MoMA to stage major Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition in 2017

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MoMA to stage major Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition in 2017

New York's Museum of Modern Art has announced a major exhibition of work by famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright to coincide with what would have been his 150th birthday.

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive will open next summer and comprise approximately 450 works created over his 60-year career.

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, MoMa in New York City, USA
The exhibition at New York's MoMA is to coincide with what would have been the architect's 150th birthday

Wright is considered one of the 20th century's most important architects, and his work credited a precursor to the Modernism movement.

"Wright was one of the most prolific and renowned architects of the 20th century, a radical designer and intellectual who embraced new technologies and materials, pioneered do-it-yourself construction systems as well as avant-garde experimentation, and advanced original theories with regards to nature, urban planning, and social politics," said the museum.

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, MoMa in New York City, USA
Wright's Model of St Mark's-in-the-Bouwerie in New York City, 1927-31 (unbuilt)

Born in June 1867 in Wisconsin, Wright started out working under architects Joseph Lyman Silsbee then Louis Sullivan in Chicago, and established his own practice in the city in 1893.

He went on to lead the Prairie School movement, which straddled the turn of the 20th century and was prolific in the American Midwest. It was characterised by low, horizontal roof lines and overhanging eaves – designed in response to the area's flat landscape.

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, MoMa in New York City, USA
Wright's Plan for Greater Baghdad, 1957-58 (unbuilt) – click for larger image

Among his most famous later projects are the 1927 Fallingwater house in Pennsylvania, the 1939 Johnson Wax headquarters in Wisconsin and the 1959 Guggenheim Museum in New York. Last year, 10 of his buildings were nominated for UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, MoMa in New York City, USA
Wright's Raul Bailleres House in Acapulco, Mexico, 1952 (unbuilt) – click for larger image

MoMa's exhibition will be divided into sections, each based around a key item or cluster of objects from the Frank Lloyd Wright archives.

These will include architectural drawings, models, building fragments, films, television broadcasts and print media, along with furniture, tableware, textiles, paintings, photographs and scrapbooks.

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, MoMa in New York City, USA
Wright's Rosenwald Foundation School in La Jolla, California, 1928 (unbuilt) – click for larger image

A selection of the works will be on view to the public for the first time.

"The exhibition seeks to open up Wright's work to critical inquiry and debate, and to introduce experts and general audiences alike to new angles and interpretations of this extraordinary architect," said MoMA.

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, MoMa in New York City, USA
Wright's Liberty Magazine cover, 1926 – click for larger image

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150 will run from 12 June to 1 October 2017.

MoMA is currently hosting a showcase of contemporary Japanese architecture. It has announced an exhibition of projects that tackle the issue of shelter for global refugee emergencies to open in autumn 2016.

Earlier this year, speculation arose that the institution was closing its architecture and design galleries, but MoMA stated that it has no plans to axe these dedicated spaces after renovation of its Midtown building completes.