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Frank Lloyd Wright To Star At MOMA Retrospective

For some architecture enthusiasts, there can never be too much attention paid to Frank Lloyd Wright.

So it was welcome news to those fans when New York’s Museum of Modern Art announced Wednesday it will mount a major retrospective exhibit of the master architect’s work next year, to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth on June 8, 1867.

The museum’s press release called it an exhibit that “critically engages his multifaceted practice.” Other New Yorkers might just call it “YUUUGE!”

On view from June 12 to Oct. 1, 2017, the exhibit will include some 450 works dating from the 1890s through the 1950s, including architectural drawings, models, building fragments, films, television broadcasts, print media, furniture, tableware, textiles, paintings, photographs and scrapbooks. Plus, there will be works that have rarely or never been publicly exhibited.

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive will be mounted five years after the Frank Lloyd Wright Archive was transferred to MoMA and the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library of Columbia University. The exhibit will use the archive to introduce architects, Wright fans and a general audience to new perspectives, themes and interpretations of Wright’s work and legacy, MoMA said.

And what a legacy. One of the most prolific and acclaimed architects of the 20th century, Wright, who died in 1959, was a celebrity architect before the concept existed, with more than 1,000 projects around the world. Scores of his most famous buildings (Fallingwater, Johnson Wax Building, Taliesen, Robie House, Guggenheim Museum) draw thousands of visitors per year to this day.

He built museums and skyscrapers, landscapes and community plans, residences and all the furnishings, rugs and light fixtures to go with them.

A radical designer and intellectual, he embraced new technologies, engineering and materials, pioneered do-it-yourself construction systems and avant-garde experimentation, and expounded on nature and design, urban planning and cultural politics long before it was a thing, MoMA said.

And he had a tumultuous private life, filled with drama, scandal and tragedy.

Of course, MoMA, being MoMA, will concentrate in the exhibit on the art and architecture, which will be enough for Wright lovers. Structured as an anthology, the museum said the exhibit will be divided into 12 sections, each focused on a key object or cluster of objects from the Frank Lloyd Wright Archive to highlight the major events in Wright’s life and career.

The museum posted a video clip on conservation of the model of the St. Mark’s Tower, an unbuilt New York project from 1927-31.