An Album from Frank Lloyd Wright's Photographer
Pedro E. Guerrero; foreword by Martin Filler; afterword by Dixie Legler Guerrero
No photographer during renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s lifetime was granted as much personal and professional access as his official photographer, Pedro E. Guerrero, who spent 20 years shooting Wright’s work, his homes and many key moments in his life.
Picturing Wright: An Album from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Photographer provides an illuminating portrait of Wright from the day of Guerrero’s serendipitous hiring in 1939 until his last assignment just before the architect’s 1959 death, a particularly momentous time in Wright’s career. Guerrero captured Wright at Taliesin West in Arizona, at Taliesin in Wisconsin and later at “Taliesin East”—his personally remodeled suite at New York’s Plaza Hotel. Guerrero was there as the Arizona site evolved from a makeshift camp to an internationally renowned architectural community; for the Taliesin Fellowship’s treks east to Taliesin each spring; and for life among the apprentice architects who created buildings, grew their own food, picnicked on the hillsides and thrived under the master’s watchful but benevolent eye.
Guerrero photographed many of Wright’s later projects, among them his innovative Usonian houses and provocative public buildings. Throughout, he recorded Wright in candid poses that provide a unique, behind-the-scenes glimpse of the architectural genius.
Picturing Wright gathers 200 of these compelling images to capture Wright in a refreshing new light. The photographs come to life through the entertaining, often humorous stories Guerrero tells to accompany them, from what Wright thought of cows to how he rearranged clients’ interiors to suit his own vision. An afterword to this updated edition by Dixie Legler Guerrero, Guerrero’s wife, traces the photographer’s life after Picturing Wright was first published. The book, a newly edited and curated edition building on the initial 1993 release (out of print for more than 20 years), has a group of new color photographs and features a foreword by noted architecture critic Martin Filler.
In 1991, the American Institute of Architects named Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959) the greatest American architect of all time and 12 of his buildings appeared on Architectural Record’s list of the 100 most important buildings of the previous century, including Fallingwater, the Robie House, the Johnson Administration Building, the Guggenheim, Taliesin and Taliesin West.
Praise for Picturing Wright
"Guerrero took some of the most candid photographs of the man Martin Filler calls 'the greatest architect the United States had ever produced and perhaps this country's greatest artist in any medium.' They include everyday moments, like Wright ringing the dinner bell at Taliesin near Spring Green, overseeing the haying, donning quasi-royal Montenegrin dress and high Cuban heels one Halloween night and having tea in the garden room while perusing Aldous Huxley's Brave New World with his wife, Olgivanna. Those pictures of the couple are presumed to be their last together. There are lovely shots of many of Wright's projects, taken over time, including the many years of work to Taliesin West. In the end, though, the book may be most worth having because of the stories told by this photographer, who for decades called Frank Lloyd Wright his friend."
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel