When Bruce Brookes Pfeiffer first read about Frank Lloyd Wright in an August 12, 1946 issue of LIFE magazine, the 16-year-old knew immediately what he wanted to do: apprentice to Wright, at once.
His parents, though, insisted that he finish high school. So he did.
But by 1949, at age 19, he left his home in Massachusetts for Scottsdale, Ariz. and Taliesin West, where he presented himself to Wright. He trained with him for the next 10 years, until Wright’s death in 1959 at age 91. Pfeiffer took on the role of archivist in 1962.
“It was exciting being with him and watching him designing, or just watching him sketch,” Pfeiffer says. “He was in the business of making architecture, and his drawings were a means to that end.
Today he’s director of archives at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and has unprecedented access to its 300,000 correspondence and documents, including 22,000 drawings. He’s been a member of the Taliesin Fellowship for 60 years, and is author or editor of more than 40 books on Wright.
His newest effort, called “Frank Lloyd Wright Designs: Sketches, Plans and Drawings,” begins with Wright’s 1887 sketch for a project in Chicago, and ends with drawings for a house for Helen Donahoe, completed five days before he died.
About 450 images are featured in the book. They depict some of Wright’s best-known work, including conceptual sketches, elevations, and plans of Fallingwater, The Coonley House, Midway Gardens, the Guggenheim, and the Imperial Hotel, as well as a range of intriguing, unfamiliar, and previously unpublished drawings.
“He was a remarkable architect,” Pfeiffer said. “He was patient, good-natured and always busy working.”
And his new book has the images to prove it.
For more on his new book go here.