Frank Lloyd Wright Archival Materials Continue to Build

In 1909, American architect Frank Lloyd Wright produced Ausgeführte Bauten Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright, a folio of 100 plates published by German architectural publisher Ernst Wasmuth.

The Special Collections at the Architecture and Planning Library hold several versions of the work– from an original 1911 edition to multiple copies of the 1963 American edition, Buildings: Plans and Designs, published by Horizon Press. The work includes detailed drawings of Wright’s commissions up to 1910, illustrating his early architectural style.

The Wasmuth portfolio, as it is now commonly known, contains plans, sections, perspective views and interior details of seventy-three of Wright’s buildings, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Studio (1895), Unity Temple (1906) and the Robie House (1909) in Oak Park, Illinois, and the Larkin Company Administration Building in Buffalo, New York (1904).

The Special Collections at the Architecture and Planning Library contain materials that are fragile, rare and historically significant. Many resources on Frank Lloyd Wright have come to the library’s Special Collections through gifts to the Alexander Architectural Archive. One of the copies of Buildings: Plans and Designs came to the library through the Edward Duke Squibb Collection.

Architect Karl Kamrath’s 2007 donation of more than 200 books and periodicals greatly increased the Architecture and Planning Library’s holdings on Frank Lloyd Wright. It recently acquired the manuscript collection of Frank Lloyd Wright scholar, William A. Storrer. Copies of his publications on Wright include: The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalog (1973), The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Guide to Extant Structures (1980), and The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion (1993).

The archives are the largest such resource in Texas, containing more than a quarter of a million drawings and more than 1630 linear feet of papers, photographic material, models and ephemera, representing thousands of projects in Texas as well as New York, Chicago, California and Great Britain. Wright related materials are included in the Queen Ferry Coonley, the Karl Kamrath, the William A. Storrer and the Edward Duke Squibb Collections.

Written by Katheryn Pierce, Graduate Student in Architectural History at The University of Texas at Austin.