Working in the aegis of Frank Lloyd Wright meant dealing
with the force of Wright’s wife, Olgivanna Lazovich

Kamal Amin was an idealistic, well-to-do young Egyptian fresh out of architecture school when he traveled to America to join the inner circle of his hero, the internationally famous, groundbreaking genius, Frank Lloyd Wright. He had heard rumors of Wright’s work habits and his eccentricity, but he had no idea of the wild ride that he would experience over the next twenty-six years as a working member of Wright’s Taliesin Fellowship.

Consider the roll call of celebrities that frequented Taliesin. As a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright, Amin was privileged to hobnob with some of the most creative, complex, and charismatic characters of the twentieth century, people like Presidents Carter and Reagan, Clare Booth Luce, Charles Laughton, Carl Sandburg, Karl Menninger, and many others.

But by far the most complex and commanding presence at Taliesin was that of Olgivanna Lazovich, Wright’s third wife. Her spirit, as well as the spirit of her teacher, George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, dominated the environment. Worshipped by some, vilified by others, Olgivanna directed the professional and private lives of everyone associated with Wright’s circle. A constellation of contradictions (she was open-minded about sexuality as a natural force but was puritanical in her judgments of those who didn’t follow her advice, for example), Olgivanna was by turns gracious and grasping, inspiring and irritating.

Many accounts have been written about working with Wright, and this new one by Kamal Amin is welcome. But the book is especially welcome for its portrait of the dominant power behind the great man’s throne.

About the Author. After leaving Taliesin, where he had spent most of his life in America, Kamal Amin founded his own architectural engineering office in Scottsdale, where he continues to practice. He also paints, produces serigraphs, and writes. His buildings stand in Arizona, California, Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Louisiana.


Reflections from the Shining Brow
My Years with Frank Lloyd Wright
Kamal Amin
ISBN 978-1-56474-470-8
320 pages, paperback, $16.95

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