Exhibitions > The Formation of the Japanese Print Collection at the Art Institute: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School
The Formation of the Japanese Print Collection at the Art Institute: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School
August 18, 2012–November 4, 2012
As an architect, art dealer, and designer, Frank Lloyd Wright was greatly inspired and influenced by the art and culture of Japan. His 1893 visits to Japan’s national pavilion at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago had a lasting affect on the young architect. He first went to Japan in 1905, and returned from the trip with a large selection of prints, many of which he intended to sell. Later, he resided in Japan while working on Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel, giving him the chance to deepen his appreciation of Japanese nature and culture as seen in woodblock prints. While he did not return to Japan after the hotel’s completion in 1922, he continued to collect and sell prints until his death in 1959.
Over the course of his lifetime, Frank Lloyd Wright consistently lent Japanese prints to the Art Institute, but his most important exhibition was undoubtedly a large show of prints he mounted at the museum in 1908 with an installation of specially designed frames and furniture. For the first time, museum visitors in Chicago were treated to a staggering array of Japanese prints from a variety of artists and time periods. The majority of the works on view were lent by Frank Lloyd Wright himself.
Clarence Buckingham, whose name graces the Japanese print gallery at the Art Institute, purchased several prints from Frank Lloyd Wright for his personal collection in 1911. For this sale, and throughout Buckingham's years as a collector, he sought the advice of fellow collector and art consultant Frederick Gookin. Following Buckingham's death, Gookin organized the Buckingham collection for accessioning by the Art Institute and held the position as curator of Japanese art until 1936.
This exhibition is comprised of Japanese prints originally purchased from Frank Lloyd Wright, photos of the 1908 exhibition, as well as presentation drawings by Wright and his studio. Many of the drawings are by talented draftswoman Marion Mahony Griffin and show the incorporation of elements found in Wright’s Japanese prints. In this collaborative exhibition, works drawn from the departments of Asian Art, Architecture and Design, and the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries will be on view.
A photograph of the Japanese print exhibition Frank Lloyd Wright organized at the Art Institute in 1908.
14 hours 53 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago COMING SOON—Provoke: Photography in Japan between Protest and Performance, 1960–75
The short-lived Tokyo magazine Provoke is now recognized as a major achievement in world photography of the last 50 years. A major international traveling show, which has Chicago as its only North American venue, this exhibition is the first survey of postwar Japanese art to be organized at the Art Institute and draws heavily on the the museum’s collection—more than 60% of the over 200 items on display belong to the Art Institute.
OPENING JANUARY 28—http://bit.ly/2jMlnUx
18 hours 5 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW ON VIEW—The Italian–born American artist Josef Stella revisited his native Italy in 1922, where he became fascinated by Renaissance painting. Drawing inspiration from Sandro Botticelli, Stella began to produce decorative, detailed, symbolic compositions, such as A Vision (seen here). Stella was enthralled by the tropical plants he observed at the Bronx Botanical Garden in New York, and he imagined an iconic woman growing out of the earth like the towering flowers on either side of her.
The French–born American artist Gaston Lachaise found his own iconic inspiration for the sculpture, Woman (Elevation), in Isabel Dutaud Nagle, whom he later married, telling her, “I want to create a miracle with it… as great as you.” This sculpture represents Lachaise’s first full-scale expression of the idealized female form that would come to dominate his art. Modernists like Lachaise believed preclassical art possessed a primitive vitality absent from later art forms.
See Josef Stella’s A Vision (1925/26) and Gaston Lachaise’s Woman (Elevation) (1912–15; cast 1927)—on view in Gallery 271.
1 day 14 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW OPEN—Rodney McMillian: a great society
Our latest exhibition in the Modern Wing represents the last decade of the artist’s work in video. Grappling with the complexities of class, race, and place in America, Rodney McMillian employs elements of performance, public speaking, oral history—and his interest in the science fiction genre—to expose the social and psychological consequences of economic inequality, endemic racism, and the failed promise of freedom and prosperity for all of its citizens. While McMillian's work engages the often stark realities of history and contemporary culture, it is motivated by the potential for alternative realities and future transformation.
See Rodney McMillian: a great society on view in the Modern Wing through March 26.