[Return to Query]
The Exhibitions of Frank Lloyd Wright: 1894-1959
Kathryn Smith, Otis Art Institute, Parsons School of Design
Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FB-52260-06
Wright on Exhibit: Frank Lloyd Wright's Architectural Exhibitions (Book)
Title: Wright on Exhibit: Frank Lloyd Wright's Architectural Exhibitions
Author: Kathryn Smith
Editor: Michelle Komie
Abstract: Between 1894 and his death in 1959, Frank Lloyd Wright organized more than one hundred exhibitions of his own work. For Wright, exhibitions were as crucial to his self-presentation as his extensive writings. He used them to promote his designs, appeal to new viewers, and persuade his detractors. Wright on Exhibit presents the first history of this neglected aspect of the architect’s influential career.
Drawing extensively from Wright’s unpublished correspondence, Kathryn Smith challenges the pre-conceived notion of Wright as a self-promoter who displayed his work in search of money, clients, and fame. She shows how he was an artist-architect projecting an avant-garde program, an innovator who expanded the palette of installation design as technology evolved, and a social activist driven to revolutionize society through design. While Wright’s earliest exhibitions were largely for other architects, by the 1930s he was creating public installations intended to inspire debate and change public perceptions about architecture. The nature of his exhibitions expanded with the times, moving from models, drawings, and photographs to include more immersive tools such as slides, film, and even a full-scale structure built especially for his 1953 retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum. Placing Wright’s exhibitions side by side with his writings, Smith shows how integral these exhibitions were to his vision and sheds light on the broader discourse concerning architecture and modernism during the first half of the twentieth century.
Wright on Exhibit features color renderings, photos, and plans, as well as a checklist of exhibitions and an illustrated catalog of extant and lost models made under Wright’s supervision.
Access Model: in bookstores in April 2017
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Type: Single author monograph
Copy sent to NEH?: No