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Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio, Oak Park

It was in his home in Oak Park that Frank Lloyd Wright made his first contributions to the Modern movement. In 1889 he designed the first part of the house, in 1895 he added to it for his wife, Catherine, and their family, and in 1898 for his architectural practice. The entire building was a learning laboratory of modern architecture. While not a Prairie School house, it led to the development of the Prairie School. Wrights constant changes to this complex paralleled the evolution of his early architectural work and career. There, with his young assistants, he rethought the plan, spaces, materials, proportions, and lines of American residential architecture, creating a revolution on the Prairie. His home and studio provided the architectural environment in which to experiment with his ideas in three dimensions. The house featured contemporary art work, oriental tribal rugs, and Japanese decorative arts chosen by Wright and his wife. The studio was decorated with classical plaster sculpture, Teco ceramics and selections from Wrights large collection of Japanese prints. Wright completed the interiors, toned in natures hues, with furniture and built-in furnishings of his own design, harmonious to the whole. The colour photographs of Jon Miller of Hedrich-Blessing show a glimpse into Wrights first haven, where he challenged prevailing notions about the countrys architecture, and which he then left, to continue as one of Americas most significant architects. Included in the book is a portfolio of historic black and white photographs of the building, a number of them taken by Wright himself.
Elaine M. Holzschuh Harrington has been the Curator of the Glessner House (Opus 7: Henry Hobson Richardson, J. J. Glessner House, Chicago) and the Curator of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio. She has written and lectured extensively about both. Hedrich-Blessing, Chicago's oldest and foremost architectural photography firm, was founded in 1929. From its beginning, the firm has been noted for portraying the most dramatic rendition of a building within the bounds of high architectural accuracy.
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