International Decorative Art

Dining Chair from the Broad Margin House

Dining Chair from the Broad Margin House

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 Charlcy 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 from a pattern provided by Wright. 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).

ON VIEW in Arts & Crafts Gallery 3

Markings chair unmarked; cushion initialed by the needle-pointer

Credit Line Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Accession Number 2004.0508