The SC Johnson Gallery: At Home with Frank Lloyd Wright
is the result of a July 2011 agreement between SC Johnson and the Frank
Lloyd Wright Foundation for a long-term loan of a collection of Wright
artifacts. The agreement was the newest chapter in a relationship that
started more than 70 years ago. The Gallery
showcases a rotating selection of Wright’s designs and artifacts and
explores the legendary architect’s influence on families and the
Rather than simply reflecting one period of Wright’s work, The SC Johnson Gallery: At Home with Frank Lloyd Wright will continue to explore Wright’s influence on the home throughout his career – from Wright’s American System-Built pre-cut housing venture of 1917 to his reinvention of the American home in 1940. The collection will also feature artifacts from the mid-1950s, when his work reached legendary scale.
The current exhibit, Usonia: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Vision of the American Home, opened in May and celebrates “Usonia,” a term which describes Wright’s architectural vision for the development of cities featuring practical, yet beautiful, homes for the middle-class. Usonian homes took a new approach to construction, utilizing less-expensive materials and commonly excluding basements and attics. Within this concept, Wright pioneered new and innovative ideas related to energy, space and material efficiency. (See our infographic here to learn more.)
In 1936, Wright completed his first Usonian house for Herbert Jacobs, a newspaper man located in Madison, Wisconsin. By viewing an “exploded” model on special loan from the Milwaukee Art Museum, exhibit visitors can explore the exact proportions, scale and natural materials Wright used to create what is now known as Jacobs House I. Other highlights of the exhibit include a model of Jester House that offers visitors an appreciation for Wright’s ability to adapt design to beautiful, natural surroundings.
Visitors will also see Wright’s approach of matching the beauty of a home’s exterior with its interior, fundamental to the Usonian idea. Several important furniture pieces that resulted from Wright’s 1955 venture with Heritage-Henredon furniture makers will be on display. During Wright’s time, he called this furniture the “industry” fine design for home interiors.
The prior exhibit, which closed in March 2013, focused on Wright’s most well-known works from the Prairie School era (1899-1909) and featured reproductions of drawings, renderings and rooms from some of Wright’s most famous Prairie-Style houses.
A Unique Gift Shop
Along with The Gallery, SC Johnson offers The Lily Pad, a unique gift shop featuring exclusive SC Johnson memorabilia and brand gift merchandise, as well as Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired items. The Lily Pad is open in conjunction with all tours.
The Lily Pad's name is a reference to the Administration Building Great Workroom’s focal point, the dendriform columns. Because of their unique design, these columns are also called mushrooms, golf tees or lily pads.