Tag Archives: prairie school

Eye On Design: Exterior Frieze From Frank Lloyd Wright’s Susan Lawrence Dana House

exterior frieze susan lawrence dana house photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

The Susan Lawrence Dana House (19021904), one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s earliest projects, afforded him the opportunity to experiment with design and construction techniques that would become emblematic of his Prairie Style architecture.

cast of wright frieze photo by gail worley
Cast of The Frieze

Though many European modernists shunned exterior ornament, American practitioners like Wright used it liberally to accentuate structure, with a proclivity toward geometric abstractions of nature. Applied on the upper portions of the exterior, the decorative frieze wraps around the house, forming a richly-patterned skin derived from the shape of sumac leaves — a motif applied throughout the house on windows, lamps, and decorative objects. This project is also known and the Dana-Thomas House.

exterior frieze susan lawrence dana house photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Set of French Doors from Arthur Heun’s Sedgwick S. Brinsmaid House

brinsmaid house french doors photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

This set of French Doors was originally installed in the Sedgwick S. Brinsmaid House, one of the earliest examples of Prairie-school architecture in Iowa. The horizontally oriented building, with its stucco-and-wood surface, pierced details, and abundance of geometric leaded glass, relates closely to works by Frank Lloyd Wright. A contemporary of Wright, Arthur Heun began his architectural career in Chicago and was an important member of the Chicago Architectural Club, where he exhibited a design for this house in 1902.

sedgwick s brinsmaid house photo by gail worley

Sash windows, chandeliers, and lanterns were designed en suite with the doors; the distinctive element is the chevron pattern, its angles echoing the broadly projecting gables of the house.

brinsmaid house french doors photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.