Wright's Fontana Boathouse - Table of Contents

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 Frank Lloyd Wright's Fontana Boathouse Drawings in the Wasmuth Portfolio

A framed copy of the Wasmuth Porfolio drawings of the boat house was hanging on the boathouse second floor  in 2017

Reprint
The Wasmuth Portfolio

Alden B. Dow Home and Studio - Mid-Century Modern
November 15, 2017
Found on Dwell (online April 2018)

...  the Wasmuth Portfolio, the two-volume folio of 100 lithographs of Wright’s work published in Germany in 1910 by Ernest Wasmuth, the Berlin publisher of expensive art books. The actual title of the monograph, translated from the German, is "Studies and Executed Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright." It was the first publication of Wright’s work to appear anywhere in the world, as he had not published any of his work in his 20 previous years of activity. The portfolio is significant as a link between Wright’s pioneering American architecture, and the first generation of modernist architects in Europe.

The portfolio consists of 100 loose plates illustrating 70 of Wright’s buildings and projects from 1893-1909. There are 72 lithographs on heavy laminated paper and 28 captioned tissue overlays. The plates are line drawings of buildings, while the tissues show the floorplans. The giant plates, 16 by 25 inches in size, were printed in brown or gray ink on gray or eggshell paper.

The portfolio’s very first image is that of the 1893 William Winslow house in River Forest, Illinois, Wright’s first independent commission. He showed pride in the work by presenting it in a subtle gold metallic ink on gray/green paper. From the leaded glass windows to every leaf on the trees, the detail is exquisite. A separate booklet contains a list of the plates and Wright’s preface setting forth his architectural philosophy.

Also in the Archives is a copy of the "Little Wasmuth." In 1911, the publisher issued a popular paperback volume of plans and photographs with a preface by Charles Ashbee to supplement the more elaborate folio of plans and drawings. The vivid photographs in the paperback and the splendid drawings of the portfolio supplied Europeans with a stunning introduction to Wright’s work.


Photos by Chuck LaChiusa
Photos 2007 Frank Lloyd Wright's Rowing Boathouse Corporation
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