Decoding Design

Frank Lloyd Wright archives headed to New York City

Frank Lloyd Wright archives headed to New York City

Posting in Architecture

The design works of the famed American architect will leave their current residences in Wisconsin and Arizona.

Wright's Martin House, in Buffalo, New York.

Frank Lloyd Wright is possibly America's most well known architect, and as the daughter of an architect and architectural historian, I spent many a summer vacation in the midwest, exploring various Prairie Houses. In his time designing homes, furniture, and fabrics, among other things, he completed the designs of 1,141 architectural works. Only 409 of them still stand today, and with this his works grow more rare and precious by the day.

MoMA and Columbia University have announced that over 23,000 of his architectural drawings and 44,000 photos, large-scale models, manuscripts and other documents are being moved permanently from Arizona and Wisconsin to New York. The two institutions will share and manage the collections equally, with the MoMA housing the models and Columbia's Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library housing the papers. The collections will be transferred incrementally over 2012 and made available to researchers at the end of 2013.

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation CEO Sean Malone described the move as "Ensuring the best possible conservation, accessibility, and impact of one of the most important and meaningful archives in the world," He cited the reasons for the move to the two institutions. "Given the individual strengths, resources and abilities of the foundation, MoMA and Columbia, it became clear that this collaborative stewardship is far and away the best way to guarantee the deepest impact, the highest level of conservation and the best public access."

The move will make available rare and amazing Lloyd Wright pieces which will be an amazing resource to scholars and the general public alike. There to inspire the next generations of Lloyd Wrights.

[Mercury News]
Image: Jason Paris/Flickr

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Beth Carter

Contributing Editor

Beth Carter is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has worked for Catalyst magazine, the New York Times Syndicate, BBC Travel and Wired. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and New York University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure