The grace of Frank Lloyd Wright design

Frank Lloyd Wright is to architecture what Van Gogh is to art.

Wright was dictatorial about building furniture he designed himself into the houses he constructed. He was also notorious for going into the same houses when the owners were away and rearranging the furniture and accessories the way he thought they should look. Some of the built-in contemporary furniture still remains in the homes he designed.

The architect gave new meaning to the term artistic license.

Clients commissioning houses from Wright learned to expect the unexpected from the charismatic architect.

From windows to floors to individual chairs, everything in the architect’s rooms related to everything else.

“I believe in God, only I spell it Nature,” Wright said. His intention was for homes to blend rather than offend their natural settings.

When he was 86-years-old Wright and Heritage-Henredon Furniture Industries of Morganton, N.C., teamed up and Wright designed his first furniture collection for the mass market.

The 1955 line was called “Taliesin,” or the “Taliesin Ensemble.” It was named after Wright’s Wisconsin home and consisted of approximately 61 pieces. Many of the pieces bear the distinctive Taliesin design, a classic series of carvings on the edges.

With its simplicity, natural woods and metal the Taliesin furniture line is timeless today like a bridge connecting one era to another.

On Sept. 14, Treadway & Toomey Galleries featured a selection of Frank Lloyd Wright Heritage-Henredon furniture in its 20th Century Art & Design auction held in Oak Park, Ill.  A four piece Sectional sofa; reupholstered; signed with remnants of paper label; sold for $9,000.

Rosemary McKittrick’s weekly column offers a motherload of information and history about the world of art, antiques and collectibles. Visit www.LiveAuctionTalk.com.

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Frank Lloyd Wright chair.

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