Frank L. WRIGHTLINDEN GLASS COMPANY, Window from the Avery Coonley Playhouse Enlarge 1 /1

On display on Level 2

Frank WRIGHT

United States of America 1867 – 1959

designer

LINDEN GLASS COMPANY

commenced 1880 /1889

manufacturer (organisation)

Window from the Avery Coonley Playhouse 1912 Place made: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
Materials & Technique: glass, windows, clear and flashed coloured glass, zinc cames , wood frame clear and flashed coloured glass, zinc cames, wood frame

Dimensions: 61.0 h x 97.5 w cm
Cat Raisonné: DH(1989)78-79
Acknowledgement: Gift of American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia, Inc., New York, NY, USA, made possible with the generous support of Gordon Darling AFNGA Fund in memory of Marietta Tree, 1994.
Accession No: NGA 94.1086
Image rights: © Frank Lloyd Wright/ARS. Licensed by Viscopy

Frank Lloyd Wright was the most influential American architect of the early twentieth century. He studied engineering at the University of Wisconsin before joining the architecture practice of Louis Sullivan in Chicago in 1887. In his buildings, integrated furniture, light fittings and decorated windows created a harmonious interior environment, demonstrating his concept of organic integrity.

This window was designed as the first section in a band of twenty-two clerestory windows for Wright’s Avery Coonley Playhouse in the Chicago garden suburb of Riverside. Designed as a kindergarten for the children of the Coonley family and their neighbours, the building’s decorative glazing suggests the playful sight of balloons aloft in a passing parade. Its graphic organisation, however, was derived from Wright’s study of the teachings of the German early childhood educator Friedrich Froebel, whose ‘Gifts’, or sets of instructional toys, comprised flat planes of circles, squares and triangles painted in primary colours.

The window’s abstracted geometric design also shows the influence of the artists of the Vienna Secession on Wright, but in its overall conception it evokes the spirit of the Arts and Crafts Movement of the late nineteenth century, celebrating the pleasure of craftsmanship and the direct expression of natural materials.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Ron Radford (ed), Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2008

Frank Lloyd Wright was the most influential American architect of the early twentieth century. He studied engineering at the University of Wisconsin before joining the architecture practice of Louis Sullivan in Chicago in 1887. In his buildings, integrated furniture, light fittings and decorated windows created a harmonious interior environment, demonstrating his concept of organic integrity.

This window was designed as the first section in a band of 22 clerestory windows for Wright’s Avery Coonley Playhouse in the Chicago garden suburb of Riverside. Designed as a kindergarten for the children of the Coonley family and their neighbours, the building’s decorative glazing suggests the playful sight of balloons aloft in a passing parade. Its graphic organisation, however, was derived from Wright’s study of the teachings of the German early childhood educator Friedrich Froebel, whose ‘Gifts’, or sets of instructional toys, comprised flat planes of circles, squares and triangles painted in primary colours.

The window’s abstracted geometric design also shows the influence of the artists of the Vienna Secession on Wright, but in its overall conception it evokes the spirit of the Arts and Crafts Movement of the late nineteenth century, celebrating the pleasure of craftsmanship and the direct expression of natural materials.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2014
From: Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2014