It’s hard to know if architectural icon Frank Lloyd Wright liked such products as Pledge, Windex, Ziploc, and Fantastik, but there is one thing for sure: The folks that manufacture those products, SC Johnson, love Wright.
The 126-year-old megabillion-dollar company — which is so proud of its buildings' architecture that there's a top nav link on the corporate website — is kicking off a new on-site art gallery at its corporate HQ with an exhibit entitled “At Home with Frank Lloyd Wright” on its Wright-designed campus this weekend that is free to the public. The exhibition collects some of Wright’s Prairie Style designs and related artifacts, according to a press release.
“SC Johnson’s history with Frank Lloyd Wright spans many decades, and his impact on our headquarters campus is enduring,” stated Fisk Johnson, chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “But Wright’s influence goes beyond that, to the home.”
According to the company,
In 1936, third generation SC Johnson leader H.F. Johnson, Jr. sought out the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Designs were in development for the company’s new Administration Building, but H.F. wanted a new, more modern approach, even though ground had already been broken and construction was set to start. He later explained, “Anybody can build a typical building. I wanted to build the best office building in the world, and the only way to do that was to get the greatest architect in the world.” Thus began a relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and SC Johnson that continues to this day. The remarkable Administration Building opened in 1939, followed by the Research Tower in 1950. Today, both are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Indeed, the the Frank Lloyd Wright Research Library is a valuable resource for scholars, and has more than 800 items in its collection.
As for the subject of the exhibition, early in Wright’s career he “developed a philosophical foundation for his work based on how people connect with nature,” the press release notes, which helped create the Prairie Style of architecture that dominated his work. The exhibit aims to explain this and show how the Prairie Style manifested in Wright’s designs of not just houses, but furniture and household objects.
The plan is for Johnson’s gallery to continue exploring different sides of Wright on an annual basis. Follow the gallery on Twitter for update, or click here to find out about arranging a free visit.