Choosing an easy target is important in an architectural review, and the Boston Globe’s Ken Johnson chooses perhaps the easiest one of all to shred this week, taking issue with the elder and more deceased Brad Pitt favorite in his piece “The flaws in Frank Lloyd Wright’s design for living.” Johnson claims that the the Portland (Maine) Museum of Art exhibition “Frank Lloyd Wright and the House Beautiful” exposes Wright’s many shortcomings, namely, aesthetic unity, big living rooms and wide open public spaces:
Wright thought the open plan reflected a more democratic, flexible, and modern way of life, but it can be argued that his designs reduce privacy and freedom by exposing all members of the family to relatively unimpeded surveillance and control. A family that does so much of its living in one room must be either unbelievably harmonious or very well trained by whoever holds the reins of power.
Which shouldn’t be any surprise, really, given Wright’s notorious controlling nature. But is it just us, or does Johnson’s tone sound like someone’s having problems with the rein-holder at home?