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International Decorative Art

Dining Chair from the Broad Margin Plantation

Dining Chair from the Broad Margin Plantation

Design Date
1951

Designer
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959, American)

Media
wood and cloth upholstery

Dimensions
38 5/8 x 15 3/8 x 18 1/2 inches

Frank Lloyd Wright designed this chair as part of a dining suite for sisters Charley and Gabrielle Austin’s Broad Margin House in Greenville, South Carolina. Sometimes referred to as the “Austin House,” it is one of two Wright houses in that state and one of less than twenty in the Southeast United States. The grained wood of this dining set exemplifies Wright’s naturalistic or Usonian aesthetic, which was at play in Broad Margin’s large wood roof and native stone walls. The cushions were needle-pointed by hand by the sisters from a pattern provided by Wright, and most were initialed. The house’s name was inspired by a quote by Henry David Thoreau in his book Walden: “I love a broad margin to my life,” which is an exaltation of leisure time. Plans for this house and furnishings were chosen by Wright to be included in the Guggenheim Museum Retrospective of his work (the museum opened October 21, 1959, six months after Wright’s death).

Not currently on view

Markings
chair unmarked; cushion initialed by the needle-pointer

Credit Line
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Accession Number
2004.0508

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