERE or HERE
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