In an aggressive move that underscores its serious archival mission, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (FLLWF) won an important historic collection of more than 1,000 photographs, drawings and other documents by and about the great American architect at auction this weekend. The FLLWF, working with the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, acquired the “Henry-Russell Hitchcock FLLW Collection” at auction on Sunday at Bonhams and Butterfields in Los Angeles for $40,000.
The FLLWF was founded in 1940 by Frank Lloyd Wright to be the repository of his life’s work. Housed at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives is believed to be the largest collection of material related to a single artist under one roof anywhere in the world. The collection includes over 22,000 architectural drawings, 30,000 historic photographs, and 100,000 pages of correspondence in addition to Wright designed furniture and decorative objects and the architect’s personal art and rare book collections.
A key mission of the FLLWF is to preserve the works, ideas and innovative spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright for the benefit of all generations. For this reason, with the support of private donors, FLLWF was able to acquire the important collection. The collection was assembled for publication in a book Hitchcock and Wright co-authored (In the Nature of Materials: The Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright 1887-1941) and contains more than 600 photographs of Wright’s buildings and interiors; 300 photographic reproductions of drawings and plans; letters signed by Wright; plans and perspectives by Wright and images from Wright’s own photographic collection.