“And now Frank Lloyd Wright designs home furnishings you can buy!” announced House Beautiful in November, 1955. The magazine’s editor, Elizabeth Gordon, working in conjunction with F. Schumacher & Co.’s René Carillo, had persuaded the normally hesitant Wright—who disdained commercializing his work—to collaborate on a line of textiles that would bring his distinctive design aesthetic to the masses. Hard at work on the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, Wright was by this time the most famous architect in the world. Schumacher succeeded in attaining the ultimate coup by adding Wright to their stable of illustrious designers that included Paul Poiret, Donald Deskey, Ilonka Karasz, and Ruth Reeves. His designs for Schumacher were dubbed the Taliesin Line, after his studio in Scottsdale, Arizona, where many of the designs were generated in collaboration with young Fellows in Wright’s firm.
This furnishing textile, entitled “Design #102,” features blocks of color in shades of green and teal blue on a natural linen ground, with concentric squares and repeating bars that echo features in Wright’s architectural repertoire such as his designs for light fixtures and stained glass windows. Overall, the design of the textile recalls the facades of his textile block houses built in the early 1920s, demonstrating the timelessness and continued relevance of Wright’s design aesthetic.
“Design #102” was manufactured in six colorways. Prototypes for the design are in the Art Institute of Chicago (2006.164) and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2004.560). A related prototype is in the Schumacher archives (3254SP).