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Collection Connection: Frank Lloyd Wright and Rudolph Schindler

Frank Lloyd Wright is one of America's most famous architects, designing residences in what has become known as the Prairie Style. The hallmarks of Prairie Style include the use of horizontal lines, handcrafted materials, and an integration into the landscape.

In his designs, Wright strove to unite indoor and outdoor spaces by using glass as both a decorative element and a transparent screen. This particular piece of glass was designed for the Avery Coonley Playhouse, a small structure Wright designed as a complement to the Avery Coonley House in Riverside, IL. Wright used balloons, flags, and a checkerboard motif to create a playful decoration for the window. I have to imagine it was one of the most envied playhouses on the block.  

Architect and designer Rudolph Schindler was born and trained in Vienna, Austria, but moved to Chicago in 1914 specifically hoping to work for Wright, his biggest architectural influence. Wright eventually hired him in 1918 and Schindler worked for him for several years, both in Oak Park, IL and in Los Angeles. Throughout his career, Schindler designed primarily residential properties and was uniquely interested in radical approaches to defining interior space and combining interior and exterior spaces, much like Frank Lloyd Wright.

Schindler also designed furniture, including this chair that is currently featured in Design Episodes: The Modern Chair. Like his architectural practice, Schindler's furniture utilized simplified assembly methods and economical materials. He perfected this side chair over the course of his career, and the plans are so straightforward that any amateur carpenter could fabricate it using only a single sheet of 3/4-inch plywood.

Image Credits:

Frank Lloyd Wright. Avery Coonley Playhouse: Triptych Window, 1912. Restricted gift of Dr. and Mrs. Edwin J. DeCosta and the Walter E. Heller Foundation. © 2016 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Rudolph Schindler. Wilshire Medical Office Side Chair, about 1943. Wentworth Greene Field Memorial Fund, Mary Waller Langhorne Endowment, Alyce and Edwin DeCosta and Walter E. Heller Foundation Endowment.