A SERIES OF RE-DISCOVERED WINDOWS BY FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT
Frank Lloyd Wright An Important and Rare "Tree of Life" Window from the Darwin D. Martin House, Buffalo, New York Circa 1903-1905 Estimate $200/300,000
Sotheby’s is honored to present a landmark offering of six stained-glass panels from two of Frank Lloyd Wright’s seminal early commissions: The Susan Lawrence Dana House in Springfield, Illinois (1902-1904) and the Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, New York (1903-1905). Executed with the impeccable workmanship of the Linden Glass Company of Chicago, the “Sumac” and “Tree of Life” panels, cascading with abstracted botanical forms, marry naturalism with geometry, the indoors with the outdoors, and epitomize Wright’s design philosophy, mastery of form, composition, and material. The presentation at auction of such important works from his extensive oeuvre is made rarer still by the unique opportunity to acquire paired or book matched panels designed for the Dana and Martin commissions.
The rediscovery of two Important and Rare “Sumac” Windows (pictured above, estimate $200/300,000 each) marks one of the most exciting moments in recent Frank Lloyd Wright scholarship. While their existence was well known to scholars and collectors through a series of historic photographs documenting his work at the Chicago Architectural Club’s 20th Annual exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1907, their whereabouts were unknown until now.
Wright used the present windows – designed for the Susan Lawrence Dana House, one of Wright’s largest and most decoratively ambitious Prairie-period buildings – to add accents of color to the display of 38 projects representing the pinnacle of his work from the period.
Lots 90-93 were designed for the Darwin D. Martin Complex in Buffalo New York, which is regarded as one of Wright’s most extraordinary architectural triumphs of the Prairie-period. Comprised of six buildings, all of which had stained-glass windows, the complex included the Martin House, which was home to the most iconic of the stained-glass designs: the “Tree of Life”. Lot 90 presents one of the most elaborate examples of the pattern from the house’s 50+ windows executed with this particular imagery. Stained-glass works from the Martin House can now be found in numerous museum collections, such as the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others. The 4 © Dana Meilijson Photography © 2017 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York few remaining windows are now part of the house museum – Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex.