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Samara, living room, view from northeast corner, 2007, digital image, courtesy Samara. © Alexander Vertikoff. Courtesy SAMARA.

A Dream Takes Shape With Frank Lloyd Wright

A major traveling exhibit brings the work of Frank Lloyd Wright – and, in particular, his role in giving life to one couple’s dream – to the Baer Gallery on campus. Last week, new publications intern Anja Marshall ’17 was able to preview the exhibit for us.

The Carol & Robert Bush Art Center’s current spotlight on Frank Lloyd Wright's Samara is more than an exhibit: It is an experience. It is an opportunity to step back into the 1950s, in the shoes of John and Kay Christian, who commissioned their American dream home from one of the country’s greatest architects, Frank Lloyd Wright. 

The experience is highlighted by visuals, videos, hands-on activities and actual pieces from the mid-century Indiana home named Samara. 

Upon entering the gallery, the visitor can follow in chronological order the family’s step-by-step home-building process. The touring exhibition includes the Christians’ letters of correspondence with Wright, their “needs” lists and Wright’s sketches, floor plans and blueprints. The final element of the exhibit adds the personal touch: family photos, fabric swatches and the paint chips and pieces used to decorate this impressive modern home. 

Shan Bryan-Hanson, curator of art galleries and collections, describes the exhibit as a combination of history, architecture and interior design. Acknowledging the importance of Wright, a Wisconsin native, to the legacy of American architecture, she says, “The exhibition is a great opportunity for SNC students and the greater community to experience the work and design process of one of the country's greatest architects.” This living art experience will be open during gallery hours until Oct. 10. 

“Frank Lloyd Wright’s Samara: A Mid-Century Dream Home” is a program of Exhibits USA and the National Endowment for the Arts. It is sponsored by Performa Inc., Johnson Bank, Johnson Insurance, H.J. Martin and Son Inc. and the Edward and Terri Martin Family. The exhibition would not be possible without these sponsors. 

Further information about Samara can be found on the art galleries website.


Sept. 2, 2014