Unity Temple, Oak Park, IL 1906 (Copyright© 2009, The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation)

The Frank Lloyd Wright Archives is one of the largest and most complete collections of materials related to a single artist in the world.   Furthering the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s educational goal, the Archives provide to scholars over 23,000 architectural drawings, 44,000 historical photographs, large-scale presentation models, manuscripts, extensive correspondence and other documents illuminating the transformational work of the world-renowned architect.

In addition, the Archives contain extensive oral histories with Mr. Wright’s apprentices, friends, clients and other architects, making the Archives the primary and most comprehensive resource for the study of his work and ideas.

On September 4, 2012, following years of extensive and expert study, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation entered into a groundbreaking three-institution partnership with Columbia University’s Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library and the Museum of Modern Art for joint stewardship of the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives. The physical archives were transferred to
the permanent collections of MoMA and Columbia, with the Foundation retaining full copyright and complete intellectual property rights for everything being moved. The collection will be permanently named “The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art |Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).”
 
“The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation takes seriously its deep responsibility to serve the public good by ensuring the best possible conservation, accessibility, and impact of one of the most important and meaningful archives in the world,” said Sean Malone, President and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “Given the individual strengths, resources, and abilities of the Foundation, MoMA, and Columbia University, it became clear that this collaborative stewardship is far and away the best way to guarantee the deepest impact, the highest level of conservation, and the best public access—in perpetuity.”
 
In the collaboration, each institution will play a significant role. Columbia’s Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library will serve as the repository for all paper-based archival contents, including over 23,000 architectural drawings, over 44,000 personal and professional photographs, 600 separate manuscripts, interview tapes, transcripts, films, and office and personal
correspondence numbering over 300,000 pieces. The Avery is at the top of the field, worldwide, in terms of both conservation of delicate and irreplaceable archives and managing public/ scholarly access to such collections.

The Museum of Modern Art will house Wright’s architectural models (many made for his exhibition at MoMA in 1940), architectural elements, and design prototypes in the archives. MoMA is recognized as one of the most innovative and important museums in the world and will develop regular displays and special exhibitions based on the drawings, photographs, and models, integrating them with its existing rich collections of modern architecture and design. Plans are already in the works for major exhibitions—which will be viewed by the millions of people from around the world who visit MoMA every year.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation will help guide development of the Archives and provide interpretive insights on Wright’s work and life. In addition, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation will continue to care for, preserve, and share the National Historic Landmarks Taliesin in Wisconsin and Taliesin West in Arizona—including all of the historic furnishings, memorabilia, and artifacts used to interpret both sites, along with large and important collections of art, furniture, and artifacts that Wright created and collected over his lifetime.

Equal representation from the three institutions will make up a steering committee relating to the archives and to broader collaborative efforts relating to Wright’s impact and legacy—to accomplish an even deeper public understanding of the principles and values of Frank Lloyd Wright’s extraordinary body of work—making Wright’s work available, as never before, to a broad public in ways that examine Wright’s scholarly and artistic impact both during his career and today.

Born in 1867, Frank Lloyd Wright spent more than 70 years creating designs that helped revolutionize the art and architecture of the twentieth century. In all he designed 1,141 architectural works - including houses, offices, churches, schools, libraries, bridges, museums and many other building types. Of that total, 532 resulted in completed structures, 409 of which still stand. However, Wright’s pioneering creativity was not confined to architecture. He also designed furniture, fabrics, art glass, lamps, dinnerware, silver, linens and graphic arts. A prolific writer, educator and philosopher, Wright authored twenty books and countless articles and lectured throughout the United States and in Europe.

Initially assembled largely by the architect himself, the Frank Lloyd Wright Archive owes its growth to the early efforts a small, dedicated staff lead by Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, who began cataloguing materials at Taliesin West and Taliesin in Wisconsin, shortly after Wright’s death in 1959.

Permission for researchers, scholars, and educators to access the archives can be obtained by contacting The MoMA and/or Columbia University’s Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library.

Additional access to copies of all the Frank Lloyd Wright correspondence, manuscripts and drawings are available for study at The Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, in Los Angeles, California.

 

For information about access to the The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York), please contact wrightarchives-info@columbia.edu

 
 
Additional Study Resource
Copies of all the Frank Lloyd Wright correspondence, manuscripts and drawings held at Taliesin West are available for study at The Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, in Los Angeles, California.
 
For appointments or inquiries please write to:
Frank Lloyd Wright Requests 
Research Services 
Getty Research Institute 
1200 Getty Center Dr 
Suite 1100 
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1688 
 
To go to the Getty Research Institute's website, click here.
 
Photocopies of the Frank Lloyd Wright correspondence as catalogued in the Garland publication Frank Lloyd Wright: Index to the Taliesin Correspondence, edited by Anthony Alofsin, must be ordered from The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities. See above for contact information.
Guggenheim Museum (Copyright© 2009, The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation)

For information about access to The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York), please contact WRIGHTARCHIVES-INFO@COLUMBIA.EDU

Groundbreaking Joint Stewardship of Frank Lloyd Wright Archives
Museum of Modern Art, Columbia University-Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, and Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
 
Read New York Times article about the new archives partnership.