Clerestory panel from the New York Exhibition House
stained and painted cypress
15¾ w × 45¾ h in (40 × 116 cm)
This panel comes from the 1953 retrospective exhibition "Sixty Years of Living Architecture" held at the site of where the Guggenheim Museum in New York now stands. For this exhibition, Wright created an entire Usonian house, which featured panels that are reminiscent of his stained glass designs from the beginning of the century. Since the Usonian ideology emphasized utility, cut panels were used to subtly shade walkways in lieu of more expensive glass works. This panel is one of the ten original panels from the pavilion. Literature: Frank Lloyd Wright: Preserving an Architectural Heritage, Decorative Designs from The Domino's Pizza Collection, Hanks, pg. 111
provenance: Private Collection, San Francisco
Frank Lloyd Wright 1867–1959
During his seventy year career as an architect, Frank Lloyd Wright created more than 1,100 designs, half of which were realized and a large portion of which came about later in his life. Wright was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin in 1867. He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in 1885 to study civil engineering, completing only two years of the program. After working for Joseph Silsbee on the construction of the Unity Chapel, Wright decided to pursue a career in architecture and he moved to Chicago where he began an apprenticeship at the famed architectural firm Adler and Sullivan, working directly with Louis Sullivan until 1893.
After parting ways, Wright moved to Oak Park, Illinois. Working from his home studio, he developed a system of design developed from grid units and rooted in an appreciation of natural materials that would come to be known as the Prairie School of Architecture and would change the landscape of American design forever. Wright devoted himself to teaching and writing during the 1920s and 30s. 1935 marked the beginning of an immense surge of creativity and productivity as he began work on his most celebrated residential design, Fallingwater. In the 1940s and 50s Wright focused on his Usonian designs that reflected his belief in democratic architecture, offering middle class residential options. In 1943, Wright took on his most demanding commission, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. The museum, which would open its doors six months after his death in 1959, would be called his most significant work.