Launch Slideshow

Into the Archives: FLW models and documents

Into the Archives: FLW models and documents

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    Frank Lloyd Wright with Wingspread Model at the Exhibition.

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    Linoleum Tile, May Basket.

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    Broadacre City model in construction in Arizona. 1935.

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    Crescent Opera House, Plan for Greater Baghdad (Project), Baghdad, Iraq. 1957.

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    St. Marks’s in-the-Bowerie model on exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. 1930.

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    Darwin D. Martin House, Buffalo, NY. 1902-04.

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    Fallingwater Edgar J. Kaufmann House, Mill Run, PA. 1934-37.

Columbia University and New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on Tuesday announced their joint acquisition of the archives of Frank Lloyd Wright, making the resources more readily available to academic researches, students, and the public. The paper-based archival materials will live at the university’s Avery Architectural & Fine Arts library and the models will be kept at MoMA.

"Frank Lloyd Wright's work will be in conversation with great modern artists and architects such as Picasso, Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier," Barry Bergdoll, the Philip Johnson chief curator of architecture and design at MoMA and professor in the art history and archeology department at Columbia, said in a statement. "This collaboration provides opportunities to reposition Wright as a key figure in the larger development of modern art and architecture, after decades of scholarship that have often emphasized his lone genius and his unique Americanness.”

The new partnership comes in part from recognition by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation of the costs associated with managing the growing collection, which includes 23,000 architectural drawings, 44,000 historical photographs, large-scale presentation models, manuscripts, and extensive letters.

“It’s what guarantees the deepest impact, the highest level of conservation and access in perpetuity,” the foundation’s president and chief executive Sean Malone told The New York Times. “As we look several hundred years forward, we didn’t have the facilities or the infrastructure to do what MoMA and Columbia are.”

The archives will be named "The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York)."