This exhibition was organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in cooperation with the Domino’s Center for Architecture and Design in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as a comprehensive showing of more than 70 pieces of furniture, art glass windows, and other decorative elements designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Preserving an Architectural Heritage surveyed his designs during his 60-year career, while exploring the complex issues of preservation of Wright’s buildings.
Among the important pieces on view were an 1899 dining set designed for the Joseph W. Husser house in Chicago, and a major group of windows from the Avery Coonley Playhouse in Riverside, Illinois, Wright designed the group in 1912. Also on display were windows and objects ranging from oak furniture designed for the Wright’s Prairie-style houses to plywood forms designed for his Usonian houses.
In addition to examining Wright’s work, the exhibition discussed the paradox of collecting furnishing outside the buildings for which they were so specifically designed. More than 300 Wright-designed objects — furniture, windows, books, and textiles — as well as archives housed in The Domino’s Center. Approximately 100 of these works were on public display there.
David A. Hanks, a recognized scholar in the field of decorative arts and author of The Decorative Designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, served as guest curator and wrote the book — including a catalogue of the entire Domino’s collection — that accompanied the exhibition.
In cooperation with the National Center for the Study of Frank Lloyd Wright, Preserving an Architectural Heritage traveled to the Seattle Art Museum, the Chicago Historical Society, the Denver Art Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Dallas Museum of Fine Art, and the American Craft Museum.
This exhibition was organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and curated by David A. Hanks.