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Frank Lloyd Wright Quotations

Updated on November 13, 2014

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright was born and raised in Wisconsin. He was born in a rural area of Wisconsin called Richland Center on June 8, 1867. He attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison studying Civil Engineering. His appreciation for nature stems from the abundance of great beauty in this state that I now proudly call home.

A great artist, a world-renowned architect and a man who had definite thoughts about life. His quotes are just as memorable as his architecture. Journey with me as we explore his thoughts. Listen to videos about some of his most famous structures. And lastly, see the new toy that was release under the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation - a licensed and authorized Lego of his two most famous structures - the Guggenheim in NY and Fallingwaters in Spring Green Wisconsin.

"A Forthright Pure Builder"

When Frank Lloyd Wright was lecturing in England, in 1934 in London, the chair of the lecture detailed that Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW) needed no introduction. He went on to detail the very meaning of his name:

  • Frank - meaning "forthright, direct"
  • Lloyd - in Welsh means "pure"
  • Wright - "builder"

Timeless Tributes

FLW's work was timeless, having no beginning and having no end, being relevant as much as today as his work was in 1934. The Guggenheim (FLW's design for the NY Guggenheim) was not a building of a certain era, but a building that has stood the test of time and continues to make a statement not just externally but the interior architecture as well. Each building is both a tribute to its architect and also to nature - FLW's "God".

What Made FLW Timeless?

What made FLW's work timeless? What made FLW stand out? His connection to nature? His blunt personality? He continuity from architecture to furniture? His design philosophy of starting from the inside? All of these things and much more.

Perhaps I was the only American who thought the Guggenheim was only in NY.  There are Guggenheim Museums around the world.  However, it is true that only the NY museum was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  

The NY Museum is often hailed as Wright's most famous work, I would disagree, I believe Fallingwaters would be but perhaps my perspective of growing up in the Midwest is clouded.  

Guggenheim Museums Around the World:

Architecture - Inside Out

Wright's designs started from the inside and worked their way out. He wanted the interiors to be comfortable and in unison with nature.

His style was later dubbed by historians as the "Prairie School", a style that emanated from Wright's influence in a state in the United States of America which has an abundance of nature - Wisconsin - known for its long open horizontal planes and prairies.

In a celebration of Wright's life and work, the Guggenheim Museum, New York City set on display many of the drawings and model. Steve Rodriquez speaks with David van Leer, the Assistant Curator who guides us through the exhibition.

A few statistics about Frank Lloyd Wright's prolific career: 64 projects with 201 drawings, over 1100 designs and built over 400 designs. The beauty of architecture is in the design not necessarily in the construction - it is in the creation - creating a thing of beauty to compliment the greatest artist of all - Mother Nature.

Celebrating 50 Years Frank Lloyd Wright's Architecture From Within Without

“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen”

Frank Lloyd Wright quote

“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.”

Frank Lloyd Wright quote

“The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.”

Frank Lloyd Wright quote

Frank Lloyd Wright

black and white photo of Frank Lloyd Wright
black and white photo of Frank Lloyd Wright | Source

Great Quotes from Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright's Thoughts About Architecture

The architect must be a prophet... a prophet in the true sense of the term... if he can't see at least ten years ahead don't call him an architect.

Frank Lloyd Wright

The architect should strive continually to simplify; the ensemble of the rooms should then be carefully considered that comfort and utility may go hand in hand with beauty.
Frank Lloyd Wright

The Lincoln Memorial is related to the toga and the civilization that wore it. Frank Lloyd Wright

The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.

Frank Lloyd Wright

The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his client to plant vines - so they should go as far as possible from home to build their first buildings.
Frank Lloyd Wright

The space within becomes the reality of the building.
Frank Lloyd Wright

The truth is more important than the facts.
Frank Lloyd Wright

There is nothing more uncommon than common sense.
Frank Lloyd Wright

"Think simple" as my old master used to say - meaning reduce the whole of its parts into the simplest terms, getting back to first principles.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.
Frank Lloyd Wright

To look at the cross-section of any plan of a big city is to look at something like the section of a fibrous tumor.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Why, I just shake the buildings out of my sleeves.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Less is only more where more is no good.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Maybe we can show government how to operate better as a result of better architecture.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Mechanization best serves mediocrity.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain.
Frank Lloyd Wright

New York City is a great monument to the power of money and greed... a race for rent.
Frank Lloyd Wright

No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.
Frank Lloyd Wright

No stream rises higher than its source. What ever man might build could never express or reflect more than he was. He could record neither more nor less than he had learned of life when the buildings were built.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Noble life demands a noble architecture for noble uses of noble men. Lack of culture means what it has always meant: ignoble civilization and therefore imminent downfall.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Organic architecture seeks superior sense of use and a finer sense of comfort, expressed in organic simplicity.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Organic buildings are the strength and lightness of the spiders' spinning, buildings qualified by light, bred by native character to environment, married to the ground.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Respect the masterpiece. It is true reverence to man. There is no quality so great, none so much needed now.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Space is the breath of art.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.
Frank Lloyd Wright

A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.
Frank Lloyd Wright

A great architect is not made by way of a brain nearly so much as he is made by way of a cultivated, enriched heart.
Frank Lloyd Wright

All fine architectural values are human values, else not valuable.
Frank Lloyd Wright

An architect's most useful tools are an eraser at the drafting board, and a wrecking bar at the site.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Art for art's sake is a philosophy of the well-fed.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Buildings, too, are children of Earth and Sun.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Every great architect is - necessarily - a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright's Personal Philosophy

The heart is the chief feature of a functioning mind.
Frank Lloyd Wright

The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes. Frank Lloyd Wright

Form follows function - that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union. Frank Lloyd Wright

Life always rides in strength to victory, not through internationalism... but only through the direct responsibility of the individual.
Frank Lloyd Wright

An idea is salvation by imagination.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright's Thoughts on Freedom

A free America... means just this: individual freedom for all, rich or poor, or else this system of government we call democracy is only an expedient to enslave man to the machine and make him like it.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Freedom is from within.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright's Thoughts on Life

Get the habit of analysis - analysis will in time enable synthesis to become your habit of mind.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities.
Frank Lloyd Wright

God is the great mysterious motivator of what we call nature, and it has often been said by philosophers, that nature is the will of God. And I prefer to say that nature is the only body of God that we shall ever see.
Frank Lloyd Wright

I have been black and blue in some spot, somewhere, almost all my life from too intimate contacts with my own furniture.

Frank Lloyd Wright

If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Harvard takes perfectly good plums as students, and turns them into prunes.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Bureaucrats: they are dead at 30 and buried at 60. They are like custard pies; you can't nail them to a wall.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose the former and have seen no reason to change.
Frank Lloyd Wright

The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.
Frank Lloyd Wright

The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope.

Frank Lloyd Wright

A man is a fool if he drinks before he reaches the age of 50, and a fool if he doesn't afterward.
Frank Lloyd Wright

I believe totally in a Capitalist System, I only wish that someone would try it.

Frank Lloyd Wright

I feel coming on a strange disease - humility.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Toleration and liberty are the foundations of a great republic.
Frank Lloyd Wright

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright's Thoughts on Technology

Television is chewing gum for the eyes. Frank Lloyd Wright

Creative Quotations from Frank Lloyd Wright

Song by Simon and Garfunkle - So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright - Lego Architecture


The Lego Group Announces New Legos - Frank Lloyd Wright Replicas

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation announced that The LEGO Group is now the exclusive licensed manufacturer of Frank Lloyd Wright Collection® LEGO Architecture sets.

Architecture is a natural extension of The Lego Group.  They combined with Adam REed Tucker of Brickstructure, Inc. to bring to us a line of six buildings - two are FLW -  the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Fallingwater.”

These toys which were first released in 2009 are a great gift for men, women, children of all ages.  They can not only collect and construct their favorite buildings but also see the genius in the engineering in a hands-on fashion.  

The toys include booklets that detail the instructions along with historical materials and photographs of each Frank Llloyd Wright building. 

Take Our Poll

Which Building Do You Think of When You Hear the Name Frank Lloyd Wright?

See results

Frank Lloyd Wright's Architectural Genius

Frank Lloyd Wright understood his architectural genius. He also understood his own personal flaws. After one of his homes burned to the ground leaving only his studio standing, Frank Lloyd Wright remarked that God knew his work was good but also knew his human frailties. His relationship with women was scattered at best. He left his first family and six children and first wife with months of bills and no means of support. He continued to struggled through a couple of other chapters in his life to a point where his personal life overshadowed and damaged his professional life.

Frank Lloyd Wright's career is marked with artistic genius and over the life of his career he leaves with us a legacy of powerful statements and quotes and a legacy of living architecture. Following FLW's guidance in architecture and using texture blocks is something every builder should take note of. We have the technology now to make his architecture cost effective and low maintenance. The texture blocks are pure genius and work simply in design and function. To quote Wright, "form follows function." Nature has determined this and following the path of God is always the right thing to do.

Frank Lloyd Wright Doormat - Buy Online at Amazon

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Share Your Thoughts

Everyone has an opinion about this great artist. He lead a flamboyant life and left a legacy in the world of art and architecture. Would you desire to live in a Frank Lloyd Wright style home? Do you own a piece of art work in his distinctive Prairie style?

In Appreciation:

Famous Quotes by Frank Lloyd Wright 

© 2010 GmaGoldie All Right Reserved


© 2010 Kelly Kline Burnett


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    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      3 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Hi David,

      You feel about Frank Lloyd Wright the very same way a close friend of mine feels. I most certainly understand. Talk about a pompous self promoter but he did change our view on architecture and oh, boy was both his work and his words memorable.

      The take away for me is his reliance upon Japanese art. If you look closely he was a student of that art and that is an important lesson for all us. Our greatness is a collaborative effort. To go from good to great only takes team work and essentially Wright was a leader in marrying American modernism with the Japanese aesthetics.

      I greatly appreciate your contribution and on many levels agree completely. I would differ in that I feel his "vagueness" is simply a copy of the Eastern philosophy of architecture. I don't believe Western culture gives the Eastern culture the credit is that properly owed but Wright knew this and exploited our Western lack of knowledge. I commend Wright for recognizing greatness and integrating the many beautiful attributes of Eastern architecture.

    • David J Gill profile image

      David J Gill 

      4 years ago from Oakland, California

      I am an architect and have long been fascinated by Wright and his work. I have been in many of his buildings and can identify most of them by name, but I give very little attention to most of what he said.

      With the exception of his autobiography (though loose on the facts) and a few particular articles, his writing is a morass of bold, memorable, but vague idealistic expressions. He tells little us little that is clear and direct about his work.

    • Dave Powell profile image

      Dave Powell 

      7 years ago from Winchester, MA

      Another GREAT hub, GmaGoldie! Oh... and I GOTTA get some of those Legos... NOW!



    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin


      Frank Lloyd Wright was a prolific writer and architect. Few people know he was also an art dealer specializing in Japanese wood prints - his fascination with blocks and building never ceased.

      Fascinating man. Great architecture. Great representation of America and the Midwest. Of course, I am biased, I have lived in the Midwest my whole life.

      I would love to travel to Japan and see the remnants of the Imperial Hotel.

      I love Wright's work and can see many of the same clean, natural elements found in the Japanese art.

      Thank you so much for stopping by - I really appreciate your words of praise.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This really is awesome Gma! I learned a lot about Mr. Wright, thanks to you. I did not know he had such great quotes. I have always admired his artistic ability, now I am able to enjoy his some of his thoughts as well. Thanks for sharing GmaGoldie.

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Minnetonka Twin,

      The thing I don't understand is Wright knew he had problems with his personal life - wow! Fascinating genius. Feel sorry for his children. Thank you for your high marks.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      7 years ago from Minnesota

      Had to push so many buttons for this great hub. It is informative but really a fun read about him. I love so many of his quotes. Too bad his personal life was such a mess. You see this a lot with genius types. I really like the quote about believing in God which to him is nature.

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Once Upon a Time 66,

      Thank you so much - yes, FLW is fascinating - his architecture and HIS quotes and outlook on life. As a man I am not impressed, as an artist he is without a doubt a genius.

    • onceuponatime66 profile image

      Jackie Paulson 

      7 years ago from USA IL

      I am a huge fan of Frank L Wright. Thanks for this outstanding post it's comprehensive.


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