Lounging in the 60s

Olgivanna Lloyd Wright

b. December 27, 1896- d. March 1, 1985


President of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, and Taliesin Associated Architects (1959-1985)
Vice President of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (1941-1959)
Third wife of Frank Lloyd Wright (m. on August 5, 1928)


Dates of Involvement

1924 - Moved in with Frank Lloyd Wright
1985 - Retired



Olgivanna Lloyd Wright maintained careful oversight of all aspects of each Taliesin project and the Taliesin Fellowship program following the death of Frank Lloyd Wright in 1959. She was a talented interior designer, contributing to several Taliesin projects, including the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center at Rocky Mountain National Park. Olgivanna is credited with selecting the distinct orange color that is seen on the upholstery and curtains today (Allaback, 2000). Her detailed attention to the aesthetic of the interior set Beaver Meadows Visitor Center apart from other Mission 66 projects. However, the National Park Service was not prepared to pay for custom-made furnishings, instead using the standard options through the Federal Supply catalog with a few custom pieces (National Historic Register Nomination, 2001)





Olgivanna took the helm of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, and Taliesin Associated Architects in 1959. In the “Partner to Genius” documentary following her death, James Auer postulates Olgivanna never recovered from Frank Lloyd Wright’s death, instead making it her mission to keep her husband’s name and company profitable. Auer’s documentary highlighted the partnership between the couple, claiming Olgivanna was talented in her own right, an equal match for Frank Lloyd Wright's intelligence. When invited to the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center opening ceremony, she declined with a brief note capturing at once the success of Taliesin under her leadership and her direct personality, “Unfortunately your invitation arrived too late for me to be present at the dedication ceremony. I hope that your building will be a fine contribution to beauty as well as utility” (ROMO Archives, 1967).



Olgivanna grew up and attended school in Eastern Europe. She trained as a dancer at the Gurdjieff Institute where she lived and studied with George Gurdjieff.


Olgivanna was a trained dancer, composer, writer, teacher, academic administrator, interior designer, author, and a patron of the arts (Auer, 1997). She also participated in the daily work at Taliesin, assisting with the interior design of several projects, including the Kaufmann House and the Guggenheim Museum. Her contributions led to a citation from the Association of Interior Architects in 1984 for her work in interior design and architectural education. Olgivanna contributed to the prestige and international reputation of her husband and their multiple programs through her work as an author. She wrote several books about her experiences with Frank Lloyd Wright and Taliesin - part propaganda to encourage students to enroll in the school and part celebration of the impressive work of Frank Lloyd Wright.


Related Objects to Explore

Drape; Krueger Stackable Folding Metal Chair; Oak Arm Chair; Oak Bench; Scalloped-Edge Carpet Remnant; Two-Seat Oak Bench; Wall Covering

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