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Wright Exhibit at the Art Institute
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 3717
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:15 pm    Post subject: Wright Exhibit at the Art Institute Reply with quote

Wright Exhibit at the Art Institute

From April 22 through July 23, the Art Institute of Chicago hosts a special exhibit devoted to one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s personal hobbies. Throughout his life, Wright collected Japanese prints, many of which he lent to the museum for a special exhibit in 1908. This summer’s exhibit incorporates photos from that 1908 showing, original prints once owned by Wright, and drawings that hint at the Japanese influences in his work.

https://is.gd/c5lAHz
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Hobby" falls short. There was a time in FLW's life when he was making most of his income buying and selling Japanese art. He was one of the major dealers in the country.
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JimM



Joined: 06 Jan 2005
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Location: Burlington, WA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of prints.... it's unfortunate the storage/viewing room for the Spaulding brothers never materialized. I've always found it very appealing and one of Wrights more interesting interiors. Sort of a (Unity) Temple for the enjoyment of Ukioy-e. Excuse the diptych, it's a large drawing.

An aside....James Michener was a serious print collector. He wrote and assembled a high quality appreciation limited edition of 475. Out of my league, but I was given one of five other books he wrote about the subject. He donated his 5,400 print collection to the Honolulu Academy of Art, which included prints previously owned by Wright, supposedly the most held in private hands.


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Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know how many drawings were made for the print room? I've managed to find a floor plan, two elevations, and the perspectve JimM already posted.

You can find some here:

https://visionsofwright.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/gallery-for-storage-exhibition-of-japanese-prints-w-s-spaulding-collection-1914/

The other elevation was published in Treasures of Taliesin: Seventy-Seven Unbuilt Designs by Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer.

Does anyone know of any other drawings?
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14328
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Let's see those two sections on the same page, anyway:



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



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Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the floor plan while we're at it.

[img][/img]

I've got a few questions if anyone thinks they've got answers. First, what are the build outs on the stair landing and in the waiting area? One of them is labeled, but I can't read it. Second, based on what we've been given, what would the elevation of the fireplace look like? And third, in one of the sections, you can see some windows/doors on the second level that have curtains in front of them. Around the edge of the frame is a series of rectangles. Any thoughts as to what this would have looked like in reality?

It would be great if there is a section through the space showing the elevation of the stair wall, or of the fireplace, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

I'm hoping to do a little modeling of this. We'll see where it goes.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14328
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I wish the long section had been drawn looking the other way; then we'd see the stair, at least. The pair of objects on the
landings/mezzanines may be radiator covers. Any number of Wright's Prairie-period orthogonal and symmetrical fireplaces of brick, with stone
hearth, lintel and cubical hobs, could stand in for the intended object. This one doesn't have the hobs, but the base stonework matches the height of
the room base elsewhere. This Oscar Balch fireplace is an example, though the Spalding fireplace opening is clearly lower, and the entire brick
surround is in a single plane:

https://thespaces.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Frank-Lloyd-Wright-Oscar-B-Balch-House-Chicago-2.jpg

I've not seen Wright surround a window opening with rectangular tiles -- but that's what these might be. The windows themselves appear to have a
small repeated figure running up one edge of the sash, with simple return,top and the bottom. No way of knowing if the glass was to be colored, but
by 1919 I'd guess not. His houses of the period have similar orthogonal muntin-work in clear glass; see for instance the ASBH work or the soon-to-come
Storer house in LA.

I'm looking for documentation of this project; it is listed in Hitchcock under 1919. It does not appear in Taschen II; indeed Pfeiffer has no T. numbers
at all for the year 1919.

Here is a PDF from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and an excerpt from page 54:

https://www.metmuseum.org/pubs/bulletins/1/pdf/3258756.pdf.bannered.pdf

"In Tokyo, Wright resumed buying prints. His Tokyo and Yokohama bankbooks for 1919 show payments to at least eight dealers. Later that year
he was even inspired to design a print gallery for the Spauldings. A skylight was intended to allow viewing by natural light, and plants - integral to all of
his interiors - were judiciously located throughout the room. The walls above the storage cabinets were slanted, for ease of viewing and display, and a
slanted easel, much like that in his Oak Park studio,was available for studying individual prints while seated. This ideal room was never built; the
Spauldings may have lost interest in Wright, or perhaps they simply stopped collecting. In 1921 they promised their nearly seven thousand Japanese
prints to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston."
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14328
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I misspoke; there is only one mezzanine, at the rear of the space. The entry area is full-height. We don't know which way the short section faces; if the
openings at both sides of the exhibit space are identically treated, it raises the question of why they do not appear identical in the long section. The apparent
answer is that the cut line of the long section takes a jog, running at the center of the space through the fireplace but off-center at the front of the room,
showing instead the storage drawers in the poché of the display wall. The apparent continuation of the overhead panel at the front of the space is actually a
molding on the far wall; dotted lines at the doorway assemblies on the plan support this reading . . .

SDR
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Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the fireplaces SDR, they're a big help. I think something simple along those lines would be very appropriate. I've got an idea for most of the rest of the room, but I really wish I could read the text on the items on the landings. They certainly could be register covers, but if they are, I have no idea what they'd look like. Perhaps they'll get left out for now.

I'd wondered if the window surrounds were tile as well - how very un-Wright! Not sure what that would look like.

The Spaulding Print Room is mentioned in Taschen #1, by the way.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it ? Do you have a page number ? I didn't find it in the index . . .

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 7490

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think they are not tiles, but wood trim.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14328
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmm. How do you see the figure being worked; would those be shallow grooves crossing the trim board, perhaps ? Seen anything like that elsewhere in Wright ? Strikes me as something Lloyd might do; also, see Millard doors for muntin pattern.

SDR
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14328
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Spaulding project is in Taschen I, p 467; I do not find it in the index. Pfeiffer dates it 1914, fully five years earlier than does the Met catalog linked above. I guess he doesn't trust Hitchcock/Wright ?

The mystery boxes are indeed labeled "Radiator Screen," visible under magnification . . .

SDR


Last edited by SDR on Tue May 02, 2017 12:48 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there any indication in which building Spaulding was to be constructed? FLW's installations in existing buildings are interesting in the way everything exterior to the space is avoided, as if he didn't want people to be distracted from his own work by the nature of the building. Browne Book Store is another such construction, as would be, one can assume, the restaurant in Oak Park that went unknown until recently.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pfeiffer says the location "has not been determined."

S
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