In Pictures: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Mathematical Textiles

An exhibition at the Met, New York, displays the renowned architect’s designs for interiors

Frank Lloyd Wright, Design 706, Printed Duck, 1955. Courtesy: The Met, New York

Frank Lloyd Wright, Design 706, 1955, printed duck. Courtesy: The Met, New York

Can architects design wallpaper as arresting as their building facades? In 1955, celebrated architect Frank Lloyd Wright, whose buildings received UNESCO protected status last month, launched a range of affordable home products for the general public which included a line of fabrics, wallpapers, furniture and paint. An exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York showcases these creations.

Frank Lloyd Wright, Design 105, 1956, printed Linen. Courtesy: The Met, New York

Frank Lloyd Wright, Design 105, 1956, printed linen. Courtesy: The Met, New York

Simple, yet mathematically detailed, the designs for the fabrics and wallpapers were based on Wright’s architectural vocabulary and collated in a sample book titled Schumacher’s Taliesin Line of Decorative Fabrics and Wallpapers Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (1955). 

Frank Lloyd Wright, Design 513, 1956, Damask. Courtesy: The Met, New York

Frank Lloyd Wright, Design 513, 1956, Damask. Courtesy: The Met, New York

The limited-edition book, of which only 100 copies were printed, is on display in the exhibition and includes samples of 9 printed and woven designs as well as wallpaper swatches. The show also includes limited edition wooden vases designed by Wright that never reached the market.

Frank Lloyd Wright, Design 102, 1955, printed linen. Courtesy: The Met, New York

Frank Lloyd Wright, Design 102, 1955, printed linen. Courtesy: The Met, New York

According to the Met, while the furniture and paints were not strong sellers, ‘the vibrant textiles and wallpapers were successful, and designs from the original line remained in production for more than a decade.’ 

Frank Lloyd Wright, Design 104, 1955, printed silk and fortisan casement. Courtesy: The Met, New York

From fiery orange textured damask to soft green geometric printed linen, visitors to the exhibition are invited to take a brief look at what happened when a man, famous for designing grand structures, turned his hand to the world of interiors.

‘Frank Lloyd Wright Textiles: The Taliesin Line, 1955–60’ runs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA, until 5 April 2020

Kadish Morris is editorial assistant and staff writer of frieze, based in London, UK.  

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