News and updates from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Welcomes Diana Smith to Board of Trustees

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Dec 5, 2019

At a recent meeting, new board member Diana M. Smith joined the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Board of Trustees.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is excited to welcome new board member Diana Smith to its Board of Trustees. Diana Smith brings a great amount of expertise, experience, and passion to the Foundation. Smith has been a resident of Scottsdale since 1986, and has been a force in the arts community for decades. Throughout her life, she has served in a variety of roles at significant cultural, art, and historic preservation organizations around the Valley. We spoke with Diana Smith to learn more about her background, her connection to Wright, and the importance of continuing Wright’s legacy.

Tell us a little about yourself and your connection to Frank Lloyd Wright and his work.

I think my interest in Frank Lloyd Wright was always there. I was reintroduced to his work when I moved to Scottsdale in 1986. As I got more involved in the community, I interacted with Wright’s former apprentice Vernon Swaback, and continued visiting Taliesin and Taliesin West. I was a tourist at a lot of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings around the country. We lived in Chicago, so obviously there are many ties to Wright out there. My husband and I have lived in a lot of different places so we were able to at one time or another visit places like Fallingwater, the Robie House, and the Guggenheim. The more I learned about Wright, and the more I encountered his work, my interest was piqued.

What is it about Frank Lloyd Wright’s work and principles that you most connect with?

Space and atmosphere. I love the kinds of products he used to build. I still look at the walls at Taliesin West and wonder how they all fit together. The way it fits in with nature is inspiring to me, because so much of what we have today is not as connected to the outdoors, and grounded with the land. My favorite place is to sit in the Garden Room at Taliesin West. It’s the most special environment I know, it’s just continuously fascinating to me. He captured something there for me that I’ve never experienced anywhere else.

What inspired you to get involved with the work of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation on this level?

It’s inspiring to see how the Foundation’s leadership has transformed the value of Taliesin West for the community. To see how the Pavilion and the Cabaret are being used for productions, there’s this feeling of wonderment to be out there experiencing these spaces like Wright once did. These are living sites that are being made applicable to the future and aren’t just house museums. There’s a hope that all of Wright’s principles and philosophies can be applied to the future, to make our lives better. I find it so special that every time I visit, I have the opportunity to learn something I didn’t know about Wright, and what he brought that touches our lives.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s mission is to preserve Taliesin and Taliesin West for future generations, and inspire society through an understanding and experience of Frank Lloyd Wright’s ideas, architecture, and design. Advance our mission and vision by supporting this work.


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