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Happy Homeschool Day at the AMA! I am glad you are here for our March lesson, and I cannot wait to see you at the Albany Museum of Art! In the meantime, don’t forget to share your work with us by emailing photos to: [email protected] 

Hey Friends! 
Have you ever heard of architecture? Well, architecture is the design of the buildings that we see around us every day. Houses, schools, museums, places of worship, stores … even monuments, bridges, and castles. All buildings big and small were designed by an “architect”! 

Architects are artists, but instead of designing paintings or sculptures, they design buildings that are used for specific purposes. The earliest buildings in history were simple and build for protection. As time went on, however, they began to get more elaborate and visually beautiful.

The Great Pyramids from ancient Egypt are an early example of how architecture was used in a new and beautiful way! Here are some images of different kinds of architecture across the world. You can practice being an architect by using your own blocks or found objects at home!


Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the most famous American architects from the 20th century!

​He was born on June 8, 1867 in Wisconsin. He designed more than 1,000 ​buildings, including banks, hotels and resorts, office buildings, homes, places of worship, museums, and even a gas station!

He created what he described as “organic architecture.” His buildings all seemed to be connected to nature and shared harmony with the Earth. You can see this in his building Fallingwater (1935), which has been called “the best all-time work of American architecture.”  Can you see how the building resembles rocks as the water flows down? What else do you notice? ​

Here is a short clip of one of my favorite books about Frank Lloyd Wright. 
Young Frank, Architect,“MoMA’s first storybook for kids ages 3-8, follows the adventures of Young Frank, a resourceful young architect who lives in New York City with his grandfather, Old Frank, who is also an architect. Young Frank sees creative possibilities everywhere, and likes to use anything he can get his hands on—macaroni, old boxes, spoons, and sometimes even his dog, Eddie—to creates things like chairs out of toilet paper rolls and twisting skyscrapers made up of his grandfather’s books.

But Old Frank is skeptical; he doesn’t think that’s how real architects make things. One day, donning matching bow ties, straw boater hats, and Le Corbusier-inspired glasses, they visit The Museum of Modern Art, where they see the work of renowned architects like Frank Gehry and Frank Lloyd Wright. And they learn that real architects do in fact create wiggly chairs, twisty towers, and even entire cities.

Inspired by what they see, Young Frank and Old Frank return home to build structures of every shape and size: “tall ones, fat ones, round ones, and one made from chocolate chip cookies.”
Cover of Young Frank, Architect, published by The Museum of Modern Art
Summary from Hannah Kim, Marketing and Book Development Coordinator, Department of Publications.

Come by the Albany Museum of Art to read the full story and learn even more about Frank Lloyd Wright in our AMAzing Space! You can even use our Big Blue Blocks to build something of your own. 

Time to get creative! Here is what you will need: 

  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Markers, crayons, or paint ​

First, take a look around your neighborhood or town. Look at the different types of architecture you see. Art the buildings tall? Short? What shape are they?  Do they have things like a roof, door, window, porch, or column? You can also look in magazines or books to see examples of architecture in big cities, little towns, or other countries! What differences do you notice?

Next, using your scissors and a parents help, cut out simple shapes from construction paper. You can cut out squares, rectangles, and triangles! Cut some large, some small, and some in-between. Lay these shapes down on a larger sheet of paper, and begin to arrange and layer them like they are buildings.

Are they skyscrapers in a city? Homes in a neighborhood? Once you have designed your architecture, you can glue them down to the page and use your markers or crayons to add details like windows, doors, or design!  ​