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ART: Terry Teachout has a great post on About Last Night on Frank Lloyd Wright in general and his visit to Fallingwater in particular.

I've never seen Fallingwater in person, unfortunately for me, but I have studied quite a few pictures of it (I recommend the book Frank Lloyd Wright: A Visual Encyclopedia if you want pictures of his work) and I cannot think it would be anything but completely inspiring to live in that house. Most people come home from work, go inside and watch TV, eat dinner, whatever, without really giving any thought to their home itself. Living in a house like Fallingwater (or any Wright house really) you can't help but take notice of your home and be uplifted by it. It's not just a place to keep your stuff, to take a line from George Carlin, it's an experience and helps you appreciate your life. I feel badly for people who don't understand architecture, who can't see what the difference between coming home to a standard tract house and a place of form and beauty would be. Your home should be a place you want to be, not just a place to keep stuff and sleep.

A lot of people make a big deal out of the "problems" with Wright's houses; you can't hang art on the walls, his furniture is sometimes hard to sit in, etc. These people are missing the point, I think. Nobody complains about a painter using unwieldy canvas sizes or strange color combinations because it's hard to fit with your house. If you don't like how a piece of art would fit in your house, it's not for you. Find something else. If you want to hang a bunch of pictures on your walls and want to ignore the line of the wall and the form of the house as the architect intended it, don't live in a Wright house. There are plenty of other beautiful houses with acres of blank wall space to fill up with art. Yes, Frank Lloyd Wright was an egomaniac who wanted things his way or else. Yes, some of his homes have structural problems (he was a pioneer of the cantilever and overestimated it's weight-bearing abilities) but you'd be hard pressed to find any home from 50+ years ago that doesn't have problems, especially ones utilizing new techniques and materials. That doesn't detract from the work. "Read the book you are reading" to quote a recent Believer article. No one's forcing anyone else to love Wright's work, no matter how much wannabe intelligencia-martyrs protest otherwise. If you don't like it, find something you do like.

I, for one, count it among my goals in life to at least visit as many Frank Lloyd Wright buildings as I can. My visit to Taliesin West was one of the most profoundly moving events of my life, probably the closest thing I've had to a religious experience. Taliesin West is not even the most beautiful thing Wright ever built but it's absolutely breathtaking. The Robie House, Hollyhock House, the Unitarian Temple, I cannot understand how someone could not be moved by those buildings.