Avery Coonley Playhouse: Triptych Window

Clear leaded glass window with red, blue, green geometric shapes and American flags

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  • Clear leaded glass window with red, blue, green geometric shapes and American flags

Date:

1912

Artist:

Frank Lloyd Wright
American, 1867-1959

About this artwork

This colorful, whimsical triptych window is from the Avery Coonley Playhouse, a small structure that Frank Lloyd Wright designed as an addition to the Coonleys’ suburban Chicago estate, which he had previously completed in 1908. Louis Sullivan’s foremost student, Wright continued his teacher’s search for an indigenous American architecture. Like Sullivan, Wright drew inspiration from nature and natural forms, and both men were pioneers of the Prairie School of architecture, characterized by low-slung, horizontal lines and rambling, open spaces that reflect the gently rolling landscape of the Midwest. Odes to the middle-class American family at the turn of the century, Wright’s residences are organic, designed not only to adapt to a family’s changing structure but also to contain the sense of a unified and harmonious whole. Every detail of the Coonley complex, like all of Wright’s projects, bore his personal imprint, down to the creation and placement of the furniture and the design of this window. Referencing such Americana as the flag and colored balloons, Wright explored the use of glass both as a transparent screen uniting exterior and interior and as a decorative element, the colors and design of which anticipate the later abstractions of Piet Mondrian.

On View

Architecture and Design, Gallery 200

Artist

Frank Lloyd Wright

Title

Avery Coonley Playhouse: Triptych Window

Origin

United States

Date

1912

Medium

Clear and colored leaded glass in oak frames

Dimensions

Center panel: 35 1/4 × 43 in. (89.5 × 109.2 cm) Two side panels: 36 × 7 3/4 in. (91.4 × 19.7 cm) (each)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of Dr. and Mrs. Edwin J. DeCosta and the Walter E. Heller Foundation

Reference Number

1986.88

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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