John B. Mors


"Fallingwater ( Kaufmann House ), Mill Run, Pennsylvania."

"Fallingwater ( Kaufmann House ), Mill Run, Pennsylvania."
Steel. 2000.
53" x 53" x 28"

This sculpture is one of a series of five sculptures, representing the different styles ( periods or ages ) of Frank Lloyd Wright, based on:

  • Frank Lloyd Home and Studio, Oak Park, Chicago, Illinois.
  • Unity Temple, Oak Park, Chicago, Illinois.
  • Fallingwater ( Kaufmann House ), Mill Run, Pennsylvania.
  • Prairie House, Illinois.
  • Usonian House, Pope-Leighey Home, Alexandria, Virginia.
After a period as a successful Arts and Crafts style architect, Frank Lloyd Wright fell out of favor. In 1936, Edward Kaufmann, the father of one of Wright's pupils, requested Wright to build him a house at his summer retreat. My particular interest in this house is that it shows Frank Lloyd Wright emerging as a modern architect. With the Kaufmann house, Wright reinvents himself, and emerges in the same aesthetic of le Corbusier, Walter Groupius and Mies van der Rohe who represented the International style of architecture.


The sculptures recreate the experience of seeing and visiting the Kaufmann house, which differs significantly from seeing the building in a book.

The well-known image of the house is of it perched over a waterfall. However, this is not the impression of the house gained during a visit. One approaches the house by walking down a rhododendron-lined path, so that the house appears to be in a valley, as opposed to being raised above anything. This effect is enhanced by the fact that the main house actually sits below the supporting buildings. Hence, the feeling of the house is of a structure below a mass of land. Also, it is not possible to take a photograph of the house rising over the waterfall. Even if the creek is flowing ( on my visit there was only a slight flow in the river, such that the 'waterfall' was more like a small dip in the river bed ), access to a suitable photographic position is not permitted. Therefore, the image of the house that one receives when visiting it, is almost the opposite of that presented in literature about the house.

The sculpture of the house may resemble kid's blocks. This is intentional. Frank Lloyd Wright was influenced by the work of Fredrich Froebel ( the inventor of Kindergarten ), and John Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright's son, was the inventor of Lincoln Logs.

The following are EXTERNAL links about Frank Lloyd Wright:

The following contain information about the Kaufmann House:
The following links contain information about Fredrich Froebel:

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