The Taliesin Institute, a program created by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to educate future architects, designers and thought leaders on the principles of organic architecture and its relevance to modern challenges, has transformed into a commanding presence within the educational world with a diverse range of programs that preserve Wright’s legacy for generations to come.
Since its inception in January 2022, the Taliesin Institute has collaborated with esteemed institutions, welcoming more than 375 students and scholars from across the country and around the world to study at the two Taliesin properties: Taliesin in Spring Green, WI, and Taliesin West in Scottsdale. Notable partners include the University of Pennsylvania, University of Arizona, University of Chicago, University of Geneva (Switzerland), Yale University and University of Oklahoma, among others.
“The Taliesin Institute has provided an avenue for us to not only share Wright’s ideas on a global scale, but to also create a diverse community of learners dedicated to exploring the intricate relationships between architecture, ourselves and our society,” said Stuart Graff, president and CEO of the Foundation. “Through these programs and partnerships, these spaces at Taliesin and Taliesin West are being utilized as vessels for innovation, creation and immersive education by students, scholars, professionals and lifelong learners, just as Wright had intended when he created the Taliesin Fellowship in 1932.”
At the core of the Taliesin Institute’s offerings are its college and university programs, which provide a transformative experience as students receive real-world exposure through lectures, panel discussions, presentations, customized programs and onsite research. Hands-on work is integrated into the curriculum, which aligns with Wright’s philosophy of learning by doing, with program offerings such as history of architecture courses, design competitions, scholars in residence, students in residence, design studio programs and more.
The Taliesin Institute offers scholars, students, institutions and professional organizations access to scholarly resources for educational and professional research, including collections, guest speakers, a comprehensive library, publications and webinars.
“The Taliesin Institute’s impact extends far beyond the physical campuses of Taliesin and Taliesin West,” said Jennifer Gray, Ph.D., vice president and director of the Taliesin Institute, a noted Wright scholar, architectural historian and curator. “Our goal is to serve as a beacon of inspiration for the next generation of leading architects, designers and creatives utilizing Wright’s teachings as a foundation for contemporary practice. His philosophies are just as invaluable today as they were in his time, and we can leverage these ideas to address current challenges, including sustainability, inequality, affordable housing and more.”
To further engage architecture enthusiasts and the general public in Wright’s work and influential ideas, the Taliesin Institute has planned upcoming exhibitions, as well as a number of lifelong learning programs. The upcoming exhibition in Japan, “Wright’s Imperial Hotel at 100: Frank Lloyd Wright and the World,” celebrates the 100-year anniversary of the Imperial Hotel’s completion in 1923, which established Wright as one of the world’s first global architects. Future lifelong learning programs include online classes such as “Frank Lloyd Wright and the Emergence of Modern Architecture” and “Everywhere or Nowhere: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City,” a three-part lecture series titled “Frank Lloyd Wright and Japan” and more. Other programs are in development and will be released throughout the year.
The historic B. Harley Bradley House will be holding the second annual Wright at Twilight event, hosted by Wright in Kankakee, IL.
The event returns from 5-8 p.m. Sept. 7 to the grounds of the Frank Lloyd Wright house, 701 S. Harrison Ave., Kankakee. Several local musicians will take the outdoor stage during the night, including Jerry Downs at 5 p.m.; Shelby Ryan at 6 p.m.; and Lupe Carroll at 7 p.m.
The Kankakee Quilters and Friends will be inside the house to showcase their quilts and answer questions about the art of quilting. Mi Casa’s food truck and Oberweiss Ice Cream will be on site for food sales.
The gift shop on the property has new merchandise and will be open all evening.
Tickets cost $10, and ticket holders receive two tokens that can be used for glasses of wine or bottled water.
This Summer, TSOA conducted its second Summer Immersion Program based out of IIT's Crown Hall in Chicago, IL. Over the course of four weeks, students developed a Bronzeville-sited Library Kiosk and Cafe studio project in dialogue with the City of Chicago's Invest South/West Initiative, visited dozens of significant architectural sites (including many privately-owned Frank Lloyd Wright houses), enjoyed a 3-day excursion to the school's origins in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and even made a trip to Fallingwater near Pittsburgh, PA.
Follow the link to get a sense of the program and its experiences offered Immersion students by reading Mariah Hoffman's (M.Arch III, '25) recap of the summer of fun, work, and architectural learning had in Chicago and nearby Midwestern locales.
Two artistic family dynasties will be forever linked at the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture (MAHMA). MAHMA’s intimate, serene setting either under the stars or inside its glorious great room is the venue for world-class music performances, dance, and visual arts in Malibu, CA.
MAHMA was commissioned by philanthropist Martha Montgomery, a former actress and Goldwyn Girl, who was married to nine-time Academy Award-winning composer Alfred Newman. Their daughter Maria Newman, also an award-winning composer, along with her cousins and uncles, is an artist in residence.
Newman’s husband Scott Hosfeld, the founding conductor/music director of the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra, and their five children call MAHMA home.
That home was designed by longtime Malibu resident Eric Lloyd Wright who like his father and grandfather Frank Lloyd Wright were legendary American architects. Eric passed away in March at age 93.
“Eric Lloyd Wright is inextricably connected to the Newman family from generations ago,” Newman explained. “Eric’s father, Frank Lloyd Wright Jr., who went by Lloyd Wright, built my parents’ house in Pacific Palisades.” Lloyd then built a house on Busch Drive where the Newmans had property “that was very inexpensive to buy in the 1940s.”
“When my mother was coming to her twilight years she decided to subdivide the property and she engaged Eric Lloyd Wright to design the houses,” Newman said. “What was important to Eric was that he build something that was respectful of the land and environment, the birds, the sky, and of course the ocean. Everything he could do to make it as organic as possible and that included music-making in the house. He developed acute angles, obtuse angles that would represent music visually and would make a warm and beautiful sound so that music could be presented here in Malibu.”
The gorgeous craftsman style home built with river rock and wood was completed in 2001.
Newman’s husband, conductor and violist Hosfeld added, “Eric often spoke at our home at concerts and events and would explain the architecture. It struck me that the architects at Taliesin were trained in all of the arts. Every morning they would sing together as part of their training. So, music was part of his life in a very strong way. Eric often referred to architecture as frozen music. You can see that in the structure of the house and definitely in the way it resonates when music is performed here because that was definitely the intent.”
Daughter Isabella Thatcher said, “My experience with Eric is that we would not have Montgomery Arts House of Music and Architecture without him. Architecture is him. He is this house. We want to honor his tremendous contribution.”
At the Malibu Coast Music Festival, which begins Aug. 26, Thatcher will sing the “In Paradisum” movement to Fauré’s “Requiem” to honor Wright’s memory. The festival, which runs through Sept. 3, is dedicated to the life and work of the architect in celebration of his memory.
“The idea is that we would recognize Eric in the music that we program, that he loved, and with new music and music by Newman composers — Alfred Newman, Randy Newman, even myself, Maria Newman — because his contribution to this house and to other structures in which we’ve played music has been hugely inspirational,” Newman said. “Eric is mentioned on every program here as a featured artist even though he’s not here in person.
“It’s an amazing gift to have the opportunity and the experience of playing in this warm and inviting place for people to come listen to music, view the artwork and architecture of interest to our family, and have conversation.”
The key, according to Newman, is that Eric Lloyd Wright is present in spirit.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's SAVEWRIGHT: Notable Women Homeowners Project tells the stories of the remarkable women who have stewarded Wright’s houses. The project traverses the years from the early 20th century to the present, creating a wonderful interconnectedness of women’s history and architecture.
Project participant Marsha Shyer was kind enough to let us know that 4 more articles were recently released on the FLWBC's SaveWright website. She adds:
"This has been a fascinating project to work on! Highlighting homeowners, both current and historic, and their relationships to their homes has not been well explored. Often, with the historic, I see that there is a lot more subtlety and accommodation in Wright's behavior with his clients than his image might suggest. The current owner articles are also fun, interesting, and pertinent. I especially love the article about Homeowner Samantha Lotti and her reasons for trying to make Balch House net zero (Hint: it has to do with a farm in Italy)! It's great reading for Wright fans."