Frank Lloyd Wright Signed Amendment for His Most Celebrated Masterpiece: The Guggenheim Museum
Item Number: 11720
Frank Lloyd Wright
Famous American Architect. One of the most innovative and influential figures in Modern Architecture. He championed the virtues of organic architecture, a building style based on natural forms. Document Signed, 1 page, 8.5 x 14", City of New York Department of Housing and Buildings letterhead, February 13, 1957. An amendment to the plans for what is possibly his most famous creation, the Guggenheim Museum. The document is dated just two years before his death. The amendment reads, in full, “In lieu of the original design bearing condition, which is 5 ton soil, approval is requested of a substitute bearing condition at Column L-5, which is a concrete foundation of a prior building on the site. The concrete foundation is 6’ x 12’ x 8’ deep resting on rock. Column L-5 would be centered on the foundation as shown on the sketch.” Under the typed amendment is a sketch of the proposed amendment to the column, done in another hand. Document is boldly signed near the top in black ink “Frank Lloyd Wright.” Accompanied by a color 16.5 x 14" copy of Wright’s drawing of the Guggenheim. Document has two punch holes to top corners, small areas of paper loss and chipping to three edges, several small edge tears, a few horizontal folds and creases and a couple official stamps and notations. In very good condition.
The project evolved into a complex struggle pitting the architect against his clients, city officials, the art world, and public opinion. Both Guggenheim and Wright would die before the building's 1959 completion. The resultant achievement, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, testifies not only to Wright's architectural genius, but to the adventurous spirit that characterized its founders. Some people, especially artists, criticized Wright for creating a museum environment that might overpower the art inside. "On the contrary," he wrote, "it was to make the building and the painting an uninterrupted, beautiful symphony such as never existed in the World of Art before."