The crowning feature of the so-called playhouse--an addition to the Avery Coonley estate, in Riverside, Illinois, designed by Wright in 1907--was the clerestory containing more than thirty windows, each one slightly different. A marked contrast to Wright’s early designs derived from nature, the windows are purely geometric in composition and feature bright, mostly primary colors. The unusual design, which Wright later referred to as a “kinder-symphony,” may have been inspired by a parade; the colored glass simulates a haphazard, yet controlled, arrangement of balloons, confetti, and flags. This triptych, comprising the largest windows in the clerestory, was the focal point of the playhouse--actually a kindergarten operated by Mrs. Coonley.
Avery Coonley Playhouse, Riverside, Illinois, until 1967
Artist: Frank Lloyd Wright (American, Richland Center, Wisconsin 1867–1959 Phoenix, Arizona)Date: 1943Medium: Illustrations: photomechanical reproduction and color lithographyAccession: 1986.1234.2On view in:Not on view
Artist: Written by Frank Lloyd Wright (American, Richland Center, Wisconsin 1867–1959 Phoenix, Arizona)Date: June 7, 1909Medium: Black ink and graphite on Western UnionTelegram formAccession: 1972.607.34On view in:Not on view