A new article Was Adler Influenced by Froebel offers a provocative speculation about a potentially powerful and creative influence of the Fröbel kindergarten methods, materials, and philosophy on Alfred Adler as a child, and his later founding of Individual Psychology.
"The maple-wood blocks . . . are in my fingers to this day," said Frank Lloyd Wright, attesting to the influence of the Froebel blocks on his work. The blocks were developed by Friedrich Fröbel in the 1830s for children to learn the elements of geometric form, mathematics and creative design.
Frank Lloyd Wright was interested in architecture early in his life and his mother purchased a set of Froebel kindergarten blocks at the Centennial Expostition in Philadelphia so that he could begin building. Frank was fascinated by the blocks and much of his architectural design was influenced by the geometric shapes he experiemented with as a child.
"Now came the geometric play of these charming checkered colour combinations! The structural figues to be made with peas and small straight sticks; slender constructions, the jointings accented by the little green pea-globes. The smooth shapely maple blocks with which to build, the sense of which never afterwards leaves the fingers: so form became feeling. And the box with a mast to set upon it, on which to hang with string the maple cubes and spheres and triangles, revolving them to discover subordinate forms"
"That early kindergarten experience with the straight line; the flat plane; the square; the triangle; the circle! If I wanted more, the square modified by the triangle gave the hexagon, the circle modified by the straight line would give the octagon. Adding thickness, getting 'sculpture' thereby, the square became the cube, the triangle the tetrahedron, the circle the sphere."
"These primary forms and figures were the secret of all effects... which were ever got into the architecture of the world"
Frank Lloyd Wright, from An Autobiography
An excellent page about Frank Lloyd Wright
The official web site of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
Wright's Prairie Style of Design
an expanded version of this page
It is tempting to trace the roots of the finest modern art, architecture, and psychology back to the aesthetically, conceptually, and spiritually rich Froebel kindergarten.
Kindergarten - Fröbel blocks - Fröbel gifts
influence on Alfred Adler - Frank Lloyd Wright
Friedrich Fröbel quotes - ancestors - relatives
Baroness von Marenholtz Bülow reminiscences - her life
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