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Guggenheim Museum and Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Announce Exhibition
Frank Lloyd Wright, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 1943–59. Ink and color pencil on trace 26 x 39 5/8 inches. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation © FLWrightFDN, Scottsdale, AZ.

NEW YORK.- Fifty years after the completion of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most iconic work, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will celebrate the golden anniversary of its landmark building with the exhibition Frank Lloyd Wright, on view from May 15 to August 23, 2009. The exhibition will examine Wright’s vision for harmonious living through inventive spatial constructions designed to stimulate social engagement and integration with the natural world. Frank Lloyd Wright is co-organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which owns and operates the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives, the primary source of loans to the exhibition.

Regarded as the most influential American architect of the 20th century, Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) is best known for his ability to organically unite people, buildings, and nature. His innovative designs are continually referenced in contemporary architecture. Presenting over 50 of Wright’s projects, from privately commissioned homes to unrealized urban mega-structures, the exhibition examines Wright’s oeuvre as an “architecture of democracy” that constructs and encourages social interaction. Furthermore, the exhibition reveals the spirituality and idealism of Wright’s projects, conceived and constructed in harmony and balance with the natural world. This presentation of Wright’s visionary work, culminating with the Guggenheim’s famed rotunda, aims to inspire visitors to contemplate architecture as an extension of daily life.

The exhibition is curated by Thomas Krens, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, in collaboration with Philip Allsopp, President and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation; Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, Director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives; Oskar Muñoz, Assistant Director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives; and Margo Stipe, Curator and Registrar of Collections of the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives.

Frank Lloyd Wright will be presented through a range of media including over 200 original drawings; newly commissioned and historic models; photography, including new, large-scale formats shot for the exhibition and catalogue; and related books, periodicals, correspondence, and ephemera. In addition, video and digital renderings will further acquaint contemporary audiences with Wright’s timeless ideals. Numerous works from the archives of both the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, including newly framed original drawings, will be on view to the public for the first time. An audio tour of the exhibition will incorporate architectural features of the Guggenheim, emphasizing the unique experience of Wright’s masterpiece in relation to his complete body of work.

Frank Lloyd Wright is organized as an overview of Wright’s work through the seven decades of his career, progressing up the museum’s spiral ramp and extending into its adjacent Tower galleries. Through extensive materials on view, the exhibition will highlight the extraordinary architecture of the Guggenheim and will focus on another eight of Wright’s projects that clearly addressed the quality of social engagement within various community structures: Unity Temple, Oak Park, Illinois (1905); Taliesin, Wright’s private home and studio, Spring Green, Wisconsin (1911-1925); Gordon Strong Automobile Objective, Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland (1925); S.C. Johnson and Son, Inc., Administration Building and Research Tower, Racine, Wisconsin (1936, 1944); Herbert Jacobs House, Madison, Wisconsin (1937); Crystal Heights, Washington, D.C. (1940); Pittsburgh Point Civic Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1947); and Plan for Greater Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq (1957).

Fifty years after Wright’s death and the completion of the Guggenheim Museum, the cultural showpiece has just completed a comprehensive condition assessment and restoration in preparation for its 50th anniversary celebration in 2009. The Wright building has been declared a landmark by the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission (1990) and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (2005). In 2007, the Landmarks Committee of the National Parks System Advisory Board--a body of historians, preservationists, historical architects, archaeologists--recommended to the Secretary of Interior that the Guggenheim be designated a National Historic Landmark. UNESCO World Heritage Center also is considering Wright’s legacy: ten of the architect’s most relevant buildings, including the Guggenheim, Taliesin and Taliesin West, his private home and studio in Scottsdale, Arizona, have recently been included on the United States’ tentative World Heritage List, which identifies the most significant cultural and natural treasures worldwide.

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