Friday, July 29, 2022
Frank Lloyd Wright for Schumacher Tokyo Imperial Hotel Geometric Textile Frank Lloyd Wright for Schumacher Imperial Peacock Textile.
18" w x 46" h x 1" d. Fabric wrapped on board. Circa 1986
Cotton / Linen blend with various shades of blue, pink, tan, periwinkle, coral, red, and lavender.
Wright originally designed this pattern in the 1920’s for his Imperial Hotel, Tokyo where the pattern was featured throughout the now demolished building. Large rugs, curtains, stained glass panels, and cast stone architectural details featured this pattern. He translated the design for his collaboration with Schumacher in 1955.
Wright's masterpiece was demolished in 1968 and replaced by a gleaming, ultra-modern four-star edifice. All that remains of the “Wright” Imperial nowadays is the hotel’s front facade, preserved today at Meiji Mura, the outdoor architectural museum near Nagoya that hosts a large collection of Meiji era architectural art.
“The greatest success of the Imperial Hotel was the boldly monumental spaces Wright contrived to create despite restraints posed by the earthbound profile of the building with its purposely lowered center of gravity … It was valued for the opportunity it presented to distinguish building types by displaying a building’s character through a distinctive combination of ornament and plan.
“The design of the Imperial Hotel is proof of this state of affairs, in terms of which Wright hoped, as he always did, to rehabilitate and redefine architectural Truth. “… In the Imperial Hotel, the hierarchy of ornament was thus matched with a hierarchy of spatial arrangement … The effect was charming and unusual, as many still alive will not hesitate to attest.”
– The Making of Modern Japanese Architecture (1868 to the Present), by David B. Stewart, 1987
“Undoubtedly the Imperial Hotel is one of the world’s finest structures in point of character, which is all its own. It is not difficult to recognize the genius which conceived such a poem in stone and brick, and due praise must be spontaneously offered to the brilliant engineering talent which adhered to strictly straight lines and flat arches throughout the entire building.
“The only fair comment that can be advanced is that the building is probably a hundred years ahead of the age in its architectural features and fifty years behind in many things which make for the comfort of its patrons. [Frank Lloyd Wright] sacrificed everything to his art, raising a monument to his genius and bequeathing to the Japanese the difficult task of making it a financial success.”
– “Architecture and the Buildings of New Tokyo”, The Far Eastern Review, June-July 1925.
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