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Frank Lloyd Wright

Guggenheim Museum New York Stained Glass Window by Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright, born in 1867, was one of the most original and influential American architects of the 20th century. He designed about 800 buildings, many of those houses. Frank Lloyd Wright was familiar with the plains of the Midwest — there are many homes in our area that were influenced by his 'Prairie style' architecture. He believed that buildings should fit into its natural surroundings.

Lloyd Wright designed the Guggenheim Museum in New York, built to house a collection of abstract art. The Museum opened shortly after his death in 1959, and though the building was initially not liked by all, it is still recognized as one of the most interesting examples of modern architecture.

The Stained Glass windows were designed for a kindergarten. Although Lloyd Wright used natural shapes as inspiration for stained glass designs, and more neutral colors, this design was made with geometric designs and primary colors, appropriate for their location.

Questions to Ask

What does the Guggenheim Museum building remind you of? What shape is it? Hint — snail shell, spiral. Show the students the additional photos in the resources binder.

Do you like this building? Discuss.

Do you think this building is practical? Discuss.

How does this building differ from his other designs? (Project other images from the Internet)

Do you think the building design is appropriate for its purpose?

Where do you usually see stained glass? Have you ever seen a stained glass window? Hint — church, lamps.

How does this stained glass window differ from the ones you see in religious buildings? Hint — geometric shapes.

What is the purpose of a stained glass window? Do you feel that this stained glass window design is appropriate for its location?

Where would you like a stained glass window in your home?

Activities for the Classroom

Additional resource: Metropolitan Museum

Easy stained glass window: Provide each student with half a sheet of paper. Have them draw a basic Frank Lloyd Wright inspired stained glass design in crayon, using geometric shapes and primary colors. Leave a half inch border all around the design. Outline the design in black. Using a cotton ball, rub the back of the paper with baby oil. Hang in a sunny window.

Have each student design a building of their choice, using a pencil. Alternatively, divide the class into groups and assign a building to each group. Examples would be: A movie theater, a toy store, an elementary school, a garden shed. Motivate them to try something different in their designs, while still keeping the purpose in mind. Have them select one design per group to present to the class.

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