Stanford White Architect (Rizzoli, $75) by Samuel White (the great-grandson) and Elizabeth White, with photography by Jonathan Wallen, is a loving collection of the works of the greatest of Gilded Age designers. White was born in 1853, and his taste and genius are everywhere apparent in the commercial and residential buildings he designed in the last decades of the 19th century. Sadly, he was just over 50 years old when he was shot by the jealous husband of a woman he was involved with. Even sadder is the fact that, due to commercial pressures, several of his greatest buildings have been demolished.
Georges Edouard Jeannert-Gris became Le Corbusier (Knopf, $45) in 1920 at the age of 33 when he joined with others to found a new magazine. As author Nicholas Fox Weber sees him, Corbusier had colossal self-esteem; at the age of 17, he began designing buildings without any training. The young Swiss left for Paris, where he was influenced by the Modernist movement bursting around him—Lalique the glass maker, Guimard, the designer, and Rodin. Corbusier’s creativity burst forth after the Armistice and his work remained vital into the 1960s. He and Mies van der Rohe were to have the greatest influence on contemporary architecture; this first full-length biography presents his life and work in fluid fashion.
Can it be more than 50 years since the Guggenheim Museum opened? Yes, the gorgeous spread of the Museum in Frank Lloyd Wright: The Buildings (Rizzoli, $75) comes late in the book, with others of Wright’s most celebrated buildings: Beth Shalom in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, and the Marin County Civic Center in California. This is a wonderful compendium of all of Wright’s completed buildings, a companion volume to Frank Lloyd Wright: The Houses, published three years ago. We owe Alan Weintraub (photos) and Alan Hess (text) gratitude for their work.