While much has been written about the life and the innovative organic architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, little scholarly attention has focused on Wright's third wife, Olgivanna, the individual who sparked a renaissance in Wright's career from the time of the couple's first meeting in1924. Mystery has long surrounded public knowledge of Montenegrin born, Olgivanna Lazovich, granddaughter of a noteworthy Montenegrin patriot, and daughter of the Supreme Court Justice of Montenegro (her father) and a general in the Montenegrin army (her mother). This book marks the release of Olgivanna Lloyd Wright's previously unpublished autobiography. It traces her journey from Montenegro, to Russia, to Paris, where she studied with George Ivanovich Gurdjieff at the Institute of the Harmonious Development of Man, to the United States, through her 35-year partnership with Frank Lloyd Wright, and her unrelenting efforts to keep her husband's ideas and dreams alive after his death. The Wrights' life together was marked with turmoil and disappointment, yet the couple also traveled in an exciting circle of friends and acquaintances and was enriched by the youthful spirit and creativity of the young apprentices who came to study at the Taliesin Fellowship. When musicologist Maxine Fawcett-Yeske learned of Mrs. Wright's catalog of musical compositions from Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer then Director of the Frank Lloyd Wright National Archive, she set out to write a biography of Mrs. Wright with particular focus on her music. At the same time, Fawcett-Yeske began to transcribe some of Mrs. Wright's compositions from handwritten manuscripts into publishable editions for performance. She traveled to Montenegro to experience Mrs. Wright's homeland firsthand and meet with one of her relatives. As Fawcett-Yeske and Pfeiffer discussed the project, it became apparent to both of them that the unpublished autobiography could shed light on the understanding of the music and its influences and would allow Olgivanna's story to be told first in her own words. Thus began work on Crna Gora to Taliesin, Black Mountain to the Shining Brow, The Life of Olgivanna Lloyd Wright.
Maxine Fawcett-Yeske holds a Ph.D. in Music and has taught in higher education for nearly twenty years. Her research includes early American sacred music and music composed by women. Her interest in the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright led her to explore the life and music of Olgivanna Lloyd Wright.
Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer became Frank Lloyd Wright's apprentice at the Taliesin Fellowship in 1949. In 1957, he attended the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris, returning in 1958 to continue his apprenticeship with Wright until his death in 1959. He was director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives, a vice-president of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and author of numerous publications on Wright's life and work.
"Frank Lloyd Wright would surely have approved of this beautifully produced book - a work of art in itself, with its striking design, its profuse number of illustrations (both black and white and full colour), and its use of glossy, high quality paper. The story of his wife's life, told in her own words, is a remarkable one." --Katherine Mansfield Society