New Free Frank Lloyd Wright Gallery - Design Bureau

New Free Frank Lloyd Wright Gallery

Friday, June 8th, 2012

You may know SC Johnson as the people who make your Scrubbing Bubbles, but the company HQ happens to sit on a historic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed campus in Racine, Wisconsin. Built in 1936, and followed with the 1938 FLW H.F. Johnson Wingspread home, Racine is already a bit of a tourist destination for Wright obsessives. Now, with The SC Johnson Gallery: At Home with Frank Lloyd Wright, lovers of the Prairie have another great excuse to visit.

The SC Johnson Gallery: At Home with Frank Lloyd Wright will showcase a rotating selection of the influential American architect's designs and artifacts. The collection will range from Wright’s earliest exploration of the natural house in the late 1800s through his American System-Built venture of 1917 to his reinvention of the American home in 1940, to his legendary mid-1950s work. The Gallery is housed in SC Johnson’s Fosters + Partners-designed Fortaleza Hall, also home to the Frank Lloyd Wright Research Library. Co-curators Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, Archives Director at Taliesin West, Ariz., and Brady Roberts, Chief Curator of the Milwaukee Art Museum tell us they carefully selected the collection to include items never exhibited before. SC Johnson and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation have an agreement for the long-term loan of a collection of Wright artifacts. Artifact highlights include an 1895 Reception chair, 1902 Slant-back dining chair, 1903 Hanging lamp and Balloon Window. 

The Gallery should be a boon to the Midwest, in that Racine sits between two major Wright sites. Now, fans of Wright can bridge the gap between a visit to Taliesin, Wright’s home and architectural laboratory in Spring Green, Wisconsin and The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park, IL.

Visitors can choose from three different free tours which run from 1 to 3.5 hours on Fridays and Saturdays. The longer tours include visits to the FLW designed Administration Building. 

A few factoids about the collection and Johnson campus

• More than 500 hours were spent on conserving the artifacts for display
•  Approximately 90 artifacts traveled 1,929 miles to Racine
•  Wright called the orange color in the Administration Building "Cherokee Red."
•  The dendriform columns of the Administration Building held 5 times the 12 tons they needed
• Laid end to end the Pyrex tubing in the Administration Building would extend more than 43 miles 

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