“DESTINED TO REVOLUTIONIZE ARCHITECTURAL THOUGHT”: LARGE PORTFOLIO OF FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S EARLY DESIGNS
WRIGHT, Frank Lloyd. Buildings, Plans, and Designs. New York: Horizon, (1963). Large folio (16 by 25-1/2 inches), 100 loose plates as issued in original half black cloth portfolio with ribbon ties, accompanying text in original self-wrappers; original corrugated shipping carton. $4500.
First edition in English of Frank Lloyd Wright’s first major publication, number 174B of 2600 copies—a grand portfolio of one hundred large folio plates of Wright’s earliest designs, including the Frederick C. Robie house (1909), “the finest of the Prairie houses.”
The first period of Wright's career "was one of bold invention and public acclaim. It reached its climax in 1910 with the [German] publication of his architectural drawings in an extraordinary pair of portfolios." The young architect had come to Europe in 1909, invited by the German publisher Wasmuth and Professor Kuno Francke for the purpose of a cultural and "artistic interchange" (Sweeney, xv-xx). Buildings, Plans and Designs remained for many years virtually unknown in America, because a fire in 1914 had destroyed, not only Wright's home at Taliesin, but also that portion of the 1910 printing intended for American distribution. Wright authorized the publication of this edition in 1958, just a year before his death. Included are designs for 70 buildings and projects between 1893 and 1909, including the W.H. Winslow house (1893), the Unity Temple at Oak Park (1906) and the Frederick C. Robie house (1909), which "has generally been regarded as the finest of the Prairie Houses" (Roth, 463). "Entire schools of architectural design and thought were in many cases founded on individual buildings or ideas presented in this folio" (Sweeney). Despite Wright's popularity and the number of intervening years, this American edition is preceded only by the German-language editions and an extremely scarce Japanese translation. Sweeney 87.
A fine copy of an impressive production in original shipping carton.