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Frank Lloyd Wright archives to join Columbia and MOMA collections

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The vast archives of Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) have been jointly acquired by the Columbia University and the Museum of Modern Art in New York and will become part of their permanent collections

The archives include some 23,000 architectural drawings, 44,000 historical photographs, large-scale presentation models, manuscripts, extensive correspondence and other documents.

They will be permanently transferred to the collections of Columbia and MoMA under a joint acquisition and stewardship agreement.

Columbia’s Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library will be the repository for all paper-based archival contents, including interview tapes, transcripts and films.

MoMA will house all three-dimensional works, including architectural models (many made for Wright’s exhibition at MoMA in 1940), architectural elements and design prototypes in the archives. It will work to develop regular displays and special exhibitions based on the drawings, photographs and models.

Carole Ann Fabian, director of Columbia’s Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, said: ‘At Avery, Wright’s rich legacy of archival materials joins the great historic architects whose works are preserved here — from Sebastiano Serlio to Piranesi’”

Glenn D Lowry, director of MoMA, said: ‘This collaboration provides opportunities to reposition Wright as a key figure in the larger development of modern art and architecture, after decades of scholarship that have often emphasized his lone genius and his unique ‘American-ness’. A new chapter in appreciating Wright is opened by this new setting for his legacy.”

The archives will be named The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).

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