Frank LLoyd Wright, Meyer May House, 1908, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Photo Courtesy of Steelcase, Inc.
Frank Lloyd Wright has long been renowned for his work in the decorative arts as well as in architecture. For Wright, the two were inseparable. Furniture, fabrics, tiles, glass and even tableware were all integral contributors to a building’s design. While the entire building as a work of art was a widely shared ideal among arts and crafts and modernist architects, few were as prolific as Wright in a spectrum of media or as enduring in their pursuit of innovation in the decorative arts. This was a commitment that would leave a lasting impact on the avant-garde in the decades following World War I as well. Grand Rapids, Michigan, one of the nation’s great centers for the design and production of furniture during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is a fitting location to gain fresh insight on Wright’s remarkable output in the decorative arts during this year’s conference, ‘Wright on the Inside’, October 16-20, 2013. In addition to daily speaker presentations, the conference will feature tours of at least nine Wright structures, including the beautifully restored Meyer May House in Grand Rapids.
In a phenomenal career lasting from 1887 to 1959 -seventy-two years- Frank Lloyd Wright completed some five hundred buildings as well as an equal number of unbuilt projects. His legacy includes world-famous designs from Fallingwater to the Guggenheim Museum plus hundreds of houses that grace the often-modest streets on which they stand. Presenting the best-loved interiors from all of Wright’s prodigious architectural achievements, 50 Favorite Rooms by Frank Lloyd Wright by Diane Maddex focuses on what he viewed as the most important: their rooms inside.
These spectacular rooms show Wright’s trademarks, the techniques he devised to revolutionize architecture. Here, in more than fifty dramatic color photographs, are buildings that grow naturally from their sites, that rely on natural materials used as nature intended, that feature open plans to increase their sense of spaciousness. Wright simplified room arrangements with built-in furniture and created furnishings totally in harmony with the architecture. He made the hearth the center of family life, integrated all ornament, and tied everything together with a powerful mastery of geometric forms. His instantly recognizable art glass windows and doors brought nature right inside.