Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright

Unpacking the Archive

Book - 2017
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Published for a major exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, this catalog reveals new perspectives on the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, a designer so prolific and familiar as to nearly preclude critical reexamination. Structured as a series of inquiries into the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives at Taliesin West, Arizona (recently acquired by MoMA and Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University), the book is a collection of scholarly explorations rather than an attempt to construct a master narrative. Each chapter centers on a key object from the archive that an invited author has "unpacked"-- tracing its meanings and connections, and juxtaposing it with other works from the archive, from MoMA, or from outside collections. Wright's quest to build a mile-high skyscraper reveals him to be one of the earliest celebrity architects, using television, press relations and other forms of mass media to advance his own self-crafted image. A little-known project for a Rosenwald School for African-American children, together with other projects that engage Japanese and Native American culture, ask provocative questions about Wright's positions on race and cultural identity. Still other investigations engage the architect's lifelong dedication to affordable and do-it-yourself housing, as well as the ecological systems, both social and environmental, that informed his approach to cities, landscapes and even ornament. The publication aims to open up Wright's work to questions, interrogations and debates, and to highlight interpretations by contemporary scholars, both established Wright experts and others considering this iconic figure from new and illuminating perspectives.
Publisher: ©2017.
New York, New York :, The Museum of Modern Art,, 2017.
Copyright Date: ©2017.
ISBN: 9781633450264
1633450260
Characteristics: 256 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), photographs, portraits, plans ; 31 cm
Contents: Foreword / Glenn D. Lowry
Introduction / Barry Bergdoll and Carole Ann Fabian
NATURE: The floricycle: designing with native and exotic plants / Therese O'Malley
Pattern behind the realism: The Jensen graphic / Jennifer Gray
Little farms unit: Nature, ecology, and community / Juliet Kinchin
CULTURE: Reframing the Imperial Hotel: between East and West / Ken Tadashi Oshima
"Playing Indian" at the Nakoma Country Club / Elizabeth S. Hawley
Rosenwald School: Lessons in progressive education / Mabel O. Wilson
PROCESS: The final mousetrap: Ornament from Midway Gardens to the V.C. Morris Gift Shop / Spyros Papapetros
Abstracting the landscape: Galesburg above and below the surface / Michael Desmond
American system-built houses: Authorship and mass production / Michael Osman
Do It Yourself: Usonian Automatic System / Matthew Skjonsberg
CITY: Wrights's Urbanism and the Skyscraper Regulation Project / Neil Levine
Broad acres and narrow lots / David Smiley
Reading "Mile-High": The Chicago Skyline and the stakes of fame / Barry Bergdoll
ARCHIVE: Conserving and exhibiting the New York models / Ellen Moody
Architectural drawing: Materials, process, people / Janet Parks
Visualizing the archives / Carole Ann Fabian.
Summary: Published for a major exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, this catalog reveals new perspectives on the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, a designer so prolific and familiar as to nearly preclude critical reexamination. Structured as a series of inquiries into the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives at Taliesin West, Arizona (recently acquired by MoMA and Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University), the book is a collection of scholarly explorations rather than an attempt to construct a master narrative. Each chapter centers on a key object from the archive that an invited author has "unpacked"-- tracing its meanings and connections, and juxtaposing it with other works from the archive, from MoMA, or from outside collections. Wright's quest to build a mile-high skyscraper reveals him to be one of the earliest celebrity architects, using television, press relations and other forms of mass media to advance his own self-crafted image. A little-known project for a Rosenwald School for African-American children, together with other projects that engage Japanese and Native American culture, ask provocative questions about Wright's positions on race and cultural identity. Still other investigations engage the architect's lifelong dedication to affordable and do-it-yourself housing, as well as the ecological systems, both social and environmental, that informed his approach to cities, landscapes and even ornament. The publication aims to open up Wright's work to questions, interrogations and debates, and to highlight interpretations by contemporary scholars, both established Wright experts and others considering this iconic figure from new and illuminating perspectives.

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