Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal at MOMA

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City is currently running Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal, an exhibition that explores the architect’s philosophy regarding the development of the American City during the period between the two World Wars. Wright’s iconic large-scale model for “Broadacre City" is the centerpiece of the show, which features drawings, architectural models and films that were included in the recent joint acquisition of Frank Lloyd Wright’s extensive archive by MoMA and Columbia University’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library.

For details visit MoMA’s web site. The show runs now through June 1, 2014.

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Frank Lloyd Wright. Drawings for Broadacre City Project, (1932).
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SAVED: 1954 Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian House

Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1954 Usonian home, the Bachman Wilson House, has been purchased by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Increasingly threatened by floods in its original location in New Jersey, the structure will be disassembled and moved a thousand miles to its new home.

According to ArchDaily.com, which posted the news regarding the Bachman Wilson House, “In light of the threat to the building, this approach was supported by both the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and the Borough of Millstone Historic District Commission.”

Read more about the preservation of the Bachman Wilson House on ArchDaily.com.


Frank Lloyd Wright, Bachman Wilson House, Millwood, NJ (1954).
Photo credit: © Tarantino Studio 2013; courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas
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Frank Lloyd Wright Desk Withdrawn from Sotheby’s Auction

Thank you to our friend Dave @ Daltons American Decorative Arts for sharing this news item from the ArtInfo blog on auction house Sotheby’s decision to remove from last month’s important 20th century design auction a desk and chair form the S.C. Johnson and Son Administration Building in Racine, Wisconsin designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The S.C. Johnson Company sued Sotheby’s to remove the items from the sale claiming the desk and chair had been stolen.

Read details on ArtInfo.com.

Johnson wax Administration building desk

Frank Lloyd Wright, S. C. Johnson Wax Administration Building Desk (1938).

Source: http://blogs.artinfo.com/artintheair/files/2013/12/095N09058_76GWC1.jpg

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Edgar Tafel Archive Open For Research

Edgar A. Tafel

William Bowen (editor’s husband) receives first-hand accounts of working with Frank Lloyd Wright from Edgar A. Tafel at the Grove Park Inn Arts and Crafts Conference, February 1996. Photo credit: Joanne Capella.
Source: https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/598347_3598105046023_1289891072_n.jpg 

Edgar Tafel may not be the first name that comes to mind when one thinks of significant Twentieth Century architects, but Mr. Tafel, as one of Frank Lloyd Wright's earliest apprentices at Talesin, occupies a particular place in Twentieth Century architectural history.

Tafel recounted his experiences working on Wright’s most important private residence, Fallingwater, in his book Years with Frank Lloyd Wright: Apprentice to Genius. Mr. Tafel was a renown architect in his own right. According to Tafel’s obituary in the New York Times,” Mr. Tafel designed 80 houses, 35 religious buildings and 3 college campuses, among other projects.” Edgar Tafel died in January 2011.

The archive of Mr. Tafel’s work and papers at the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library's Drawings & Archives Department has now been cataloged and is open for research. Thank you goes our to our friends at PrairieMod for passing the news along to us.

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s A.D. German Warehouse Has a New Owner

There’s great news out of Richland Center, Wisconsin for Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiasts. The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy’s Web site (savewright.org) reports that Wright’s A.D. German Warehouse (1916-1921) has recently been purchased by a local resident. According to the Building Conservancy’s Web site:

The property was purchased from the estate of Harvey Glanzer and closed on August 15. The buyer wishes to remain anonymous and did not wish to disclose the amount of the sale. 

The site further states that the new owner is currently working with local organizations for future plans for the building and its adaptive reuse.

Read the entire press release on savewright.org.

A.D. German Warehouse

Frank Lloyd Wright, A.D. German Warehouse (1916-1921), Richland Center, Wisconsin.
Source: http://www.savewright.org/index.php?t=news_focus&story_id=105 

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Frank Lloyd Wright Crashed on Park Avenue

A significant piece of New York City’s architectural heritage was lost early in April 2013 when the Hoffmann Auto Showroom interior designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and considered a fore runner of the Guggenheim Museum design, was demolished. The showroom had been on the first floor of a building located at the corner of Park Avenue and East 56th Street.

According to Crain’s New York Business, owners of the building applied for a demolition permit for the showroom on March 28, 2013, less than one week after “the Landmarks Preservation Commission called the owners of 430 Park Ave. to tell them the city was considering designating the Wright showroom…as the city’s 115th interior landmark.”

Crain’s went on to say that by the end of the following week the showroom had been totally gutted leaving no trace of Mr. Wright’s design.

Read the entire article and see a video report on Crain’s New York Business.

Thank you to Frank Lloyd Wright Newsblog for bringing this sad tale to our attention.

Hoffman Auto Showroom
Frank Lloyd Wright, Drawing for Hoffman Auto Showroom, New York City (1955). Demolished. Copyright Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.
Source: http://www.savewright.org/news_images/mercedes.JPG

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home Movies

writes in the Milwaukee Museum of Art's blog “Under the Wings" about a recent donation to the institution’s archives of films from the personal collection of Joan Salzstein, the grandaughter of architect Dagmar Adler. The donated films features candid shots of Frank Lloyd Wright interacting with students and visitors at Taliesin his home in Wisconsin.

According to Kohn, “Wright worked for and studied under Adler, and his granddaughter Joan became a regular visitor to Wright’s home and farm at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin for many years. During those visits, she captured the atmosphere of daily life at Taliesin on film.”

Read the entire blog post and see more interesting stills.


Frank Lloyd Wright and Olgivanna Wright in the garden, late 1930s-early 1940s. Photo credit: Still from a film from the personal collection of Joan Salzstein. Milwaukee Art Museum, Institutional Archives.
Source:  http://milwaukeeartmuseum.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/color_flw_008.jpg?w=640

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Happy 50th Anniversary Marin County Civic Center

A big thanks to Prairie Mod for sharing an article about a special postmark commemorating the 50th anniversary of one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most futuristic looking buildings, the Marin County Civic Center. Read More.

At fifty the Marin County Civic Center Still looks far ahead of its time.

Watch a slide show of the Marin County Civic Center by California architect Ron Yeo.

Marin county civic center

Frank Lloyd Wright. Marin County Civic Center, San Raphael, CA (1963).
Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/Marin_County_Civic_Center_Roof_20060610.jpg

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You Win Some, You Lose Some

While the future looks bright for the David Wright House in Tuscon, AZ, a buyer has been found for the house who intends to preserve this important example of Frank Lloyd Wright ‘s mid-century southwestern architecture. More details.

David Wright House
Frank Lloyd Wright, David Wright House (1950-52), Tucson, AZ. Photography credit: Pedro Guerrero, 1952.
Source: http://www.visualartsource.com/ClientServices/2079/20791291329189-PGUE003.jpg

Fate, however, has not been as kind to Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital Building in Chicago, IL. Northwestern University plans to build a major biomedical research facility on the site. More details.

prentice womens hospital
Bertrand Goldberg, Prentice Women’s Hospital and Maternity Center (1975), Chicago, Il. Photography credit: designslinger.com, copyright 2010.
Source: http://s307.photobucket.com/albums/nn281/SallyGreene2008/UZY20000000047-21.jpg

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Photographer Pedro E. Guerrero (1917-2012)


A 1947 photo by Pedro Guerrero shows the  George Sturges House by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Frank Lloyd Wright, George Sturges House (1939). Photo by Pedro E. Guerrero (1947).
Source: http://www.trbimg.com/img-50529b9d/turbine/la-hm-briefsgu-136.jpg-20120913/600

Pedro E. Guerrero, who is perhaps best known for his photographs of Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic mid-century buildings, died on September 14, 2012. The best of these photographs can be viewed in Guerrero’s book, Picturing Wright: An Album from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Photographer, published in 1993.1

In addition to capturing images of Wright’s work, Guerrero “photographed buildings by other architects, including Marcel Breuer, Eero Saarinen, Edward Durrell Stone and Philip Johnson; [and] documented the work of sculptors Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson.1

Reference

1. Muchnic, L. (September 14, 2012). Pedro E. Guerrero dies at 95; fine arts photographer. Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-pedro-guerrero-20120914,0,7037728.story

For Further Reading

Guerrero, P.E. (2007). Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey. Princeton Architectural Press, New York, New York.

Guerrero, P.E. (1993). Picturing Wright: An Album from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Photographer. Pomegranate Communications, Petaluma, California.

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