SC Johnson Kicks Off Tour Season With Exclusive Access to Frank Lloyd Wright's Rare, World-Renowned Wasmuth Portfolio

Company Continues Support of Wright’s Legacy as Regional Sponsor for 2015 Chicago Architectural Biennial

RACINE, Wis., (April 30, 2015) – SC Johnson unveils Frank Lloyd Wright’s incredibly rare Wasmuth Portfolio to mark the start of its 2015 architecture tour season. The iconic lithograph design Portfolio launched Wright into the international spotlight and paved the way for the modern architectural movement. SC Johnson has also expanded its weekend public tour offerings to offer a rare glimpse at the newly revamped 1940’s penthouse office of third-generation company leader, H.F. Johnson Jr.

The Wasmuth Portfolio

Hailed by contemporary architectural scholars as one of the most important publications of the early modern architecture movement, visitors will have the unprecedented opportunity to see Wright’s rare Wasmuth Portfolio up close.

Following a tumultuous time in Wright’s life filled with creative and personal struggles - he was broke and embroiled in a scandal over his estranged marriage and relationship with a client’s wife - he retreated to Europe where he focused on the creation of the Portfolio and worked with the notable architectural publisher Ernst Wasmuth beginning in 1909. The completed collection of 100 commercial and residential lithograph prints provides a one-of-a-kind view into Wright’s most famous works, including the Larkin Administration Building in Buffalo, N.Y.; the Robie House in Chicago; and Unity Temple in Oak Park, Ill.

The Portfolio signaled a turning point in his career as it established him as one of the most prominent American architects of the 20th century and influenced his style for decades, including his work seen on SC Johnson’s campus. Starting in May, nearly 50 of the lithographs will be on display in The SC Johnson Gallery.

“The 105-year-old portfolio is an incredibly rare jewel in the architecture community - it’s one of only a few complete collections that has survived the test of time,” said Brady Roberts, Chief Curator at the Milwaukee Art Museum. “The exhibit provides a unique opportunity to not only view Wright’s drawings up close, but also against the backdrop of his finished architectural work across the SC Johnson campus.”

According to Wright’s 1932 autobiography, only about 30 U.S. copies of the Portfolio survived a 1914 fire at his home. Today, only a few complete original sets remain available for public viewing.

Enhanced Wright Tour Experience at SC Johnson

New this year, visitors can explore the refurbished 1940’s penthouse office* of SC Johnson’s third-generation leader H.F. Johnson Jr. Located in the Administration Building, the office has been restored to depict its original state, including an original Wright-designed desk and chairs, and provides visitors with yet another look into SC Johnson’s rich history and family legacy.

Other Wright-designed spaces visitors will be able to tour include SC Johnson’s famed Great Workroom in the Administration Building and the Research Tower - in its second year of being open to the public - which served as a hub of creativity and the birthplace to some of the world’s most beloved household products, including Raid®, Glade® and Pledge®.

“SC Johnson’s Racine headquarters is home to a rich history of leadership, exploration and architectural beauty, attracting more than 18,000 visitors last year alone,” said Kelly Semrau, Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs, Communication and Sustainability. “Our new exhibit and expanded tour offerings continue the company’s celebration of Wright’s extraordinary legacy and a shared mission to create spaces - both at home and in the workplace. We are honored to continue our tradition of sharing Wright’s works with the world.”

Celebrating Wright around the Globe with the Chicago Architecture Biennial

This year’s tour offerings are a continuation of SC Johnson’s commitment to supporting Wright’s legacy by unifying architecture enthusiasts from around the world. The company recently announced its regional sponsorship with a $1 million gift to the Chicago Architectural Biennial, the largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America taking place October 2015 to January 2016. As part of its partnership, SC Johnson will offer special weekly tours for Biennial visitors with free shuttle service to tour SC Johnson’s Wright-designed buildings on its campus.  

SC Johnson is also the proud sponsor of the Taliesin West tour program in Scottsdale, Arizona - home to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture - through the 2016 season.

An In-Depth Look at SC Johnson’s Inspired Architecture Tours

With more than 50 tours offered Wednesday – Sunday, visitors can choose from a variety of exciting tour options including:

  • The Landmarks Tour – The guided Landmarks Tour is designed for guests who want a comprehensive look at SC Johnson’s inspired architecture. The tour includes the Wright-designed Administration Building, H.F. Johnson Jr.’s* office and the Research Tower. Additionally visitors will be able to see the Foster + Partners-designed Fortaleza Hall, The SC Johnson Gallery featuring the Wasmuth Portfolio and The Lily Pad, a gift shop that features exclusive SC Johnson memorabilia and Wright-inspired items.
  • Self-Guided Tour – New this year, self-guided tour options are available for Fortaleza Hall, the exhibit Frank Lloyd Wright and the Wasmuth Portfolio in The SC Johnson Gallery and The Lily Pad.
  • Wingspread Tour – A short five miles north along Lake Michigan, visitors can tour the last and largest of Wright’s iconic Prairie homes at Wingspread, a dedicated National Historic Landmark.

To receive more information about visiting SC Johnson’s campus or to schedule a tour**, please use the online scheduling tool at www.scjohnson.com/visit, or email Tours@scj.com.

*H.F. Johnson Jr.’s office is only available on weekend tours.

**The Research Tower is accessible only via stairs. If you have a special need, please contact the reservation office at 262-260-2154 or email Tours@scj.com prior to your visit.

About SC Johnson

SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE®, and RIDSECT®. The 129-year-old company, that generates $9 billion in sales, employs nearly 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com