Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright, American, Library Table, 1915-1916, Walnut, poplar, oak, and brass; 86.4 x 274.3 x 96.5 cm (34 x 108 x 38 inches) (overall), George D. Gannett Fund 2004.28
This sweeping library table embodies the design vocabulary of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Envisioning an American style distinct from European classical and Renaissance traditions, Wright developed his “organic architecture” to reflect what he saw as man’s innate need for a direct relationship with nature. Intending to reform not only design but also society through better design, Wright introduced an earth-hugging alternative now called Prairie style after the Midwest’s wide plains. This table cantilevers over the center supports with strong horizontal planes. Its integrated parts surround a central cabinet tower, just as Wright’s houses revolve around a central chimney stack. Wright probably designed this table for the Sherman Booth House in Glencoe, Illinois, built as the showpiece of Ravine Bluffs, a community Wright planned but never realized.