Wright Archival Collections Overview
Given the size and scope of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archive, the archive has been divided into distinct collections by format type. Below are overviews and links to finding aids for each collection. Also listed here are additional Wright materials held in other Avery Drawing & Archives collections.
Collections identified as being in process are closed to researchers while we continue our work of organizing and preparing the materials for access.
We recommend that researchers acquaint themselves with the Frank Lloyd Wright Project List to identify project numbers relevant to their research. These project numbers appear in different collections within the archive, such as the Architectural Drawings, Photographs, and Specifications.
Open for Research
Architectural Drawings, 1885-1959
Nearly 1,100 projects, built and unbuilt, are represented in this remarkably comprehensive collection. The over 24,000 sheets in the collection include plans or drawings developed in the conception, presentation, and execution of buildings.
Books and Publications, 1890s-1950s
The collection includes Wright’s own writings, together with Wright’s copies of studies of his life and work in which he collaborated or participated. The books and publications range from occasional articles, brochures or guides to major buildings, to book length monographs. A number of copies are annotated by Wright either for proposed revised editions or as commentary.
Over 140,000 documents in this collection of correspondence serve as a core resource for understanding Wright’s personal and professional activities, relationships, and ideas. The correspondence also includes project records such as specifications, contracts, supply orders, invoices and receipts. The bulk of the correspondence is from the 1930s until Wright’s death in 1959.
Frank Lloyd Wright: an index to the Taliesin correspondence, edited and with an introduction by Anthony Alofsin, is a master index to the Wright correspondence held in the archive. The five-volume printed index was published by Garland Publishing (1988) and prepared under the sponsorship of the Archives of the History of Art, the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities. Copies of the published print index are available for consultation at Avery, the Getty Research Institute and other library collections. To facilitate researcher access and use of the Correspondence, we are providing an abbreviated index here. Please direct all inquiries about the Correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exhibition Files, 1902-1962
Wright’s work and ideas were exhibited throughout the United States and Europe on numerous occasions during his lifetime. This collection represents over 40 of those exhibitions, and includes shows curated by Wright as well as those mounted by some of the most significant curators and institutions of the time. Included in this series are brochures, announcements, posters, publicity, clippings, and images of photomurals.
Fellowship Talk Transcripts, 1948-1959
“Talk to the Taliesin Fellowship” was a regular lecture series at Taliesin where Wright addressed the fellows and apprentices on a range of philosophical and personal topics. The collection includes transcripts of 236 of those talks dating from 1948 until a few weeks prior to Wright’s death in 1959.
The manuscripts collection includes writings, lectures, and talks dating from 1894 until his death in 1959. The manuscripts range from handwritten drafts to heavily corrected typescripts and galley proofs. Included in this comprehensive collection of writings are a large number of unpublished pieces which expand upon Wright’s published ideas on architecture, art and aesthetics, and present further insights into the architect’s views on politics, religion and morality.
Olgivanna Lloyd Wright papers, circa 1925-1985
The bulk of the Olgivanna Lloyd Wright papers consist of extensive correspondence, autobiographical writings and other manuscripts, musical scores and recordings, and transcripts of talks by Olgivanna to the Fellowship.
Project Photographs, circa 1887-2008
The Project Photographs collection contains over 32,500 photographic items documenting nearly 500 projects by Frank Lloyd Wright, with formal and informal photographs of built work, construction, models, and architectural exhibitions. The collection consists of photographic prints, negatives, slides, and transparencies, and contains many duplicates. It is arranged by decade and by project number.
The collection includes specification documents for approximately 170 projects. Specification documents in this series range from descriptions and instructions regarding the quality of work and materials, to guidelines for plumbing, electricity, wood, metal, and painting work. For many earlier projects and for more modest projects throughout his career, Wright incorporated specifications directly onto design drawings; these are not included in this series but rather are listed in the Architectural Drawings series.
Taliesin Associated Architects records, 1959-1990
The collection includes the project files and architectural drawings of the Taliesin Associated Architects, the firm that was established after the death of Frank Lloyd Wright in 1959. Projects include commissions that were left on Wright’s desk at the time of his death as well as independent commissions and renovation work. Around 400 projects are represented, either in the paper records, the architectural drawings, or both.
Taliesin Associated Architects projects in Iran, 1968-1980
This collection is composed primarily of the projects (built or unbuilt) that Taliesin Associated Architects (TAA) conducted in Iran in collaboration with Nezam Amery and his office NAKK spanning from 1965 to 1979. The collection includes final and working project drawings, correspondences, contracts, estimates, calculation, photographs, and additional papers. It also includes records of litigation after 1979 in the United States Courts.
This collection includes over 300 film reels. Footage includes home movies of Wright and family, life and events of the Taliesin Fellowship, and informal site and building visits. The collection also includes professionally produced recordings of interviews and talks by Wright and promotional coverage of built works.
Models and Architectural Fragments
Models and architectural fragments are held at the Museum of Modern Art.
The Oral Histories collection consists of audio recordings and transcripts of interviews conducted by Foundation members, which document the life and activities of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Fellowship. Interviewees include apprentices, clients, family, friends and acquaintances, scholars, associates, and other architects.
Other Collections and Ephemera
The FLWF Archive includes various other collections collected by the Foundation including the papers and drawings of Eugene Masselink, Wesley W. Peters, Kay Rattenbury, George Gurdjieff, Irma Strauss, Mary Lescohier and William Marlin. Additionally, the archive contains memorabilia such as awards, certificates, and medals, as well as scrapbooks and newspaper clippings, collected papers and other personal artifacts related to Frank Lloyd Wright and his family.
Personal and Taliesin Fellowship Photographs, circa 1870s-2004
This collection consists of over 10,700 photographic items related to Frank Lloyd Wright's personal life and to the Taliesin Fellowship. The collections includes photographic prints, negatives, slides, and transparencies, many of which are duplicates. Included are portraits of Frank Lloyd Wright, Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, their ancestors, family members, associates, visitors, and friends. Life at the Taliesin Fellowship is depicted in portraits of Taliesin fellows engaging in activities such as drafting, model building, and construction, as well as participating in agricultural and farm work, and performing in dances and theatre.
This collection will be open for research in 2020.
Taliesin Festival of Music & Dance audio recordings, 1957-1977
The annual Taliesin Festivals of Music and Dance began in 1957 after the compeltion of the Pavilion at Taliesin West. Performances were choregraphed by Iovanna Lloyd Wright and were performed to music composed by Olgivanna Lloyd Wright. The collection consists of 20 years of audio recordings from the Taliesin Music and Dance Festival and other dance performances by the Taliesin Fellowship.
Taliesin Press, ca. 1930s-1960s
This collection documents the output of the independent printing press established at Taliesin in the 1930s. The collection consists of brochures, pamphlets, newsletters, Taliesin magazines, festival programs, invitations, and miscellaneous ephemera such as Christmas cards and stationery. The collection also includes every issue of the Taliesin Square Papers (also referred to as T-Square Papers) dating from 1941 to 1953.
Saturday Evening Concert audio recordings, 1950-1981
The collection consists of 104 audio recordings from music concerts performanced at Taliesin West and Taliesin, Spring Green. The majority of the recordings are from the period after Wrights death, however, there are 12 recordings dated from 1950 to 1955.
Avery Library’s Department of Drawings & Archives has the world's largest collection of archival holdings on Frank Lloyd Wright.
In addition to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archive, which was acquired in 2012, Drawings & Archives has historically collected archives documenting the life and work of Frank Lloyd Wright and other related figures such Louis Sullivan, Edgar Kaufmann, and Edgar Tafel, among others.