"75 Years of Fallingwater"

Fallingwater at 75: Anniversary Celebration and Book Release

Fallingwater, the new volume published by Rizzoli and edited by Fallingwater Director and WPC Vice President Lynda Waggoner, is a landmark book to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Frank Lloyd Wright house.

Fallingwater Book

The book’s publication will be celebrated — along with the 75th anniversary of Fallingwater itself — during a special symposium featuring the book’s contributors at 1 p.m. on June 11 at the Carnegie Museum of Art Theater.

Fallingwater features stunning new photography commissioned especially for this book. It also includes new, authoritative texts on Fallingwater’s history, structure, restoration and collections, including the house’s relationship to its setting and its importance to the sustainability movement; its meaning in the context of Wright’s body of work; the analysis and planning process that went into Fallingwater’s restoration and how a seemingly unsolvable problem was overcome through modern engineering.

The symposium is open to the public at no cost but requires reservations, as space is limited. It features remarks by the book’s contributors:

  • • Lynda Waggoner, Fallingwater’s director and vice president of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
  • • Christopher Little, an acclaimed photographer whose work was featured in the seminal volume, Fallingwater (1986).
  • • David G. De Long, professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania and author of numerous architecture volumes.
  • • Rick Darke, an award-winning author of books such as The American Woodland Garden.
  • • Justin Gunther, curator of buildings and collections at Fallingwater.
  • • Neil Levine, the Emmet Blakeney Gleason Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard.
  • • John Reynolds, associate professor of architecture at Miami University of Ohio.
  • • Robert Silman, president of Robert Silman Associates, who directed the strengthening of Fallingwater in 2002.

Private Domains/ Public Displays: The Modern House Interpreted, A Symposium in Celebration of Fallingwater’s 75th Anniversary

Fallingwater ushered in the era of the modern house museum as the first celebrated modernist home to open to the public for tours.

Fallingwater Book

It is now joined by other icons of 20th century modern architecture such as the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Conn.; the Farnsworth House in Plano, Ill., the Tugendhat House in Brno, Czech Republic and the Aalto House in Helsinki, Finland. The challenges unique to preserving modern house museums will be the subject of Private Domains/Public Displays: The Modern House Interpreted, co-hosted by the University of Pittsburgh’s Architectural Studies Program, on April 5 at the Carnegie Museum of Art Theater. The all-day symposium — specially conceived to help celebrate Fallingwater’s 75th anniversary — is open to the public at a cost of $30 (lunch not included), and is free to Pitt students.

The symposium will explore critical issues related to the preservation of modern house museums and will be attended by curators and directors from around the world. Professor Drew Armstrong, director of the Architectural Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh, will give opening remarks, and the keynote address will be delivered by Barry Bergdoll, professor of architectural history at Columbia University and chief curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Issues for discussion will captivate anyone with an interest in modern architecture. “A tenet of modernism is that structures should remain fresh and alive. How do you convey newness in your interpretation of an historic building?” posed Fallingwater’s Curator of Buildings and Collections Justin Gunther, who is planning the conference. He also raises the question: “Can materials in modernist houses be replaced while maintaining the structures’ integrity? For instance, if one replaces all of the glass in Philip Johnson’s Glass House, is it still the Glass House?” The April symposium provides a forum to discuss these and other central issues related to preservation of famous modernist houses.