Light Screens: The Complete Leaded-Glass Windows of Frank Lloyd Wright


Light Screens: The Complete Leaded-Glass Windows of Frank Lloyd Wright


Julie L. Sloan



"Visionary and prolific, Frank Lloyd Wright conceived leaded-glass windows for almost every one of his buildings between 1885 and 1923, his most celebrated years. His output was prodigious: an estimated 4,365 window designs for over 160 structures, more than 100 of which were realized. Here, Julie L. Sloan presents the largest gathering of these windows ever published.

In this accessibly written, impressively researched volume, Sloan shows how Wright revolutionized a centuries-old art form. With the boldly abstract glass he called "light screens," he distanced himself from Louis Comfort Tiffany and John La Farge and invented a fully modern language of design. Wright's windows were integral to his architectural conceptions, as Sloan demonstrates with a wealth of illustrations-- including rarely seen drawings and on-site photographs made especially for this book. In recreating the master's integration of his windows into his structures, the author brings to life such lavish landmarks as the Susan Lawrence Dana house, the Darwin D. Martin complex, and Hollyhock House, while she traces three phases in Wright's evolving language of geometric patterns.

According to Sloan, the master's vision grew from the curvilinear Queen Anne-style motifs of his earliest glass; through the chevrons, rectangles, and autumnal palette of his famed Prairie-period windows; to the jazzy asymmetries, dancing triangles, and primary colors of his 1911-23 work, when vanguard European art and architecture helped inspire his most joyous, innovative light screens. In the same years, Wright expanded his use of glass from the single opening to the casement, the clerestory, and the skylight. "While providing harmonious ornament, control of illumination, and privacy," Sloan writes, these ensembles of intricately patterned glass "negotiate the boundaries between interior space and exterior view."

Light Screens proposes a structuralist analysis of Wright's evolving typology of geometric forms and provides a cogent art-historical summary of what shaped them. Concise chapters describe the impact on Wright's glass of the Gothic Revival and Arts and Crafts movements, Japonisme, and Friedrich Froebel's educational exercises. Sloan also explains Wright's design theories and elliptical writings on glass. And she includes useful reconstructions and little-known primary-data: for example, on period terms and fabrication techniques for ornamental glass, and on Wright's clients, assistants, and suppliers. Such rich detail commends this book to connoisseurs and collectors of 19th- and 20th-century glass and modern design alike. Groundbreaking in content and commanding in scope, it is essential reading for scholars and enthusiasts of Wright."



Publication Date



Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.


New York, NY


Architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright



Light Screens: The Complete Leaded-Glass Windows of Frank Lloyd Wright
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