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Historic Frank Lloyd Wright collection sells at auction, will go to Taliesin West

February 15, 2010 | 11:27 am


On Sunday, a collection of Frank Lloyd Wright photographs, drawings and documents from the estate of Wright scholar Henry-Russell Hitchcock sold for $48,800 at a Bonhams & Butterfields auction in Los Angeles. 

The winning bid -- more than 20% above the high end of the pre-auction estimate of $30,000 to $40,000 -- was made by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. The organization is based at Taliesin West, the architect's residence and studio in Scottsdale, Ariz., from 1937 until his death there in 1959. 

Catherine Williamson, director of fine books and manuscripts at Bonhams & Butterfields, called the sale "surprising in a good way." The foundation's purchase fulfills two functions, she said. "The material is a rich archival source and will attract a lot of scholars, and the material is also appropriate for display."

Compiled during Hitchcock's collaboration with Wright on the 1942 book "In the Nature of Materials: The Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright," the 1,000-plus-piece collection will expand the foundation's archives, said Daniel Marquardt, chairman of the board of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. "It's an important snapshot into Wright's world view and philosophy at that particular period."

The works will be available for viewing by appointment at the Taliesin West archives. They also will be among the documents that the foundation loans out to museum exhibitions around the world. 

-- David A. Keeps

Photo: Taliesin West. Credit: David A. Keeps


Wright photos, drawings head to auction