Columbia Library columns (v.14(1964Nov-1965May))

(New York :  Friends of the Columbia Libraries.  )



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  v.14,no.3(1965:May): Page 43  

The Frank Lloyd Wright Collection
of Sullivan Drawings


A famous collection of drawings by Louis Henry Sullivan
(1856-1924), the tragically-thwarted but decisively influential
pioneer of modern architecture in America, has been acquired by
Columbia University and deposited in Avery Library. These are
the 122 drawings which Sullivan, on April 11, 1924, three days
before his death, handed over to his friend, former draftsman and
disciple Frank Lloyd Wright as a final gesture of admiration and
affection. They were, in Wright's words, "the dearest treasures
of his heart," the innermost expression of an artist's mind in
search of new forms. Wright himself, who considered Sullivan
his "Licber Meister," the beloved master-teacher of his early
years, cherished these drawings and kept them in his possession.
He published thirty-eight of them in his book Genius and the
Mobocracy which was issued in 1949. Thus, at least partially,
Sullivan's desire that Wright publish the drawings was carried
out. The book rex'ealed publically for the first time the existence
of these drawings.

It had been hoped since that time that the collection, which
contained 84 as yet unpublished pieces, would eventually find
its way into an institution where it could be made available to
scholarship and enjoyment. A\"ery, with its already rich holdings
of Sullivan material (including his early sketchbook, the manu¬
scripts of his Kindegarten Chats, and seventeen drawings) seemed
the proper and logical place for its ultimate repository. When
word reached Columbia Uni\'ersity that the drawings were avail¬
able, an offer was made for w hich \'ery generous outside support

  v.14,no.3(1965:May): Page 43