Renowned mid-century architect Frank Lloyd Wright was nothing if not prolific. When he died in 1959, he left behind thousands of plans, models and sketches — he seemingly held on to every doodle he ever doodled. And now you can see them on view at MoMA in an exhibit called, "Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal"
The items on display show a vast diversity of style for the architect, whose ideas about city planning and use of urban space radically changed throughout his artistic life.
Frank Lloyd Wright circa 1926
The show begins with Wright's 1913 project, a 24-story headquarters for the San Francisco Call and includes many other sky-high projects, ending with the ambitious plans for his (never-built) Mile High Illinois tower. But the exhibit also includes Wright's counterpoint idea for more spread out, horizontal urban planning — his 12'x12' model for Broadacre City, a low-density community where each family would receive one acre of land. The intricate model was constructed over a period of years, as Wright worked out his ideas for the right way to organize populations.
Wright's intricate vision for Broadacre City
The exhibit is a fascinating peek into the brain of one of our most celebrated architects and his exploration of the vastly different ways urban and suburban life can work. His apparent love-hate relationship with city density evolved over the course of his career; he changed his mind and then changed it back again, all the while creating interesting and useful work.
See the exhibit in NYC at MoMA.
(Image credits: MoMA; Library of Congress archives)