Lounging in the 60s

Olgivanna Lloyd Wright


President of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of

Architecture, and the 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 FLW) until February 1985 (her retirement)



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 designed the furnishings at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center including custom made benches and chairs. She also selected the distinct orange color that is seen on the upholstery and curtains today. Her detailed attention to the aesthetic of the interior set Beaver Meadows Visitor Center apart from other Mission 66 projects. Unfortunately the National Park Service was not prepared to pay for custom made furnishings instead using the standard options through Federal Supply with a few custom pieces.

Olgivanna took the helm of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, and the 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. Olgivanna attracted great praise and great criticism from this mission, primarily stemming from her desire for perfection and deep involvement in all aspects of Taliesin.

Olgivanna met Frank Lloyd Wright at a ballet in Chicago in 1924. A classic love-at-first-sight, the couple lived together at Taliesin East from 1924 until their marriage in 1928.They had one child together, Iovanna Rosa Wright, in 1925. The Wright’s development of Taliesin West in 1937 as a winter home expanded the school and fellowship program already established at Taliesin East. Olgivanna was instrumental in creating the commune’s unique atmosphere with frequent dancing, music, social outings, and festivals based on the teachings of George Gurdjieff, her former spiritual mentor and dance instructor.

Auer’s documentary highlighted the partnership between Frank Lloyd Wright and Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, 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 dedication ceremony, she declined with a brief note capturing at once the success of Taliesin under her leadership and her direct personality.



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. 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.

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