132 pages, 51 color illust.
ISBN-13 (Print): 978-0-292-73721-1
Frank Lloyd Wright:Art Collector
By Anthony AlofsinThese Secessionist art prints, acquired by Frank Lloyd Wright and his lover Mamah Borthwick Cheney during their infamous flight to Europe in 1909–1910, reveal a new dimension of the architect’s taste and aesthetic preferences. This previously unknown and newly discovered group of prints from his personal art collection shows that around the turn of the twentieth century Wright had a surprising interest in European artists pursuing their own versions of modernism. Identified from careful archival research, the prints demonstrate how richly diffuse and multifaceted modernism was before the codification of a modernist canon. Wright, a revolutionary architect, preferred the work of Secessionists to that of the avant-garde of expressionism, cubism, and futurism. To Wright, the artists he selected were modern, and they appealed deeply to his interest in landscapes and graphic techniques of reproduction. In Frank Lloyd Wright, Art Collector, Anthony Alofsin presents the first catalogue raisonné of the thirty-two prints and one original drawing that constitute Wright’s Secessionist collection. Alofsin explores Wright’s encounters with German and Austrian art before his travels to Europe; the fluid definition of modern art around 1909; and the complex context for Wright’s acquiring this collection while in Europe. This book, with its original research, puts into a new light a range of artists—some famous, others unknown—who sought to express, like Wright, their own rebellion against academic traditions. A unique contribution to the history of modern art, Frank Lloyd Wright, Art Collector offers stunningly original insights into the master’s artistic taste, as well as to a group of progressive artists whose work has been undeservedly overlooked in conventional histories of modernism.