50 Favorite Furnishings by Frank Lloyd Wright

50 Favorite Furnishings by Frank Lloyd Wright

by Diane Maddex


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810982130
Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date: 03/28/2001
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 10.50(w) x 11.25(h) x 0.75(d)

Read an Excerpt

"It is quite impossible to consider the building one thing and its furnishings another..."
Frank Lloyd Wright, Drawings and Plans of Frank Lloyd Wright, 1910

For Frank Lloyd Wright, design did not stop at the front door. Every item inside a house or an office building was as important as every brick or stone outside. Walls were tinted the restful colors of autumn on the prairie. Furniture was often built in or, where it was "at large," mimicked the lines and materials of the building itself. Glorious windows took the place of blocky walls and brought nature right inside. Decorative objects were few in number but were designed to complement the architecture. As "50 Favorite Furnishings by Frank Lloyd Wright" handsomely demonstrates, all of Wright's furnishings were meant to be integral parts of the whole composition-works of art in themselves.

The fifty favorite furnishings shown here range from Wright's world-famous tall-back chairs to ingenious built-in pieces, from his revered art glass windows to lamps that have become classics, and from vases to china to spectacular textile patterns. Nothing escaped Wright's attention. He built dining sets that created their own room within a room. He tinkered with chair designs for six decades, always searching for the prefect way to accommodate the act of sitting. And he designed plant holders and fireplace kettles as rotund as balloons along with sculptures as tall and angular as a mile-high skyscraper.

Throughout his long career, spanning the years 1887-1959, this internationally renowned architect worked to persuade homeowners to simplify and beautify their lives by simplifying their furnishings. Choose just a few good things, Wright suggested, and go to the woods and fields for colors and materials that bring nature home. A showcase for these and many more of Wright's most important ideas for interiors, "50 Favorite Furnishings by Frank Lloyd Wright" superbly illustrates how the architect clothed his buildings as well inside as outside.

Table of Contents

Chapter One - Furniture
Tall-Back Chair
Husser Dining Set
Slant-Back Chair
Print Table
Larkin Desk Set
Martin Barrel Chair
Robie Sofa
Coonley Desk
Irving Table-Couch
Greene Settle
Midway Dining Set
Mori Chair
Imperial Chair
Hollyhock Sofa
Hollyhock Dining Set
Fallingwater Built-ins
Johnson Wax Desk
Taliesin Dining Set
Cantilevered Desk
Taliesin West Chairs
Usonian Built-ins
Music Stand
Lovness Dining Set
Rayward Furniture
Chapter Two - Art Glass
Roberts Window
Luxfer Prism Glass
Studio Window
Thomas Vestibule
Dana Windows
Tree of Life Window
May Skylight
May Windows
Coonley Triptych
Taliesin Window
Hollyhock Windows
Ennis Window
Pyrex Glass Tubing
Chapter Three - Decorative Arts
Winged Victory
Copper Vases
Pedestal Lamp
Butterfly Lamp
"Flowers" Sculpture
Golden Mortar
Imperial China
Taliesin Lamp
Glass-Less Light
Fireplace Kettle
Wood Screens
Patterned Carpet
Fabric No. 105

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50 Favorite Furnishings by Frank Lloyd Wright 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most of the 5,000 plus wonderful rooms designed by Frank Lloyd Wright are not open to the public. Even if you could go behind those doors, you often would find that the original furnishings have been moved, replaced, or lost. This book gives you a chance to go where you often cannot go in any other way to see the best original details of furnishings in 50 of the best. Unlike most architects, Mr. Wright designed in such a way that 'the rooms inside would dictate the architecture outside.' Even inside, he designed all elements of the room, including floor and wall coverings, art glass in many cases, lighting fixtures, furniture, and where everything should be located. He also specified that those who used the rooms should be limited to bringing in only certain types of objects, and for certain locations. For example, ornamental china was allowed on one ledge of the dining room in Robie House. In working on furnishings, he had a lot of help. Marion Mahoney often finished his designs for furniture and art glass, and saw them through implementation. George Niedecken was often called upon to execute conceptual designs of furniture. Artists helped with sculptures and murals. Artisans crafted many of the items that Mr. Wright sketched. The furnishings were never meant to be considered separately from the buildings and rooms they were to reside in. Yet this volume can help you appreciate these details that are often tiny in photographs of entire rooms. I have had the chance to visit many Wright homes and buildings, yet this book greatly expanded my understanding of his work. This book is primarily focused on furniture, but has a number of important art glass and decorative arts examples. Mr. Wright designed what have to be the most elegant, minimal chairs . . . and the ones that were probably the most painful to sit in. I had a hard time appreciating the design while thinking about how impractical they are. Well, every genius has limitations . . . and chairs were that for Mr. Wright. My favorite furniture examples in the book were the print table from the Oak Park house, Robie winged sofa, Coonley desk, and the Johnson Wax desk. Of the art glass, I liked the Roberts window, the Luxfer prism glass, Thomas vestibule, Dana windows, and the Tree of Life window. In the decorative pieces, I enjoyed the pedestal and butterfly lamps, and the glass-faced 'golden' mortar. As you will see from the examples, each one loses a lot by being seen in isolation from the rest of the room. Ms. Maddex does a nice job of describing each item or ensemble in a half-page essay covering the 50 subjects here. The photography is superb in the 67 illustrations, including 64 full color plates. That's quite important because you will not usually be allowed to photograph these objects, even if you do have the good fortune to see them in a Wright home or public building. After you finish examining the items you like best, I suggest that you think about what qualities furnishings must have in order to improve the quality of your life. How well does your best furnishing do so now? How can you make that furnishing ease your way into natural living even better? Relax . . . then, see, touch, and enjoy the beauty all around you! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution