This year marks the 125th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio and the 40th anniversary of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust. Throughout the next few months, the architect’s legacy will be remembered with a number of exhibitions, tours and lectures hosted by various organizations and institutions across the country.
Frank Lloyd Wright and Eugene Masselink from the MoMA archives. Photo by Soichi Sunami.
The Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) exhibition, Frank Lloyd Wright and the City, is set to examine the tension in Wright’s thinking about the growing American city in the 1920s and 1930s, when he worked simultaneously on radical new forms for the American skyscraper and on a comprehensive vision for the urbanization of the American landscape in what he called Broadacre City.
The model of that plan, for a low-density development over a vast territory, is according to the museum one of the most startling and beautiful of the many large-scale models prepared for exhibition by Wright and his associates and students at Taliesin.
Model of the H.C. Price Company Tower under construction by Taliesin Fellows. From the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives.
The model toured the country for several years in the 1930s, beginning with a display at Rockefeller Center. Paired with Wright’s projects for skyscrapers—from designs for Manhattan (St. Marks in the Bowery proposal) to an ideal project for a mile-high skyscraper—the work reveals that Wright was as much a theoretician of the horizontal as of the vertical city. In this way his work is not only of historic importance, but also of remarkable relevance to current debates on urban concentration.
The exhibition will feature various models, sketches and photographs produced by Wright and his team during this time. It will be on display at the Robert Menschel Architecture and Design Gallery on the third floor, from February 1 – June 1.
To kick off it’s “Legacy Year,” the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust invites guests for a discussion about the architect’s early years in Chicago, where he created the bulk of his work and developed his Prairie style in the Oak Park studio. Trust President and CEO Celeste Adams will moderate a panel comprising Trust curator David Bagnall, filmmaker Tim Sakamoto and Northwestern University Art History professor David Van Zanten. The event takes place on Thursday, January 23 at 5:30 p.m. at the Arts Club of Chicago, Salon Room, 2nd Floor at 201 E. Ontario Street. Admission is $25.
In her multi-media presentation, Kim Bixler will recount "The Joys and Pitfalls of Owning and Living in a Frank Lloyd Wright House," during Palm Springs Modernism Week. Living with the public’s curiosity, playing hide-and-seek, coping with the habitually leaky roof and managing constant renovations will be the focus of Bixler's talk. Her family owned Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1908 Edward E. Boynton House in Rochester, New York, from 1977 to 1994. During its construction, the architect was frequently on-site, supervising all details, including the design of the furniture (seventeen pieces still remain in the house).
The discussion takes place in the Horizon Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel located at 400 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262 at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 15. Tickets are $15.
Also part of the celebration, the Oak Park Studio Balcony at the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio will open to the public for the first time in over 40 years.
Oak Park Studio Balcony
A new installation there will shed light on the talented young draftsmen, architects and artists who worked in Frank Lloyd Wright's studio during the early days of his architecture practice. Tours begin on Friday, March 21 at 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio located at 951 Chicago Ave, Oak Park, IL. Tickets will go on sale beginning Monday, February 24 here. Admission for trust members is $10, non-members $25.
Wright fans can get a more “hands on” experience by joining the “Ultimate Plus Weekend Package” from Thursday, May 15, to Sunday, May 18. The four-day package starts with the invitation-only "Chairman's Reception" in the Rookery Light Court, which Wright remodeled in 1905.
Friday's motor coach trip will take guests to Lake Delavan, WI, on a private passage to Penwern, for an exclusive tour of the estate that Wright designed for Chicago businessman, Fred B. Jones. At the Saturday house walk, guests will nix waiting in line with a fast pass, and on Saturday night, will have the chance to relax with fellow architecture enthusiasts for an "Exclusively Wright Dinner" in a privately owned Frank Lloyd Wright house. The package concludes with breakfast and a private tour of the Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood.
Frederick C. Robie House
The price of the tour is $2,600 for trust members and $2,850 for non-members. It includes three nights accommodations at the historic Carleton of Oak Park, transportation to and form all events and Sunday drop off at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Email to reserve a spot.