What is the experience of building and living in a home designed by America’s greatest architect? How do you live in a work of art? Frank Lloyd Wright’s Samara: A Mid-Century Dream Home explores the relationship between an architect and his clients, Dr. John and Kay Christian, as they worked together to create one family’s definition of an American dream home. Told through the juxtaposition of original objects and furniture, architectural fragments, rare archival materials, historic photographs, and video footage, this exhibit explores the creation of a Wright house made into a family home. Samara was constructed between 1954 and 1956 in West Lafayette, Indiana, and was based on Wright’s Usonian houses—modest-sized, affordable, environmentally sensitive dwellings—of which Wright created over one hundred designs. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Samara offers visitors a unique behind-the-scenes look at the creation of an architectural masterpiece.
A program of ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance and The National Endowment for the Arts.
Special Lecture by Jack Quinan:
FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S EXPLORATION OF GEOMETRY: THE USONIANS
Following the Prairie period of the early 1900s and the concrete textile block structures of the 1920s in Los Angeles, Frank Lloyd Wright began to explore the possibilities of non-rectangular geometries in his Usonian houses from 1937 to 1959. In this presentation, Wright’s John Christian House, Samara, will be seen in the context of a representative selection of Usonian houses of differing typologies and often eccentric geometries.
Jack Quinan is a historian specializing in the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, the Arts and Crafts Movement, American Architecture of the Nineteenth Century, Utopian Communities, and the relationship of architecture and phenomenology. He is a founder of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, an organization dedicated to the preservation of Wright’s extant work, and he is the senior curator and a member of the board of directors of Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo. He has written 5 books on Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture, and numerous articles. Quinan is a State University of New York Distinguished Service Professor.
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