Explore Frank Lloyd Wright’s KC Bott House with Documentary Maker Michael Miner

The Bott House

Throughout the late Frank Lloyd Wright’s career, he built over 500 structures that earned him the title of “the greatest American architect of all time.”

Wright’s fans travel the country to view the architect’s buildings—approximately 400 of which are still standing, and three are located in Kansas City: the Bott House, Sondern-Adler House, and Community Christian Church.

On May 21, Michael Miner—a documentary filmmaker who’s been filming Wright’s buildings since the 1990s—will show his newest film, Masterpieces, at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art with a tour of the Bott House to follow.

“I consider Frank Lloyd Wright to be one of the greatest creative geniuses of all time,” says Miner. “I’ve always been drawn to the best of the best. In fact, my next feature is going to be about the five greatest creative geniuses, and he’s one of them as someone who reaches the apex of their art form, but did so over a sustained period of time—not just a one- or two-hit wonder.”

Miner, who also founded the Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative, in 2005 released his first feature documentary on the architect called Sacred Spaces. The documentary brought viewers to ten houses of worship designed by Wright. 

Since Sacred Spaces, Miner has produced several feature films on the famed architect, and Masterpieces will take fans to eight of Wright’s most acclaimed structures with the highest levels of artistic design that have remained in pristine condition:

The interior of the Bott House

The Masterpieces showing at the Nelson-Atkins will be the second showing of the film and comes with several unique opportunities: a Q&A about the film with Miner; a chance to see several items from Wright’s structures that are housed at the museum; a tour of the Bott House with homeowner Homer Williams; plus a light cover and textile block fragment from the Wright’s St. Louis Pappas House that’s now owned and being restored by Miner. 

“The Bott House is a jewel in Kansas City,” says Miner. “It’s a great example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work. It’s a ‘red tile’ building, and only about 40 of his building contain that—it’s a red signature plaque he put on the front of the building he thought satisfied all design criteria. They were buildings where the owner allowed him to design everything from furniture to dishware, built-in and freestanding furniture, and of course the house itself.”

Only about 10 percent of Wright’s structures are marked with a red tile, and the Bott House is extra special as it still has all of its original furnishings.

Tickets to the screening, reception, and tour cost $175 (or $15 for the documentary screening only). Proceeds from the event benefit the Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative, which focuses exclusively on preserving Wright’s work.

Funds from the screening and tour will be used to maintain and restore current Wright buildings, and Miner says there are plans in the works to begin reconstruction of Wright’s buildings that have been demolished over the years.

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