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Update - connecting back to many, many previous posts, I am the current owner of those "5000 lbs" of the lost Exhibition House from 1953 in New York. I was a long time friend of the previous owner - Leonard Wisnewski (architect) who passed this last year; he bought his collection from Hindman in Chicago in 1992 as well as from a couple of other collectors that bought at that auction. I also live within ten minutes of his previous home.
I have his Wright collection in storage - all the clerestory windows, all the large top of ceiling windows (no glass), a 4 ft. skydome set in copper, doors, closet doors, kitchen pieces, shelves (many with copper banding on the edges), lots of ceiling panels, lots of outside riffed oak sheets, soffit pieces, and other misc. items. It is by no means a complete house, nor is it in the greatest of shape; but it is real, fills one semi van, and is real Wright! I also acquired two Robie House couches (Bexley), a tall oak chair dining set (Bexley), a Wright coffee table as well as other furniture items.
Dr. Brian Hinrichs, Watseka, IL
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/61 ... indow-1953
As you look at my clerestory windows, the ones the perfs were in, it is interesting how he (Wright, Henken...) used really simple brass piano like hinges to allow the perf to open, not to mention at the House, they did not put a brass screw in every hole of the hinge, but maybe every 6th hole or so. The glass in my ten windows is just that, simple singular panes of glass. I also noticed that what looks like closets that open with finger pulls (each half) in the bedroom wall (House Beautiful, 1953) really is a solid piece of wood, with a fancy veneer that looks to have a gap in the veneer in the middle as though two pieces, in reality, it never did open in two halves, but just from one side, again a piano hinge all the way down.
Look at Wright Auction site (Chicago, IL) and in the upper right corner, type in Frank Lloyd Wright and hit search, scroll down to the 2004 sale I believe and see the one perf that they had listed for my home, but were unable to get a bid on at the time.
What you have and what you have been able to observe and learn is quite amazing.
Do you have any hopes of you or someone being able to construct the house? I'm sure you've thought of the Polymath Park and what they have done to reconstruct Usonian houses, but I imagine yours would be even more of a challenge with possible missing pieces. Would be a shame for it to merely be in storage forever, but there may be no real alternative.
I went to the Wright.com website and found that perf. It came from quite a collection.
Thank you for your observations.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/511 ... 3c5c_b.jpg
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/511 ... 7769_b.jpg
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/511 ... 5299_b.jpg
Have you considered rebuilding the house on an appropriate site? Any moderately flat spot would work, assuming you could orient it in the same way Wright intended.
I was a friend of Leonard Wisnewski whom I met at several FLWBC Conferences over the years. Sorry to hear of his passing.
I was happy to hear that you have acquired the Exhibition House and a few other pieces. I visited him at his home (of his own design) and he showed me his collection of Robie House sofas. I believe he had a least six of them.
I don't know what plans you have regarding reconstruction, but it would make a fine addition to Polymath Park.
All the best to you.
He would have known, perhaps, that this iconic furniture piece, called a davenport on the original Niedecken drawings, is believed to be the work of George Mann Niedecken. Niedecken first met with Wright on the Robie work eight days before Wright sailed for Europe. Niedecken met with Mr Robie a week later. A ledger and a journal from Niedecken's company contain records of the dates and the items made. Two invoices to Robie from Niedecken & Walbridge included furnishings and textiles made for the Robie house; the second invoice, which included the davenport, contains no items designed by Wright. No Wright drawings for Robie designs are found among the N & W papers, and the Foundation archive contains only designs for built-in furniture. The dining table and high-backed chairs, found on the earlier invoice, are almost certainly Wright designs.
Do you have any desire or plans to utilize the salvaged components with new masonry, framing, and the rest that is needed to recreate the house itself?
Might you consider taking stock of what pieces you have and assembling them with some newly milled bits in an existing house or building as a “period room” recreation of a portion of the Exhibition house?
I appreciate your taking on the ownership of these salvaged bits, but will someone else do the same when you are no longer able? The best chance for long term preservation of the pieces is for them to be assembled in some form as a recreated space from the original, or a full rebuild with the historic bits combined with new.
Otherwise, this is just a trailer load of pieces waiting for someone to pull the pretty or recognizable pieces out to sell and chuck the rest in a landfill.
New York, New York
After opening in the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, and touring Europe, the exhibit "Sixty Years of Living Architecture" came to New York City, It was housed in the [Pavilion adjacent to the] Usonian Exhibition House, on the site of the current Guggenheim Museum. [W A Storrer, 1978]
The next year, Mr Wright published "The Natural House." In the middle of the book appeared this 12-page chapter on the Usonian house, with the Exhibition House as the sole example. I've scanned the pages entire, including white space, to portray the graphic design as well as Wright's texts and the captions to his chosen images. The photographs are the work of Ezra Stoller and Pedro Guerrero (indistinguishable from each other in this case, as I see it).
Pages may be enlarged by opening them in a new tab on your device.
Curtis Besinger devotes seven pages of "Working with Mr Wright" to the design and construction of the exhibition. I will reproduce those pages here if there is interest.
Text from Taschen, "FLLW 1943-1959" :