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MIDWAY GARDENS
   IANNELLI    ARTIFACTS    AUDIOVISUALS    BOOKS    DOCUMENTS    FURNITURE    PHOTOGRAPHS    SCULPTURE REPRODUCTIONS  
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STUDIES
 
For additional information on Midway Gardens see our Wright Studies:
WRIGHT STUDY ON THE MIDWAY GARDENS
WRIGHT STUDY ON THE MIDWAY GARDENS DISH
 
Edward C. Waller was an important early Wright patron. He lived in River Forest near the Wright's William Winslow house. Waller sold Winslow the property upon which his home was built. Waller commissioned several projects to be designed by Wright: the Francisco Terrace Apartments 1895 (S.030) (since demolished);   the Waller Apartments 1895 (S.031); the remodeling of his home in River Forest 1899 (S.047); the Edward C. Waller Gates (S.065) and Stables (S.066) 1901; and the Edward C. Waller Bathing Pavilion 1909 (S.166).  Waller's son Edward C. Jr. commissioned Midway Gardens 1913 (S.180).
     
Midway Gardens. Designed in 1913, built in 1914, demolished in 1929. It experienced a successful first season in 1914, but that same winter began to feel the chill of World War I in Europe. Night life throughout Chicago suffered. By 1916 matters had not improved. Anna Pavlova, one of the century's greatest ballerinas, danced that season at the Gardens, yet, even her talents could not restore the establishment's initial success. So, Midway Gardens was sold to the Edelweiss Brewing Company in 1916 and turned into a beer garden.
       Mr. Wright's well-planned architectural designs and decorations were altered and defaced in an effort by the brewing company to attract an audience. This effort proved unsuccessful. The final blow came in 1920 when Prohibition was declared. Since the open-air patios and the enclosed Winter Gardens were far too visible to be converted to a speakeasy, ownership of the Midway Gardens continued to change hands several times, serving once as a garage and a car wash. The building was finally closed and demolished in October of 1929.
       Midway Gardens was bulldozed into Lake Michigan as break wall. The building didn't go down without a fight. Two wrecking companies went out of business trying to demolish the concrete
  structure. The company that finally took it down still lost a considerable amount of money on the job.
       The Sprites were thought to be lost forever. Then sometime after World War II, word reached Taliesin, the original estate and Frank Lloyd Wright School in Spring Green, Wisconsin, that a few of the Sprites had been saved and were lying in pieces in a farmer's field in Lake Delton, Wisconsin. A member of the Midway Gardens wrecking crew either rescued the Sprites from the lake or snatched them before they were destroyed. For years they had lain in his farm field. Taliesin recovered the three damaged Sprites and shipped them to the Stillwater, Minnesota home of Don Lovness, a client and friend of the Wright's. Lovness and his wife restored two 5 to 6-foot Sprites and a 12-foot Sprite. For over 20 years, these figures guarded their Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home.
       In 1980, Mrs. Wright built a garden at Taliesin West and had the Sprites shipped to Phoenix for placement. After restoration and recasting work was done on these wandering Sprites, Taliesin Associated Architects donated eight Sprites, each standing 6 feet tall and weighing 450 pounds, to the Arizona Biltmore in October of 1985.
       For a different account see the “Dawn Manor” article #15.
     
 
 
ALFONSO & MARGARET IANNELLI
 
Alfonso and Margaret Iannelli

Alfonso Iannelli (1888-1965). Born to a poor shoemaker in Andretta, Italy, Alfonso Iannelli studied the techniques of the traveling artists who stayed at his parent's small inn. His father then set off alone for America to build a new life for the family. In 1898, Iannelli, his mother and three brothers finally joined him in Newark, New Jersey, where Alfonso was soon apprenticed to a jeweler and by 1900, to the famous sculptor, Gutzon Borglum (Mt. Rushmore). Working with Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Iannelli to create sculpture that was totally integrated into a cohesive, organic architectural artwork. Wright saw Iannelli as a talented interpreter of his design language and a worthy partner to Richard Bock, his usual sculptor.  Wright passed off all the sculpture as his own in the ensuing publicity, crushing Iannelli and depriving him of any credit in what could have been his triumphant Chicago debut. When Wright later asked him to create the sculpture for his Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Iannelli refused, an action he later came to regret.

   
Date: 1969

Title: "The Posters of Alfonso Iannelli."

Description: A brochure for the set of six posters produced for the Orpheum Theater. "During the years 1911 through 1915 Alfonso Iannelli produced his series of lobby posters for the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, a playhouse for the foremost vaudeville acts of the day. The posters were not printed. The originals were hung behind glass, with phonographs of the stars appearing in rectangles Iannelli provided in the compositions... The posters are now in the possession of Architectural Foundation, as is the entire Iannelli Collection..." Inside includes six illustrations of the posters. $6.00 each or $30.00 for the set. Posters were produced by The Chicago School of Architectural Foundation. " (Brochure published by Prairie School Press, Chicago) Gift of Greg Brewer.

Size: 5.5 x 8.5.

Pages: Pp 4

S#: 1803.18.0516

     
Date: 1981

Title: Candlestick designed by Alfonso Iannelli for the Church of Christ The King, Tulsa, Oklahoma, circa 1926.

Description: Barry Byrne, Architect. Byrne was an associate in Wright’s Oak Park studio. Iannelli worked with Wright on the Midway Gardens. Aluminum, 36 (H) x 11 (diameter). This photograph was published in "Frank Lloyd Wright", Kelmscott Galleries, 1981, page 25. Acquired from Kelmscott Galleries.

Size: Original 3.5 x 8.5 B&W photograph.

ST#: 1981.132.0413

   
Date: 2013

Title: Alfonso Iannelli, Modern By Design (Hard Cover DJ) (Published by Top Five Books, LLC, Oak Park, Illinois)

Author: Jameson, David

Description: The first biography of the influential modernist artist and sculptor. In 1914 Frank Lloyd Wright asked an unknown twenty-six-year-old Italian-American immigrant to sculpt the strikingly geometric figures for his landmark Chicago masterpiece, Midway Gardens. Decades later, when New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art installed one of Midway Gardens' female "Sprite" sculptures, they listed Wright as its only artist. In all those years that followed the original project, Wright never publicly referred to the actual sculptor responsible for those remarkable figures, perhaps preferring to keep the secret of their success away from the world. That secret was Alfonso Iannelli. (Publisher’s description.) Includes more than 350 full-color plates. We assisted the author by providing correspondence between Wright and Iannelli concerning Midway Gardens. Original list price $80.00. Gift from David Jameson. (First Edition)

Size: 9.75 x 11.25

Pages: Pp 364

ST#: 2013.03.0713

   
   
   
ARTIFACTS
 
Date: Circa 1914

Title: Midway Gardens Dish (Midway Gardens, 1913 - S.180).

Description: Silver serving dish. Manufactured by Meriden Britannia Company. Circa 1914. More information on Midway Gardens dish.  For more information on Midway Gardens see our Wright Study.

Size: 5.5" x 1". Inner bowl 3.75".

S#: 0124.11.0110

   
   
   
AUDIOVISUALS
 
Date: 2006

Title: Midway Gardens Font Set (Published by P22 Type Foundry. Designed for P22 by Paul Hunt.)

Author: P22 Type Foundry

Description: In 1913, Edward C. Waller, Jr. commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to expand an Amusement Park complex and turn it into an upscale palatial beer garden. The Midway Gardens was born. FLLW® Midway™ is based on the lettering found on the Midway Garden's working drawings. The lettering itself is in Mr. Wright's distinctive hand. This type of architectural lettering is a bit more casual than standard lettering found on most blueprints. It evokes the personality of Frank Lloyd Wright in a way that complements the other fonts in the P22 FLLW font series. The set contains Midway One and Midway Two, which can be used interchangeably to give a more naturalistic feeling of hand lettering. Also included is Midway Ornaments, which features over 100 architectural and decorative elements that can be combined in many ways for surprising and effective decorative motifs and borders.


Size: Case: 5.25 x 7.5

ST#:
2006.54.0516
   
   
   
BOOKS
 
Date: 1991

Title: Trademarks of Base-Metal Tableware. Late 18th century to circa 1900 (including marks on Britannia metal, iron, steel, cooper alloys and silver-plated goods) (Copyright Ministry of Supply and Services Canada. Published under the authority of the Ministry of the Environment, Ottawa, 1991)

Author: Woodhead, Eileen

Description: Invaluable for dating the marking on the bottom of the Midway Gardens dish. (For more information see our Wright study on the Midway gardens dish.)

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pp 331

ST#: 1991.58.1010

   
Date: 1998

Title: Frank Lloyd Wright and Midway Gardens  (Hard Cover - DJ)

Author: Kruty, Paul

Description: Original HC List Price $60.00.  (First Edition)

Size:

Pages: Pp 362

ST#: 1998.27.0404

   
   
   
DOCUMENTS
 

Midway Gardens Correspondence (Fifteen Items, 21 sheets)
These documents are discussed in “Frank Lloyd Wright, A Biography by Finis Farr” 1961, Pp 151-7; And “Prairie School Review” Fourth Quarter 1965, Pp 5-20.

 
Date: 1914

Title: Request for remittance from E. C. Waller, Jr.

Author: Alfonso Iannelli’s “Secretary”

Description: 1) Vintage carbon of request for remittance from Alfonso Iannelli’s “Secretary” to E. C. Waller, Jr. who commissioned Midway Gardens, dated August 5, 1914.
       “Mr. Iannelli requested me to write you regarding the remittance of $400.00 you had agreed to send him some days ago.” 

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pp 1

S#: 0124.04.0407

   
Date: 1914

Title: Second request for remittance from E. C. Waller, Jr.

Author: Iannelli, Alfonso

Description: 2) Vintage carbon of second request for remittance from Alfonso Iannelli to E. C. Waller, Jr. dated August 17, 1914.
       “I have had no word from you in response to my letter of August 5th, asking that the long-promised remittance of $400.00 be sent me at once, as I was very much in need of the money.” 

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pp 1

S#: 0124.05.0407

   
Date: 1914

Title: Letter from Alfonso Iannelli to John Lloyd Wright

Author: Iannelli, Alfonso

Description: 3) Unrelated, but included with the group of documents.  Vintage carbon of letter from Alfonso Iannelli to John Lloyd Wright regarding Workingmann's Hotel sculptures, dated October 31, 1914.

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pp 1

S#: 0124.06.0407

   
Date: 1914

Title: Letter from Iannelli to Wright's assistant requesting payment

Author: Iannelli, Alfonso

Description: 4) Vintage carbon from Alfonso Iannelli to Harry F. Robinson (assistant to Frank Lloyd Wright) requesting "first cash payment", dated November 5, 1914.
       “According to the agreement in the Midway Gardens Matter signed by Mr Iannelli, the first cash payment is due today, and we trust you will not overlook us.  The total amount dew us, (according to your letter of Oct. 14th) is $350, and we shall be more than glad to receive a payment on account.” 

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pp 1

S#: 0124.07.0407

   
Date: 1915

Title: Original Taliesin envelope postmarked January 21, 1915

Author: Possibly from Frank Lloyd Wright

Description: 5) Original Taliesin envelope with embossed red square addressed to Alfonso Iannelli possibly from Frank Lloyd Wright, postmarked Chicago - January 21, 1915. Possibly included in this group of documents because it was the envelope in which payment was received, kept as a reminder that payment was received.  (Note - Watermark: “Crane’s 1914 Japanese Linen”) 

Size: 8.75 x 4.4

Pages: Pp 1

S#: 0128.03.0407

   
Date: 1915

Title: Letter from Wright to Iannelli regarding credit for the sculptures

Author: Wright, Frank Lloyd

Description: 6) Vintage typescript of an original handwritten letter from Frank Lloyd Wright to Alfonso Iannelli regarding a dispute over credit for the sculptures, dated May 17, 1915.  In the May 1915 issue of “The International Studio” page 79-83, the caption under the photographs of Sprites reads “Sprites, Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Executed by A. Jannelli”.  The caption under the photograph of a mural reads “Designed and Executed by John Lloyd Wright”.  In an earlier correspondence, Iannelli must have questioned the “mistake” in the caption.  Wright responds by saying “The mistake was regarding John’s ‘designing’ the mural when he only put it on the wall, and neither of us knows how it happened to be printed as it was.”.
       Wright defines “design”: “I think I will never have anyone working on my work where I do not give the idea and fashion the style of the work to my own feeling. I suppose this is designing it.”  He goes on with a conciliatory attitude, attempting to smooth things: “But still there is something more left than executing it for painter and sculpture. I do not know what would be fair.
       Perhaps you can suggest something.” In his defense, Wright says: “I shall never put myself in any position where I take to myself any credit for work not mine. So far the credits have all been going the other way and I intend to keep them going that way.”
       But then Wright questions Iannelli’s integrity: “You know the disposition of the human animal is to inch in these matters and intellectual integrity among artists, when it comes to acknowledging their share in another’s work, is generally a figment of the optimistic brain. I hope you are not one of the type. I believe I have never yet “picked” another’s brains to my own advantage.” Wright finally ends on a conciliatory note: “With anticipation of pleasant times to come...”.

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pp 1

S#: 0128.04.0407

   
   
Date: 1915

Title: Response from Iannelli to Wright, Page 2

Author: Iannelli, Alfonso

Description: 7) Vintage carbon of the second page of the response from Alfonso Iannelli to Frank Lloyd Wright.  This letter is reprinted in part in “Frank Lloyd Wright, A Biography by Finis Farr” 1961, Pp 152-4.
       In 1915, Iannelli would have been 27, Wright 46.  Wright was much more established then Iannelli.  Iannelli begins be saying “First - my profound respect for you as a great architect, and one to whom I owe much of my point of view, which to me is invaluable and beyond words of expression, and which I hope I shall not lose sight of in my analysis of this situation.” He argues that while Wright conceptualized the figures “... you suggested the idea of the geometric forms to be used in these groups.  I designed these groups in pencil and showed them to you and you approved of them, and they were carried through hardly without a change.”
       His solution is “... Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect - A. Iannelli, Sculpture...”  “The one thing which is hard for me to understand, is that you above all others, should allow such a mistake or such a misunderstanding of the actual condition; and the part which hurts me the most is the terrible blow to my conception of you as a man, if this is true.”

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pp 1

S#: 0128.05.0407

   
Envelope
Page 2

Page 1

Page 3

Page 4

Date: 1915

Title: Photograph of Wright's Envelope and four page Letter to Iannelli

Author: Wright, Frank Lloyd

Description: 8) Five B&W photographs of Frank Lloyd Wright's original letter and envelope to Alfonso Iannelli with thumbnail sketches of Midway Garden figures, postmarked May 26, 1915. This is one of the most revealing exchanges between a great architect and a brilliant sculptor. The "Sprites" for Midway Gardens are among the earliest cubist-constuctivist sculptures in the U.S., predating or coinciding with the Amory Show, which traveled from New York to Chicago in 1913.
       Wright begins “...but my work went a little further than you now imagine or suggest. ...it was my suggestion and a thing I have tried to do many times before and long ago - a desire intensified by my visit to Metzner - a desire I worked at with Bock as he knows - a desire which is imperfectly attained in the present figures - an old motif of mine which I suggested to you and helped you by criticism to realize upon - to a certain extent. I am not satisfied yet with that ‘extent’.  In these cases, I understand the nature of creative impulses, these works were certainly ‘designed’ by me - they were more than executed by you.” In Wright’s thinking as an architect, the analogy might be that he designs the house or structure, then the draftsman and engineers create the blue prints, and the contractor builds the building. But the design and concept is the architects.
       Wright explains it this way, “I would have arrived at something just the same so far as ‘designs’ went had you remained in Los Angeles, but not so sympathetic in detail or so successful in expression. The ‘ideas’ I repeat are mine - their ‘expression’ yours. I think these are the facts. Beethoven wrote the piece we’ll say - Paderewski played it.
       Wright comes to the same conclusion that Iannelli first suggested, “I think that Wright, Architect- Iannelli, Sculptor - is the nearest to a solution.”
       Note: Iannelli’s response to Wright is printed on pages 154-6 “Frank Lloyd Wright, A Biography by Finis Farr” 1961.  According to Farr, page 157, Wright does not respond and Iannelli lets the matter drop.  “Needless to say Wright never again offered to collaborate with Alfonso Iannelli.” 

Size: 8.5 x 8.5

Pages: Pp 4 plus Envelope

S#: 0128.06.0407

   
Date: 1915

Title: Original typescript of the above letter (#8) dated May 26, 1915

Author: Wright, Frank Lloyd

Description: 9) Original typescript of the above letter (#8) dated May 26, 1915.

Size: Two sheets 8.5 x 11.

Pages: Pp 2

S#: 0128.07.0407

   
Date: 1960

Title: Alfonso Iannelli to John Lloyd Wright, November 15, 1960

Author: Iannelli, Alfonso

Description: 10) Vintage carbon of letter from Alfonso Iannelli to John Lloyd Wright relating to the discussions Iannelli had with his father in the letters above numbers 6 (May 17, 1915), 7, 8 & 9 (May 26, 1915), dated November 15, 1960.
       “Did you see the article which appears in the Architectural Record, October 1960, on your father’s work and the references to my part on the Midway Gardens?  It seems that a similar one appeared in the Horizon Magazine September, 1960.  Barry called it to my attention and thought it would be well for us to advise these publications on the corrections to be made.  Coming from us - what do you think?”  After 45 years, Iannelli is still bothered by not receiving what he feels is credit for the work he did on the Midway Garden sprites. 

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pp 1

S#: 1458.21.0407

   
Date: 1960

Title: Alfonso Iannelli to James Marston Fitch, November 22, 1960

Author: Iannelli, Alfonso

Description: 11) Two page vintage carbon of letter from Alfonso Iannelli to James Marston Fitch, Associate Professor of Architecture, Columbia University, concerning the article he wrote in Horizon Magazine, September, 1960.  Once again regarding Midway Gardens and the credit of the sculptures), dated November 22, 1960.
       “This matter of who contributed what, was the subject of four or five letters between Mr. Wright and me immediately after the first publication of article on the Midway Gardens in “The International Studio” issue May 1915.  ‘Designed by F.L. Wright - Executed by A. Ianelli.’  ...Wright states ‘I think that Wright - Architect, Iannelli - Sculptor, is nearest to a solution. I should have put is so, were it left to me.”  Two sheets. 

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pp 2

S#: 1458.22.0407

   
   
Date: Circa 1960

Title: Iannelli Studios envelope (Circa 1960)

Description: 12) Iannelli Studios envelope that contained this set of original letters. (Circa 1960)

Size: 11.75 x 8.8

Pages:

S#: 1458.23.0407

   
Date: 1961

Title: 13) "The Midway Gardens, 1914 - 1929"

Author: 3) Fern, Alan M;  4) Iannelli, Alfonso;  5) John Lloyd Wright;  6) Wright, Frank Lloyd

Description: An exhibition of the building by Frank Lloyd Wright, and the sculpture by Alfonso Iannelli.  April 24 - May 20, 1961, Lexington Hall Gallery, 5831 University Avenue. Sponsored by the College Humanities Staff, The University of Chicago. Includes:  1) Acknowledgments   2) Materials of Exhibition    3) “The Midway Gardens”   4) “Architecture and Sculpture in the Making of Midway Gardens”   5) “A letter to Mr. Iannelli from John Lloyd Wright” dated June 10, 1954   6) “Frank Lloyd Wright, on Midway Gardens” three excepts from his books   7) “Table of Illustrations” which includes the Cover and Figure 1-9.   8) Figure 1-9.  Includes five photographs and six illustrations. 

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pp 17

S#: 1526.08.0407

   
Date: 1961

Title: Alfonso Iannelli to James Marston Fitch, April 25, 1961

Author: Iannelli, Alfonso

Description: 14) Vintage carbon of letter from Alfonso Iannelli to historian James Marston Fitch, dated April 25, 1961, one day after the exhibition started.  “Enclosed is catalogue of the exhibit on the Midway Gardens.”  His endeavor to bolster his position.

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pp 1

S#: 1526.09.0407

   
Date: Circa 1955

Title: Dawn Manor, site of Midway Garden Sprites. (Circa 1955)

Author:

Description: 15) Photocopy of article on Dawn Manor, site of Midway Garden Sprites. (Circa 1955)  “Around Dawn Manor cluster many memories of Mrs. Raab’s good friend, Frank Lloyd Wright. Among the flowers beside the drive stand five statues of laughing girls. These charming figures were cast in cement by Mr. Wright, the first person ever to sculpture in cement. They are of his daughter-in-law, and twelve of them were originally made for decorations in Midway Gardens of Chicago. Later they were purchased by Mrs. Raab, who gave half of them to Mr. Wright for his Theater at Taliesin.” 

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pp 1

S#: 1092.16.0407

   
   
   
FURNITURE
 
Date: 1986

Title:
Midway Gardens Side Chairs 1986 (1913 - S.180).

Description:
Midway Gardens was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1913, built in 1914 and demolished in 1929. This Midway Garden chair was designed by Wright in 1914, but never produced. In 1986, Cassina produced a line of furniture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Cassina 603 Midway 2. "The Characteristic of this chair is the lightness of the steel rod structural framework. It is part of a set that includes tables built along similar lines." Cassina Catalog, 1985, p.16-17. "Chairs in glossy enamelled steel rod, white, red, blue, or grey. Removable seat and back padded with polyurethane foam. This model is also available without padded back. Fabric upholstery." P.40-41. Matching tables sold with square or round crystal glass tops. The base is in glossy enamelled steel rod and available in white, red, blue or grey. Printed on base, "Cassina ©. A Design by Frank Lloyd Wright. Certified by The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation." Stamped in frame: "1017" and "1053." Steel frame is in red enamel, seat in red vinyl.  Two chairs.

Size:
34.65" High x 15.75 Wide x 18.12" Deep. Seat is 18.31" High.


ST#:
1986.72.1016 1986.73.1016


See additional Wright Chairs.
   


Midway Gardens drawings courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
   
   
 
   
 
   
   
   
PHOTOGRAPHS
 
Date: 1914

Title: Midway Garden Sprite. 

Description: Chicago Architectural Photographing Company, Chicago.  Original gelatin silver photograph printed by photographer Clarence Fuermann (1883-1983).  Printed in the early 1960s from the original negative (1913-14).  Clarence Fuermann of Henry Fuermann and Sons.  The original image was published in “The Life-Work of the American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright” 1925, page 76, center.

Size: 8 x 10

S#: 1407.01.0406

   

Date: Circa 1914

Title: Midway Garden (1913 - S.180) Male Sprite 1913-14.

Description: Male sprite holding a geometric dodecahedron, in the Northeast corner of the Winter Garden. This sculpture appeared only once in the Midway Gardens. In the May, 1915 issue of "The International Studio" the caption read "Sprites designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, executed by Alfonso Iannelli". A dispute arose between Iannelli and Wright as to who designed the sculptures. Published in "Life Work of the American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright", 1925, page 77. Photographed by Clarence Fuermann.

Size: Original 4 x 10.5 B&W photograph.

S#: 0124.17.0712

   
Date: Circa 1914

Title: Midway Garden (1913 - S.180) Female Sprite 1913-14.

Description: Female Sprite holding triangle in the Northwest corner of the Winter Garden. This sculpture appeared only once in the Midway Gardens. In the May, 1915 issue of "The International Studio" the caption read "Sprites designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, executed by Alfonso Iannelli". A dispute arose between Iannelli and Wright as to who designed the sculptures. Published in "The International Studio", May, 1915, page LXXXI. Photographed by Clarence Fuermann.

Size: Original 4 x 10.5 B&W photograph.

S#: 0124.18.0712

   

Date: Circa 1914

Title: Midway Garden (1913 - S.180) Female Sprite 1913-14.

Description: Female sprite holding a sphere, in the Southeast corner of the Winter Garden. This sculpture appeared only once in the Midway Gardens. In the May, 1915 issue of "The International Studio" the caption read "Sprites designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, executed by Alfonso Iannelli". A dispute arose between Iannelli and Wright as to who designed the sculptures. Photographed by Clarence Fuermann.

Size: Original 4 x 10.5 B&W photograph.

S#: 0124.19.0712

   
Date: 1914

Title: Midway Gardens Summer Garden 1914.

Description: Photographed by Henry Fuermann & Sons in September 1914. The Southeast corner of the interior, viewed from the North Terrace looking out over the Summer Garden. The Winter Garden on the left, the South Belvedere is in the center, and the South Arcade is on the right. Vases, Totem poles and Light Tree are visible in the foreground. Label pasted to verso: "Photo caption: Nostalgia buffs will get a glimpse of the past at the flower show where ‘Memories of Midway Gardens’ has been recreated by the Chicago School of Architecture Foundation. This unique entertainment complex was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1914 and located near the University of Chicago. The original Midway Gardens (pictured here) was a center for good entertainment, food and music and was designed by Wright as a synthesis of architecture, sculpture and painting. The mini-Midway gardens at the Flower Show was designed by Joe Karr and Associates who designed the courtyard garden at Glessner House, home of the Chicago School of Architecture Foundation, 1800 S. Prairie Avenue." Stamped on verso: Mar 29 1973". Acquired from the archives of the Chicago Tribune.

Size: Original 10 x 8 B&W photograph.

S#: 0124.14.1211

   
Date: Midway Garden Entrance 1914

Title: Midway Garden Entrance. 

Description: Chicago Architectural Photographing Company, photographer Clarence Fuermann (1883-1983), Chicago, (Note: "Domino's Collection" page 152;  "In The Nature of Materials", page xvi, no. 194).  Purchased from "The Architectural Forum".  Note on back indicates it was used by Arthur Drexler - MOMA.  This image published in “Frank Lloyd Wright: Writings and Buildings” 1960, Edgar Kaufmann and Ben Raeburn, page 120.  “Frank Lloyd Wright and Midway Gardens” 1998, Paul Kruty, page g.  "Frank Lloyd Wright: Preserving an Architectural Heritage, Domino’s Collection" David A. Hanks, page 89. 

Size: 8 x 10

S#: 1407.02.0706

   
Date: 1914

Title: Midway Gardens 1914.

Description: Photographed by Henry Fuermann & Sons in 1914. Cottage Grove Avenue viewed from the Northeast. The Winter Garden to the left side of this image, the Tavern is on the right. Both towers are prominent above the Winter Garden. Patterned concrete blocks, Two Queen of the Gardens and three Sprite statues are visible. Caption on face: "The Chicago Architectural Photographing Co. Midway Gardens, Cottage Grove Avenue at 60th Street, Chicago, Illinois, 1914. Demolished." Stamped on verso: "Field Enterprises, Inc. Oct 1968." published in “Frank Lloyd Wright: Writings and Buildings” 1960, Edgar Kaufmann and Ben Raeburn, page 120.  “Frank Lloyd Wright and Midway Gardens” 1998, Paul Kruty, page g. "Frank Lloyd Wright: Preserving an Architectural Heritage, Domino’s Collection" David A. Hanks, page 89.

Size: Original 8 x 10 B&W photograph.

S#: 0124.12.0911

   
Date: 1914

Title: Exotic Dancers, Midway Gardens 1914. 

Description: Photographed by Collins (emboss on verso of board).  Possibly a publicity photograph or souvenir a that could be purchased as a keepsake, 4.75 x 3.6, mounted to decorative board 6.76 x 5.8. 

Size: Photograph 4.75 x 3.6.

S#: 0124.03.0407

 

(Left: Inset bottom right: Emboss from back of board)

   

(Close-up of window poster)

Date: 1918

Title: “Independence Day Dance. The Midway Garden."

Description: "Music By Kelton’s Music Makers. Wed., July 3 (1918)."  In July of 1916 the name was changed to “Edelweiss Gardens” but in this poster it is still called “Midway Garden”.  It was referred to by “Midway Garden” (singular).

Size: 2.75 x 4.5.

S#: 0139.03.0407

   
Date: 1933

Title: Midway Gardens Male Sprites (1913 - S.180).

Description: 1933 Press photograph. Heavily retouched photograph of page 77, from "The Life-Work of the American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright" Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1925. Two views of the Male Sprite holding dodecahedrons. Stamped on verso: "Mar 14 1933." Hand written on verso: "Figures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Midway Gardens, Chicago."

Size: Original 8 x 10 B&W photograph.

S#: 0370.03.0713

   
Date: 1981

Title: Midway Gardens Table Lamp (1913 - S.180) 1981.

Description: Designed for Midway Gardens circa 1914, Chicago. Steel and translucent white art glass. Lamp shade cantilevered out from base by a horizontal arm (possibly adjustable but not confirmed). Base: 23.5 (H) x 5.75 (W) x 5.75 (D). Shade: Six-sided, leaded white art glass, 14.5 (diameter). This photograph was published in "Frank Lloyd Wright", Kelmscott Galleries, 1981, page 37. Photographed by Quiriconi-Tropea Photographers. Acquired from Kelmscott Galleries.

Size: One 6 x 7.75 B&W photograph.

ST#: 1981.92.0413

   
Date: 1991

Title: Original Midway Gardens Sprite, September 1991.

Description: Clipping pasted to verso: "Frank Lloyd Wright designed many an architectural masterpieces. One of his greatest blossomed, died of economic strangulation and was erased from the face of the earth in just 15 years on Chicago’s South Side. The brief but glorious life of the Midway Gardens - a landmark of architecture, jazz and haute culture - is being memorialized at Kelmscott Gallery, 4611 N. Lincoln, in the current exhibit: ‘Frank Lloyd Wright and Alfonso Iannelli - The story of the Midway Gardens’. The show runs through Oct. 26. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The first World War, the postwar recession and Prohibition quickly wrote finis to the indoor-outdoor pleasure ground that provided good music, good food and (originally) drink in Wright’s modern arts version of a German beer garden. The combination open-air café, band shell and large winter garden, decorated with tradition-shattering Cubist sculptures, opened in 1914 on South Cottage Grove and was torn down in 1929. Wright boasted in later years that it was so solidly built that the wrecking company went broke tearing it apart. Precious little remains of the place where Bix Beiderbecke made jazz hot, Benny Goodman cooled it on the clarinet, Russian ballerina Anna Pavlove danced and the house orchestra was led by Max Bendix, associate of Chicago Symphony Orchestra founder Theodore Thomas." Caption pasted to verso: "Star of the show is one of Iannelli’s original concrete sprites from the Midway Gardens. It was recently found near Wisconsin Dells." Stamped on verso: "Sept 22 1991".

Size: Original 8 x 10 B&W photograph.

ST#: 1991.71.0513

   
   
   
SCULPTURE REPRODUCTIONS
 
Date: 1998

Title: Midway Gardens "Sprite" Garden Sculpture

Description: A reproduction of the original sculpture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and executed by Alfonso Iannelli.  (Produced by Nichols Brothers Stoneworks, Woodinville, Washington)

Size: 42" Tall with Base

ST#: 1998.00.1098

   
Date: 2004

Title: Midway Garden "Sprite" with Baton. 

Description: Frank Lloyd Wright Licensed vase. A reproduction of the original sculpture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and executed by Alfonso Iannelli.  (Produced by Nichols Brothers Stoneworks, Woodinville, Washington)

Size: 42" tall with base

ST#: 2004.13.0704

   
Date: 2016

Title: Midway Gardens Sprite, Poetry Sphere Winter Garden Nymph 2016 (1913 - S.180).

Description: Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) is recognized world-wide as one of the greatest architects of the twentieth century. His work heralded a new thinking in architecture, using innovation in design and engineering made possible by newly designed technology and materials. His creative ability extended far beyond the border of architecture to graphic design, furniture, art glass, textiles, and decorative elements for the home. Midway Gardens was an indoor-outdoor entertainment complex located on Chicago’s south side. Constructed in 1914, the complex was ornamented with concrete panels, hand-painted wall murals, lighting, and tableware all designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Working in collaboration with sculptor Alfonso Iannelli, a group of various concrete figures, male and female, were sculpted and stood atop the building’s street facades. They were gracefully positioned in the interior spaces and gardens contained within the structure. These abstractions of the human form entertain the eye and seem at times to reflect the Art Nouveau and Cubism movements of the early twentieth century. "We hunger for POETRY naturally as we do for sunlight." 1928 - Frank Lloyd Wright. (Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation description.) Original sprite was executed by Alfonso Iannelli in 1914. Handmade of cold cast polyresin mixed with bronze powder, individually hand painted and polished. The Sprite was located on the east end of the south mezzanine in the winter garden. Licensed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.  Original list price $99.95.

Size: 15 x 4.3 x 4.3

ST#:
2016.22.0517
   
   
   

Midway Gardens "Poetry" Sphere Winter Garden Nymph. These abstractions of the human form entertain the eye and seem at times to reflect the Art Nouveau and Cubism movement of the early twentieth century. "We hunger for POETRY naturally as we do for sunlight..."  1928 - Frank Lloyd Wright.
   
   
   
VASES
 
Date: 1990

Title: Sprite Bud Vase. 

Description: Midway Garden Sprite engraved on each side with a different angle. Silver Plated Pewter.  The Museum Company #400-54920. 

Size: 1.5 x 7.4

ST#: 1990.51.0706

   
   
   
BILTMORE SPRITES
 
Date: 1987

Title: Biltmore Sprite. 

Description: “The Biltmore Sprites, donated by Taliesin Associated Architects to the Arizona Biltmore were recently unveiled.  These architectural statues of concrete were originally designed in 1914 by Frank Lloyd Wright to decorate the now destroyed Midway Gardens of Chicago.”  Photographed October 21, 1987 at the Arizona Biltmore Dedication Ceremony.

Size: Original 5 x 7 B&W photograph.

ST#: 1987.44.0507

   
Date: 1987

Title: Dedication Ceremony. 

Description: “John Rattenbury of Taliesin Associated Architects explains the history of the Sprites of Midway Gardens at the unveiling at the Arizona Biltmore.  The Sprites were recently restored and donated to the hotel by Taliesin.  Renamed the “Biltmore Sprites,” these architectural statues were originally designed in 1914 by Frank Lloyd Wright to decorate the now destroyed Midway Gardens of Chicago.”  Photographed October 21, 1987 at the Arizona Biltmore Dedication Ceremony.

Size: Original 7 x 5 B&W photograph.

ST#: 1987.45.0507

   
Date: 1987

Title: PR: The Biltmore Sprite Fact Sheet

Author: Arizona Biltmore

Description: Fact sheet concerning Sprite, Dimensions, Material, Donations, Restoration, Design and Original Sculpture.

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pg 1

ST#: 1987.47.0507

   
Date: 1987

Title: PR:  Arizona Biltmore PR - 10/87 (Published by DBG&H, Phoenix)

Author: Spitza, Anne M.

Description: “The History of the Sprites of Midway Gardens.”   Includes information on the history and destruction of the Midway Gardens and the Sprites.  “It seemed the Sprites were lost forever.  Then sometime after World War II, word reached Taliesin... that a few of the Sprites had been saved and were lying in pieces in a farmer’s field in Lake Delton, Wisconsin.”

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pp 4

ST#: 1987.48.0507

   
Date: 1987

Title: PR:  Arizona Biltmore PR - 10/87  (Published by DBG&H, Phoenix)

Author: Spitza, Anne M.

Description: “Creation of the Sprites Old & New.” Includes information on the creation of the original Sprites and the restoration.  “The Biltmore Sprites... are authentic, accurate reproductions of the damaged originals.”

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pp 3

ST#: 1987.49.0507

   
Date: 1987

Title: PR:  Arizona Biltmore PR - 10/87  (Published by DBG&H, Phoenix)

Author: Spitza, Anne M.

Description: “Press Conference. ...the Sprites of Midway Gardens have been resurrected from their demise.  Now called the Biltmore sprites, they will be donated to the Arizona Biltmore by Taliesin on Wednesday, October 21 at 2:00 p.m., in front of the hotel.”  Two Copies.

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pp 2

ST#: 1987.50.0507, 1987.51.0507

   
   
   

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