James Dean and Nicholas Ray, Los Angeles, California, 1955
Frank Lloyd Wright, 1930, around the time he first met Ray, photo by Price Studios
Design Sketch, Capital Journal Building, Salem, Oregon by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1931-1932
Contrary to many claims and by his own account, Ray spent a year under Wright's tutelage. The concept of the Fellowship was that Wright felt only by living and working with apprentices around the clock could the understand his concepts and ideas. As a social experiment, it was quite interesting. Members of the Fellowship not only actively executed ideas on Taliesin itself (the buildings there in a state of constant change), but worked as draughtsmen, farmhands, and domestics on the property. Living was for the most part communal. One suspects that the strict rigors of life at Taliesin did not sit well with the restless Ray, but many have commented that a political rift between Wright, a strong believer in the power of democracy, and his more radical-leaning protege was the cause of the latter's return to New York, which would eventually lead him to Hollywood and the world of film-making.
Nicholas Ray, Hollywood, c.1945
Storyboard, Rebel Without a Cause, Nicholas Ray, 1955
An interesting footnote: the 2003 DVD release of Ray's masterful In a Lonely Place, made for Humphrey Bogart's Santana Productions, features a short film extra in which director Curtis Hanson sings Ray's praises and calls out some of the architectural elements in the film - citing the Frank Lloyd Wright period. Hanson, of course, directed 1997's L.A. Confidential a neo-noir film based on James Ellroy's novel. One of the buildings prominently featured in the film is the Lovell House designed around 1927 by Richard Neutra. Neutra had only recently moved the United States and one of his first employers before moving to California was Frank Lloyd Wright. The Lovell House is just 2 miles down the hill from the Griffith Park Observatory which is perhaps the most well-know location used in Ray's Rebel Without a Cause.