Designed in 1923 to accompany the synthesized interior of the John Storer House in Hollywood, California, this iron and glass hanging lamp epitomizes Frank Lloyd Wright’s deconstructed Prairie aesthetic and its relationship to the organic architecture of modern design movements during the 1920s.

The living room of the John Storer House, Hollywood.

Textile Block Homes,
Geometry and Nature

One of Three Hanging Lamps from the John Storer Residence

In 1923, John Storer, a homeopathic physician based in Los Angeles, commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build a home in the Hollywood Hills. It was the first residence designed by Wright to use the new construction method of cast concrete textile blocks molded with geometric motifs evocative of Mayan revival styles. The resulting design appeared as if it had emerged from the hills, revealed through openings in the lush landscape surrounding it. The rhythmic linear motifs of the molded concrete blocks were also evident in the interior of the home, reflected in both the surfaces of the walls and the floor plan of the house itself which included two floors and multiple open-air terraces.

The present lot, one of three examples created for the house, was situated in the main floor living room across from the dining area, flanking the large central fireplace. Wright included tall banks of windows throughout the home that flooded the space with natural light. At night, the interior was illuminated with light fixtures such as the present lot that punctuated the space like torches in an ancient temple. Wright’s use of the textile blocks blended the interior and exterior construction, synthesizing the built environment with the natural surroundings.

Nature is the inspiration for all ornamentation.

Frank Lloyd Wright

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 in Oak Park, Illinois 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. 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 1930s. 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 1950s 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.

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