Maker: Frank Lloyd Wright (American, Richland Center, Wisconsin 1867–1959 Phoenix, Arizona)
Medium: Oak, leaded glass
Dimensions: 13 ft. 7 1/2 in. × 28 ft. 7 in. × 47 ft. 8 5/8 in. (415.3 × 871.2 × 1454.5 cm)
Each window panel: 53 3/4 x 22 3/4 in. (136.5 x 57.8 cm)
Credit Line: Purchase, Emily Crane Chadbourne Bequest, 1972
Accession Number: 1972.60.1
Rights and Reproduction: © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
The Frank Lloyd Wright Room was originally the living room of the summer residence of Frances W. Little, designed and built between 1912 and 1914 in Wayzata, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. The room epitomizes Wright's concept of "organic architecture," in which the building, setting, interior, and furnishings are inextricably related. The house is composed of a group of low pavilions interspersed with gardens and terraces, which, in plan, radiate from a central symbolic hearth.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Room also exemplifies one of Wright's most important contributions to modern architecture: the idea of spatial continuity. Low overhanging roofs and geometric window "grilles" with stylized plant motifs once linked the interior visually and spatially to the wooded site overlooking Lake Minnetonka. The living room itself is not merely a single, enclosed volume but a series of horizontal levels surrounded by glass, which allows the interplay of natural light and the rich, earthy tones that Wright employed throughout the room.
This room achieves tonal harmony through the combination of ocher plaster walls, natural oak trim and flooring, the use of the exterior reddish brown bricks for the fireplace, and leaded windows with an electroplated copper finish. The bold forms of the oak furniture were likewise conceived as an integral part of the composition. The center of the room is empty and furniture groupings enliven the peripheral space. Many of the accessories are similar to those original to the room, and others recall objects that appear in period photographs. The use of Japanese prints and natural flower arrangements are characteristic Wright touches.
The Museum's installation has sought to preserve the continuity between interior and exterior by reconstructing the exterior facades in the side passageways and providing a view of Central Park.