In honor of Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday in 2017—he would have turned 149 years old today—the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in New York, has announced that it will hold an exhibition covering the architect’s life and work. "Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive" will feature approximately 450 works, including drawings, models, building fragments, television broadcasts, photographs, and scrapbooks from the Frank Lloyd Wright Archive, including ephemera that have not been publicly showcased.
The exhibition is intended as an anthology, rather than a comprehensive monograph, according to the museum. It will be divided into 12 components exploring a single or set of objects from the archive around major events in Wright’s life and career in an effort to open up his portfolio to a broader audience for “critical inquiry and debate.”
Among the featured works will be the Unity Temple, in Oak Park, Ill. (1905-1908); the Robie House, in Chicago, (1908-1910); Fallingwater, in Mill Run, Pa., (1934-1937); and the Beth Sholom Synagogue, in Elkins Park, Pa., (1953-1959); as well as his design for a "Rosenwald" school; and a model of his proposed St. Mark’s skyscraper for New York. The exhibition will also cover Wright’s focus on ornament, affordable design, his bent toward circular geometries, and his use of mass media to communicate his vision.
“Unfolding from this orienting spine are 12 subsections, covering themes both familiar and little explored, that highlight for visitors the process of discovery undertaken by invited scholars, historians, architects, and art conservators,” MoMa explains in a press release.
The announcement follows the archive’s transfer in 2012 from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to the MoMA and the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library at Columbia University, also in New York. Wright designed more than 1,000 projects globally during his lifetime—from buildings of a variety of scales and types to products, landscape designs, and municipal plans. Additionally, he established the apprenticeship-based Taliesin architecture education programs, which live on today as the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.
The exhibition will run from June 12, 2017, to October 1, 2017, and will be accompanied by an anthology of essays from guest scholars and MoMA curators.