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Wright Studies
W. Scott Thurber Art Galleries, Chicago (1909 - S.154)
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Just after the Thurber Art Galleries opened, the International Studio reviewed Frank Lloyd Wright's work in their extensive February, 1910 exposé. "He carefully considers every detail of room size and height, the lighting by day and night, placing of doors and windows, the breaking up of the wall surfaces, the design and use of each piece of furniture, without losing sight of the minor points of utility..."
       One of Wright's Blueprints for the Thurber Art Galleries was published in "Frank Lloyd Wright Monogram, Volume 3". It included a design for the Straight Back Side Chair, a Bench Stool, and a Bench. The Bench does not appear in any of the existing photographs. Of note is the Vase that Wright included, inside, just to the right of the Entrance. It is very similar to the Robie
  House vase, 1906. There are no records or photographs to indicate if the vase was ever produced for the Thurber Art Galleries.
       Most likely the wood used to build the chairs matched the wood throughout the galleries. "The woodwork is of fumed oak, with bronze worked into the grain and inlaid with a line of white holly." (I.S.)
       There were two additional designs in the smaller Viewing Gallery. An arm chair and a long double sided bench. All furniture was designed with a padded leather seat. Both variations of the chairs and also the long double sided bench included padded leather back panel.
 
  DRAWINGS    FURNITURE    DESK    PRINT FILE 
 
DRAWINGS
 
Illustration A: Wright's design for the Straight Back Side Chair. Designed with a padded leather seat and a padded leather back panel.
 
Illustration B: Wright's design for the Bench Stool. Designed with a padded leather seat.
 
Illustration C: Wright's design for a Bench. Designed with a padded leather seat. The Bench does not appear in any of the existing photographs.
 
Illustration D: Wright's design of a vase on the interior entrance of the Thurber Art Galleries. Of note is the Vase that Wright included, inside, just to the right of the Entrance. It is very similar to the Robie House vase, 1906. There are no records or photographs to indicate if the vase was ever produced for the Thurber Art Galleries.
 
 
FURNITURE
 
1: View of the smaller Viewing Gallery looking toward the Southwest. The woodwork was of fumed oak, with bronze worked into the grain and inlaid with a line of white holly. The furniture was designed by Wright. Four examples are seen in this photograph. There are two chair, one is the straight back side chair and the other is an arm chair, one long double sided bench and a stool.
 
1B: Detail of the furniture designed by Wright. Four examples are seen in this photograph. There are two chair, one straight back and one arm chair, one long seat and a stool.
 
2: View of the smaller Viewing Gallery looking East toward Lake Michigan. The furniture was designed by Wright. Two examples are seen in this photograph, the arm chair and long seat.
 
2B: Detail of the furniture designed by Wright. Two examples are seen in this photograph, the arm chair and long seat.
 
3: View of the larger Print and Reproduction Gallery looking East toward Lake Michigan. Wright "carefully considers every detail of room size and height, the lighting by day and night... the design and use of each piece of furniture..." (I.S.) The furniture was designed by Wright. Two examples are seen in this photograph, the straight back chair and the stool.
 
3B: Detail of the furniture designed by Wright. Two examples are seen in this photograph, the straight back chair and the stool.
 
4: View of the built-in portfolio booths in the larger Print and Reproduction Gallery. The furniture was designed by Wright. Two examples are seen in this photograph, the straight back chair and the stool.
 
4B: Detail of the furniture designed by Wright. Two examples are seen in this photograph, the straight back chair and the stool.
 
5: View of the larger Print and Reproduction Gallery looking West. Wright "carefully considers every detail of room size and height, the lighting by day and night the design and use of each piece of furniture..." (I.S.) The furniture was designed by Wright. Two examples are seen in this photograph, the straight back chair and the stool.
 
5B: Detail of the furniture designed by Wright. Two examples are seen in this photograph, the straight back chair and the stool.
 
 
DESK
 
6: Detail of the circular desk from the West. The woodwork was of fumed oak, with bronze worked into the grain and inlaid with a line of white holly.
 
7: Detail of the circular desk from the East. The woodwork was of fumed oak, with bronze worked into the grain and inlaid with a line of white holly.
 
 
 
Text Copyright 2011, Douglas M. Steiner.
 
 

 

PRINT FILE
   
Date: 1981

Title: Thurber Art Galleries Print File (1909 - S.154), 1981.

Description: Oak Flat Print File for the W. Scott Thurber Art Galleries, Chicago, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright Circa 1909. Three quarter view facing forward and slightly to the right. Rectangular print file cabinet with overhanging edge and molding around the base. Sixteen narrow, slatted drawers, with square pulls and projecting drawer slides. On December 13-14, 1996, this cabinet sold at Christie’s, New York, Sale 8540, Lot 416, for $23,000 plus buyer’s premium. 53 (H) x 34.25 (W) x 25.25 (D). Acquired from Kelmscott Galleries.

Size: Five 4 x 5 Color photographs.

ST#: 1981.130.0413

   
Date: 1981

Title: Thurber Art Galleries Print File (1909 - S.154), 1981.

Description: Oak Flat Print File for the W. Scott Thurber Art Galleries, Chicago, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright Circa 1909. Three quarter view facing forward and to the right. Rectangular print file cabinet with overhanging edge and molding around the base. Sixteen narrow, slatted drawers, with square pulls and projecting drawer slides. Hand written on verso: "Frank Lloyd Wright Thurber Galleries." On December 13-14, 1996, this cabinet sold at Christie’s, New York, Sale 8540, Lot 416, for $23,000 plus buyer’s premium. 53 (H) x 34.25 (W) x 25.25 (D). Acquired from Kelmscott Galleries.

Size: Five 4 x 5 Color photographs. Additional seven detailed Polaroid photographs.

ST#: 1981.131.0413

   
 
 
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