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Browne's Bookstore, Chicago (1907 - S.141)
 

Decorative Designs and Furniture

     
There are four items of note in the Browne's Bookstore.

  Weed Holder    Copper Urn    Furniture    Winged Victory Statue    Statue of David 

 
 
Copper "Weed Holder" designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
     
Wright began experimenting with variations for designs of Weed Holders and Urns as early as 1894, "Monograph 1887-1901" Pfeiffer, 1991, pages 60-61. John Lloyd right wrote "Not satisfied with the bric-a-brac of the day, Father designed his own. The copper weed-holders pictured to the right and left of the chair are his early creations. Father liked weeds!" "My Father Who is on Earth", 1946, page 24. Examples of the Weed Holder are not as plentiful as those of the Copper Urn.         It was one of Wright's favorite objects. He included it in a number of drawings and projects he worked on, including his own Home and Studio, the Dana house and Browne's Bookstore. By 1925, one was photographed in the Taliesin III Living Room, "Nature of Materials", Hitchcock, 1942, Plate 273.
      In 1910 Frank Lloyd Wright produced the "Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright" (S.87), published by Ernst Wasmuth, in Berlin. While Wright included...  Continue...
     
     
     
"Copper Urn" designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
     
Wright began experimenting with variations of the design for the Urn as early as 1894, and the design of the first designed this copper urn in the late 1890's, "Monograph 1887-1901" Pfeiffer, 1991, pages 60-61. It was one of Wright's favorite objects. He included it in a number of drawings and projects he worked on, including those for the Edward C. Waller house, Wright's own Home and Studio, the Dana house, the Coonley house, Browne's Bookstore and appeared in an early image of Unity Temple.   Eighteen inches tall, and according to Hanks, "Decorative Designs" 1979, p70-1, it was executed by James A. Miller and Brother.
      In 1910 Frank Lloyd Wright produced the "Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright" (S.87), published by Ernst Wasmuth, in Berlin. Wright included the Copper Urn in three Wasmuth plates. A) Browne's Bookstore Plate XXXVI (36). B) Coonley Plate LVI (56). C) Coonley Plate LVIb (56b).
      The copper urn appears in two...  Continue...
     
     
     
     

Browne's Bookstore Side Chair designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

     

On December 8, 2002, John Toomey Gallery, Oak Park, auctioned three Side Chairs in the position of Unity Temple. According to Toomey Gallery, "the chairs had been in the collection of Unity Temple of Oak Park, Illinois, Wright’s first public commission. It was presumed that the chairs were donated to the Temple following the demolition of Browne’s Bookstore. They are the only known examples from that commission that have ever been offered for sale." Of note is the below chair on the right (1b). No original photographs have been found that show this chair with the

 

"double horizontal molded rail". Could it possibly have been an office chair?
      In 1910 Frank Lloyd Wright produced the "Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright" (S.87), published by Ernst Wasmuth, in Berlin. Browne's Bookstore appeared in as the bottom half of Plate XXXVI. Although it was published two years after the completion of the bookstore, minor details changed from the actual bookstore. Sixteen Side Chairs are included in this illustration.

     
 

1a: Two Browne's Bookstore Side Chairs. Wide slat under a single horizontal rail, refinished, 15”w x 18.5”d x 48”h. Courtesy of the John Toomey Gallery.   1b: One Browne's Bookstore Side Chair. Wide vertical paneled slat at back under a double horizontal molded rail, original drop in seat, refinished, 15.5”w x 18.5”d x 54”h. Courtesy of the John Toomey Gallery.
 
1c: Side Chair. Sold at Sotheby's on December 5, 2005 for $22,800. Oak with leather upholstery 47 5/8 inches high. Courtesy of Sotheby's.
 
2: Browne's Bookstore 1908. View of front Cove. Two Side Chairs are visible in the image, one on the far left, one right of center.
 
Int5
3a: View from entry to back. Four Side Chairs are visible in this image. One on the left in the alcove, and three at the table right of center. See detail below.
Int6
3b: Detail of the View from entry to back. Three Side Chairs are visible, arranged around the table.
 
4: View of Cove. Each Cove included a built in table and four high-backed Side Chairs. Two are visible.
 
4a: Detail of Side Chairs. Each Cove included a built in table and four high-backed Side Chairs.
 
5: View toward fireplace. Three Side Chairs are visible in this image. Two in he center, toward the back, and one on the right in the right foreground.
 
Int35a: This detailed illustration of Browne's Bookstore appeared in 1910 as the bottom half of Plate XXXVI. Although it was published two years after the completion of the bookstore, minor details changed from the actual bookstore. Sixteen Side Chairs are included in this illustration.
 
5b: Detail of the center alcove. Each alcove included four Side Chairs.
 
5c: Detail of the center (left) and fourth (right) alcoves. Each alcove included four Side Chairs.
 
 
5d: There were a total of five identical coves, this being the last one on the right. Each alcove included four Side Chairs..
 
5e: Detail of the far right side of Plate XXXVI. A single Side Chair is included with the display table.
 
 
 

Winged Victory Statue

     

The Winged Victory Statue was a favorite design element that Wright included in many of the projects that he worked on. The Winged Victory of Samothrace, also called the Nike of Samothrace, is a second century BC marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (Victory). Since 1884, it has been prominently displayed at the Louvre and is one of the most celebrated

 

sculptures in the world.
      Besides Wright's own home, it could be found in the Browne's Bookstore, the Larkin Administration Building, the Darwin Martin home conservatory, the Robie House and the Little Residence.  Monograph 1, plate 401 shows a recent photograph including the Winged Victory Statue.

     
1: Browne's Bookstore. View from entry to back. Alcoves were arranged along the left side. Wright adorned the top of a book shelf with his familiar Winged Victory Statue and quotations on the wall.
OP4a
2a: Wright's Oak Park Playroom, Circa 1900. The Winged Victory Statue is above the doorway. Very similar image published in "Architectural Review" June 1900, p65.
2b: Detail of Wright's Oak Park Playroom, Circa 1900. Winged Victory Statue is above the doorway.
3: Larkin Co. Administration Building (1903 - S.093), Circa 1904-08. The Winged Victory Statue is visible center left. Published in "Frank Lloyd Wright, Ausgeführte Bauten" 1911, page 132.
 
4: Darwin D. Martin Residence Conservatory (1904 - S.101). This large version of the Winged Victory Statue became the center piece of the conservatory.
 
5: Frederick C. Robie Residence Entrance Hall (1906 - S.127). This small version of the Winged Victory Statue adorned a table in the Entrance Hall of he Robie House. Courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust.
 
Francis W. Little Residence Living Room (1912 - S.173). The Winged Victory Statue sits atop a table in the Little Living Room. Additional information about this image.
 

Statue of David

     

Michelangelo created the Statue of David in 1504, and today is housed in the Gallery of the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florance, Italy. Like the Winged Victory, Wright placed the Statue of David in a few of his designs. The Dana House and Browne's Bookstore.

 

Actual Statue of David in Florance, Italy.

     
1: Dana House 1902, View toward Library. Statue of David sits atop stairway pedistal. Of note is the Wasmuth Plate XXXIb, which is nearly an exact duplication of this view but minus the Statue of David.
 
2: Browne's Bookstore 1907-8. View from the fireplace, back room. Statue of David visible above doorway. Published in "A Notable Bookstore".
 
 
Back
 
 
Additional Wright Studies
 
Adelman (S.344)    Banff National Park Pavilion (S.170)    Bitter Root Inn (S.145)    Blair Residence (S.351)    Blumberg Residence (Project) 
 
Boomer Residence (1953 - S.361)    Brandes Residence (S.350)    Browne's Bookstore (S.141)    Como Orchard Summer Colony (S.144)  
 
Cooke Residence (1953)    Copper Weed Urn & Weed Holder   
Disappearing City (1932)    Elam Residence (S.336)    "Eve of St. Agnes" (1896)  
 
Feiman Residence (S.371)    Frank L. Smith Bank (S.111)    Gordon Residence (S.419)   
Griggs Residence (S.290)    Hartford Resort (Project 1948) 
  Heller Residence (S.038)   
Henderson Residence (S.057)   
Hoffman Showroom (S.380)    Horner Residence (S.142)    "House Beautiful" 1896-98  
  Husser Residence (S.046)    Imperial Hotel (S.194) Silverware and Monogram    Japanese Print Stand (1908)    Kalil Residence (S.387)  
 
Lake Geneva Hotel (S.171)
   Lamp Cottage, Rocky Roost (S.021)    Lockridge Medical Clinic (S.425)    Lykes Residence (S.433)  
 
Marden Residence (S.357)    March Balloons    Midway Gardens (S.180)    Midway Gardens Dish (S.180)    Nakoma Clubhouse  
 
Nakoma Furniture    Opus 497    Pebbles & Balch Remodel (S.131)    Pilgrim Congregational Church (S.431) 
Loren B. Pope (S.268) 
  
Roloson Rowhouse (S.026)    Shavin Residence (S.339)    Sixty Years Exhibition 1951-56    J. L. Smith Residence (1955)    Steffens Residence (S.153)  
  Stohr Arcade (S.162)    Stromquiest Residence (S.429)    Sutton Residence (S.106)    Teater Studio (S.352)    Thurber Art Galleries (S.154)  
  Tracy Residence (S.389)    Trier Residence (S.398)    Usonian Automatic Homes    Williams (Way & Williams) (S.033)  
 
Wyoming Valley School (S.401)   
Zimmerman Residence, (S.333) 
 
Frank Lloyd Wright's First Published Article (1898)
 
Photographic Chronology of Frank Lloyd Wright Portraits
 
"Frank Lloyd Wright's Nakoma Clubhouse & Sculptures." A comprehensive study of Wright’s Nakoma Clubhouse and the Nakoma and Nakomis Sculptures. Now Available. Limited Edition. More information.
 
 
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