Previous Lectures

Creating a Usonian Dream

Presented by Linda Eales, Curator, John and Catherine Christian house
Recorded Tuesday September 15, 2020

Curator Linda Eales will present on the John and Catherine Christian house, named Samara by Frank Lloyd Wright. With the permission of Wright, the Christians developed their home over a 60 year period while they lived in the home.

The Misunderstood Wright: Modernism and Traditionalism
Presented by Kenneth C. Dahlin, PhD, AIA, NCARB
Recorded on Thursday, August 20, 2020

We know Wright was the father of modernism and a modernist — don’t we? After battling Greek Revival and Victorian architecture in his early development of the Prairie Style, Wright very quickly pivoted and criticized the European Modernists such as LeCorbusier and Mies van der Rohe, who had been influenced by his work.  What caused this reversal? Was it simply to be attributed to Wright’s ego and need to be at the cutting edge of architectural fashion? Or is there more to it than that? This lecture will explore this issue and the answers will help us better understand the nature of organic architecture. More than that, it will help us understand the modern architecture of our day in light of Wright’s principles.

The Belief in a Thing Makes It Happen:  The Monona Terrace Story

Presented by Heather Sabin, Tourism Coordinator, Monona Terrace

Recorded on Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Sabin shares the story of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Monona Terrace, a dream civic center project for his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin.  The project became mired in political battles that polarized Madison for almost 60 years.  Wright’s “long-awaited wedding between the city and beautiful Lake Monona” was finally realized when Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center opened in 1997.

Watch the Lecture here:

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Penwern: A Summer Estate
Presented by Mark Hertzberg

Frank Lloyd Wright is best known for his urban and suburban houses. Lesser known are the more than 40 summer “cottages” he designed in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ontario. Many of the early summer cottages have a rustic feel and are not as easily recognized as Wright’s prolific year-round domestic designs. The summer homes he designed include five residences on Delavan Lake, Wisconsin between 1900-1905. The most spectacular is Penwern, an estate with four buildings, designed for Chicago industrialist Fred B. Jones. The coda of its long-term restoration by Sue and John Major, who became stewards of Penwern in 1994, was achieved this spring when the original greenhouse was recreated.

The Majors commissioned Mark Hertzberg of Racine to chronicle Penwern’s and Jones’s story in 2013. His book “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Penwern: A Summer Estate” was published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press in June 2019. It is his fourth book about Wright’s work in southeastern Wisconsin. Hertzberg was honored with a Wright Spirit Award by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy in October.

Watch the Lecture here:


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