Taliesin West School of Architecture

Arizona, USA
1937 > present

The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture was formally launched in 1932 when twenty-three apprentices came to live and learn at Taliesin. The sources of this educational philosophy have roots that date back well beyond the 30s.

In 1931, Frank and Olgivanna Lloyd Wright circulated a statement to an international group of  distinguished scholars, artists, and friends, announcing their plan to form a school at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin to "learn by doing." The instruction at Taliesin integrates painting programs, sculpture, music, theater and dance "as essential aspects of architecture."

Each of these elements of the fine arts is part of a broader education: "The Dramatic Arts would have studied with the essential structure of all great literature, "while" Music is the study of sound and rhythm as an emotional reaction to the character of nature." Students, or "apprentices", complete their education in the spirit of Tolstoy's "What to do”: "The whole power work and cooking for the student body as much as possible should be done by itself. . . work in the gardens, fields, laundry, kitchen, cleaning ... all you need to be responsible in turn among students according to a plan in which all do their part."

At first, Frank Lloyd Wright had few commissions through which to teach apprentices and put them to work in the construction, operation, and maintenance of the school. Apprentices extract the stone and sift the sand from the Wisconsin River adjacent to make mortar. They cut the trees and sawing them into lumber, and along with the brick, build the largest study, now in the National Register of Historic Places, which still serves as the learning center on campus and spring as an active architectural firm.

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The Public School

The Public School