a new exhibition at new york’s MoMA is set to celebrate the 150th anniversary of frank lloyd wright’s birth. on view from june 12 to october 1, 2017, ‘frank lloyd wright at 150: unpacking the archive’ seeks to critically engage the multifaceted practice of wright, who remains one of the 20th century’s most prolific and influential architects. the display comprises nearly 400 works, including architectural drawings, models, building fragments, and furniture. a number of pieces will be presented that have never been publicly exhibited.

moma frank lloyd wright
st. mark’s tower, new york. project, 1927–29. model. painted wood and cardboard, 53 x 16 x 16″ (134.6 x 40.6 x 40.6 cm). the frank lloyd wright foundation archives (the museum of modern art | avery architectural & fine arts library, columbia university, new york)

 

 

MoMA has divided the exhibition into 12 sections that each investigate a key object or cluster of objects from the frank lloyd wright foundation archives. in this way, the show is structured as an anthology that opens up wright’s work to debate for both experts and general audiences. ‘a radical designer and intellectual, wright embraced new technologies and materials, pioneered do-it-yourself construction systems and avant-garde experimentation, and advanced original theories with regards to nature, urban planning, and social politics,’ says MoMA.

moma frank lloyd wright
solomon r. guggenheim museum, new york. 1943–59. model. painted wood, plastic, glass beads, ink, and watercolor on paper, 28 x 62 x 44″ (71.1 x 157.5 x 111.8 cm). the frank lloyd wright foundation archives (the museum of modern art | avery architectural & fine arts library, columbia university, new york)

 

 

in a career that spanned seven decades, wright designed more than 1,000 buildings, realizing more than 500. his vast collection of drawings was jointly acquired by MoMA and avery architectural & fine arts library at columbia university in 2012. ‘unpacking the archive’ refers to the monumental task of moving these 55,000 drawings, 300,000 sheets of correspondence, 125,000 photographs, and 2,700 manuscripts, as well as models, films, building fragments, and other materials.

moma frank lloyd wright
gordon strong automobile objective and planetarium, sugarloaf mountain, maryland. project, 1924–25. perspective. pencil and colored pencil on tracing paper, 19 3/4 × 30 3/4″ (50.2 × 78.1 cm). the frank lloyd wright foundation archives (the museum of modern art | avery architectural & fine arts library, columbia university, new york)

 

 

the exhibition is organized around a central chronological spine highlighting many of wright’s major projects. the display will be illustrated with some of his finest drawings and include key works such as unity temple (1905-08), fallingwater (1934-37), the johnson wax administration building (1936-39), and the marin county civic center (1957-70).

 

‘frank lloyd wright at 150’ opens at MoMA on june 12 and remains on view until october 1, 2017.

moma frank lloyd wright
fallingwater (kaufmann house), mill run, pennsylvania. 1934–37. perspective from the south. pencil and colored pencil on paper, 15 3/8 × 25 1/4″ (39.1 × 64.1 cm). the frank lloyd wright foundation archives (the museum of modern art | avery architectural & fine arts library, columbia university, new york)

moma frank lloyd wright
march balloons. 1955. drawing based on a c. 1926 design for liberty magazine. colored pencil on paper, 28 1/4 x 24 1/2 in. (71.8 x 62.2 cm). the frank lloyd wright foundation archives (the museum of modern art | avery architectural & fine arts library, columbia university, new york)

moma frank lloyd wright
plan for greater baghdad, baghdad. project, 1957. aerial perspective of the cultural center and university from the north. ink, pencil, and colored pencil on tracing paper, 34 7/8 x 52″ (88.6 x 132.1 cm). the frank lloyd wright foundation archives (the museum of modern art | avery architectural & fine arts library, columbia university, new york)

moma frank lloyd wright
davidson little farms unit. project, 1932–33. model. painted wood and particle board, 7 3⁄4 x 70 x 54 3⁄4 in. (19.7 x 177.8 x 139.1 cm). the frank lloyd wright foundation archives (the museum of modern art | avery architectural & fine arts library, columbia university, new york)

moma frank lloyd wright
little dipper school and community playhouse, los angeles. 1923. perspective from the west. pencil and colored pencil on tracing paper, 15 3/4 x 26 7/8″ (40 x 68.3 cm). the frank lloyd wright foundation archives (the museum of modern art | avery architectural & fine arts library, columbia university, new york)

moma frank lloyd wright
madison civic center (monona terrace), madison, wisconsin. project, 1938–59. night perspective from the west, 1955. ink and pencil on paper mounted to plywood, 20 x 40″ (81.3 x 101.6 cm). the frank lloyd wright foundation archives (the museum of modern art | avery architectural & fine arts library, columbia university, new york)

moma frank lloyd wright
american system-built (ready-cut) houses. project, 1915–17. model options. lithographs, each: 11 x 8 1/2 in. (27.9 x 21.6 cm). the museum of modern art, new york. gifts of david rockefeller, jr. fund, ira howard levy fund, and jeffrey p. klein purchase fund

moma frank lloyd wright
pedro e. guerrero. sixty years of living architecture: the work of frank lloyd wright in new york. 1953. © 2017 pedro e. guerrero archives.

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