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MoMA Doing Major Frank Lloyd Wright Retrospective in 2017

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Frank Lloyd Wright at 77 (Bettmann/Getty Images)
Frank Lloyd Wright at 77 (Bettmann/Getty Images)

In honor of what would be his 150th birthday, the Museum of Modern Art will be running an expansive exhibition on Frank Llyod Wright from June 12, 2017, to October 1, 2017. The exhibition will comprise over 450 works created from the 1890s-1950s, including sketches; models; building fragments; furniture; and a number of works either rarely or never seen before. Frank Lloyd Wright, a leader of the Prairie School movement, was the most prolific architect of the 20th century. His unique urban planning concepts, like Usonian homes, proved that he was a radical thinker and intellectual, looking to experiment with avant-garde materials or construction methods.

1926 Liberty Magazine Cover made with color pencil on paper, from The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives. (The Museum of Modern Art/Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York)
1926 Liberty Magazine Cover made with color pencil on paper, from The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives. (The Museum of Modern Art/Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York)

MoMA’s retrospective will be structured like an anthology, rather than a comprehensive presentation of Wright’s work. This timeline will highlight key parts of his life with important works such as the Unity Temple (1905-08), Robie House (1908-10), Fallingwater (1934-37), Johnson Wax Administration Building (1936-39), and Beth Sholom Synagogue (1953-59). Divided into 12 parts, each exhibition section will center around an object, or group of them, from the Frank Lloyd Wright Archive. To gain context and understanding of each item, other works from MoMA and outside collections will be included in each section for juxtaposition. In exhibiting Wright’s work in this manner, MoMA is inviting critique and debate, as well as bringing fresh perspectives to such iconic designs. Take a lot at a sample of these designs below, with a video on conserving one of Wright’s models at the bottom.

Drawing for the unbuilt Rosenwald Foundation School in La Jolla, California made with pencil and color pencil on tracing paper in 1928. (The Museum of Modern Art/Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).
Drawing for the unbuilt Rosenwald Foundation School in La Jolla, California, made with pencil and color pencil on tracing paper in 1928. (The Museum of Modern Art/Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).
Drawings for the unbuilt Raul Bailleres House in Acapulco, Mexico, made in 1952. (The Museum of Modern Art/Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York)
Drawings for the unbuilt Raul Bailleres House in Acapulco, Mexico, made in 1952. (The Museum of Modern Art/Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York)
Plan for the unbuilt Greater Baghdad project, made from 1957-58. (The Museum of Modern Art/Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).
Plan for the unbuilt Greater Baghdad project made from 1957-58. (The Museum of Modern Art/Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).