Renwick Gallery Exhibitions
Light Screens: The Leaded Glass of Frank Lloyd Wright
Media only: Laura Baptiste (202) 275-1595
Amy Mannarino (202) 275-1592
Public only: (202) 357-2700
"Light Screens: The Leaded Glass of Frank Lloyd Wright"
March 14 through July 20, 2003
Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W.
Farragut North (Red line) and Farragut West (Blue and Orange lines) Metrorail stations
"Light Screens: The Leaded Glass of Frank Lloyd Wright" showcases 48 stained glass windows, two architectural models and 13 original plates from two of Wright's portfolios. Of the windows featured, many are being shown to the public for the first time and nearly half are drawn from private collections throughout North America. Other loans were made possible by several restoration projects at major Wright buildings requiring the temporary removal of the delicate glass panes.
From 1885 to 1923, decorative glass windows were an integral part of Wright's architecture. During this period, he designed more than 4,500 windows for 160 buildings, of which almost 100 were completed. The exhibition explores how Wright came to see the design of window spaces as a way to bring the outside in, and to visually unite landscape and interior. The exhibition challenges conventional wisdom about Wright's use of windows by revealing the extent to which Wright chose to emphasize, not abolish, the separation of inside and outside. In his own words, he sought to create "light screens"-a term that evokes Japanese shoji screens, which were arranged in bands like his windows.
"Light Screens: The Leaded Glass of Frank Lloyd Wright" is organized by Exhibitions International, N.Y. in cooperation with The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, Ariz. The exhibition and its national tour are sponsored by Steelcase Inc. The exhibition's presentation at the Renwick Gallery is supported by the James Renwick Alliance and Steelcase Inc.
Julie L. Sloan, LLC, scholar, author and glass conservator, organized the exhibition. Kenneth Trapp, curator-in-charge, oversaw the installation of this exhibition at the Renwick Gallery.
The exhibition is accompanied by two books written by Sloan and published by Rizzoli International Publications: Light Screens: The Leaded Glass of Frank Lloyd Wright (softcover, $24.95/hardcover, $39.95), a 160-page exhibition catalog with 192 color illustrations, which examines Wright's masterly manipulation of light, composition and color in his patterned windows; and Light Screens: The Complete Leaded Glass Windows of Frank Lloyd Wright (hardcover, $175), a detailed documentation and appraisal of the more than 500 window designs that are major achievements within Wright's oeuvre. The books are available for purchase at the Renwick Gallery store and on the museum's Web site.
A schedule of public programs, including lectures, gallery talks, symposia, craft demonstrations, concerts and performances is available in a brochure. Call (202) 275-1500 to receive a copy by mail or visit the museum's online calendar of events at AmericanArt.si.edu.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum collection began with gifts of art donated to the federal government in 1829 and has evolved into the world's most important American art holdings with approximately 39,000 paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, photographs, folk art and contemporary crafts. While the renovation of the museum's historic home-the Patent Office Building-continues, American Art offers a full program of exhibitions at its Renwick Gallery.
The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum is dedicated to exhibiting American crafts from the 19th to the 21st century. The Renwick is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W., near the Farragut North (Red line) and Farragut West (Blue and Orange lines) Metrorail stations. Museum hours are from 10 a.m. to .5:30 p.m. daily. Admission is free. Public information: (202) 357-2700; (202) 357-1729 (TTY); (202) 633-9126 (Spanish). Recorded information: (202) 633-8998.