The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has decided to move a large amount of the legendary architect’s archives to New York into the hands of the Museum of Modern Art and Columbia University. The joint acquisition includes 23,000 drawings, 44,000 photographs, and a number of large-scale presentation models, manuscripts, and personal correspondences. Both institutions will add these amazing pieces to their permanent collections; MoMA will showcase never-before-seen exhibitions, publications, and public programs that revisit the importance of Wright’s work in a new context, and Columbia will provide the material for budding architects and students to study.
After spending nearly two years deciding where to consolidate the vast collection, the Foundation’s CEO chose New York for its central positioning in art, culture, and research. Columbia’s Avery Architectural and Fine Art Library will acquire the paper-based archives including Wright’s architectural drawings, letters, transcripts, and even interview tapes. Students will discover new avenues of scholarly research while the University continues to nurture its unique collection of American art and architecture archives. Even new classes and curriculum can possibly be drawn from Wright’s incredible recorded history of teaching.
The Museum of Modern Art will take home of all the 3D models and design prototypes of the archives. As part of the museum’s permanent collection, the pieces will not only be given special exhibitions, but will also be integrated into new shows that reintroduce Wright’s work in a 20th century art and design context. We can’t wait to visit the treasure trove of Frank Lloyd Wright history each has to offer!