30. 03. 2014
Frank Lloyd Wright again exclusive to the Cassina Collection in North America. Cassina now holds all worldwide rights
To celebrate the Barrel Taliesin model, a larger version of the iconic original Barrel chair, will be presented during ICFF.
May 2014. The Italian contemporary furniture design brand Cassina returns to represent the legendary American architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the States thanks to the recent reacquisition from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation of the exclusive production and distribution rights in North America.
Wrights’ works now reunited on a global level.
Cassina initially acquired the worldwide rights for Frank Lloyd Wright’s furniture in 1986, working in close collaboration with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona, to develop the characteristic cherry wood pieces for the Cassina I Maestri Collection.
Today the architect’s furniture returns home to Cassina and its specialized woodworking craftsmanship in Italy creating global synergies in the development and distribution of these iconic pieces.
Cassina therefore now holds the exclusive rights to the sketches, plans, drawings and elevations from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York), to carry out studies necessary for the analysis and selection of the articles to be produced.
A representation of perfect harmony between man and nature.
As a tribute to its return to the USA, Cassina presents the Barrel Taliesin model, a more ample version created by Wright himself, which is almost 10% larger than the current Barrel chair. This new version, available in a low gloss finish, is a special addition exclusive to the American market which will be available alongside the classic Barrel chair produced since 1986.
“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” Frank Lloyd Wright
Designed in 1937 for Herbert Johnson’s house, the Barrel Taliesin model chair represents a new application of geometric principles employed by Wright, thanks to his study of natural forms. Wright sustained the importance of nature in his work and for him organic architecture primarily meant a living architecture.
“By organic architecture I mean an architecture that develops from within outward in harmony with the conditions of its being as distinguished from one that is applied from without.”
Frank Lloyd Wright, “In the Cause of Architecture: Second Paper.” (Architectural Record, May 1914).
The Barrel Taliesin model chair, from the architect’s home in Wisconsin, continues in this direction and completely fulfills today’s requirements for comfort.
Cassina’s objective is to continue to explore and develop the Frank Lloyd Wright Collection® taking into consideration contemporary living requirements. The pieces will be distributed by the official Cassina retailers as well as selected Frank Lloyd Wright Sites across the US.
Cassina’s first experience with Frank Lloyd Wright: a legacy reconciled
In his book on Cassina’s history seen from an entrepreneur’s point of view, Rodrigo Rodriguez – husband to Adele Cassina and Managing Director of the company from 1973 to 1991 - reminisces about the time he went to Phoenix in 1971 with the architect Tobia Scarpa to talk to Frank Lloyd Wright’s third wife Olgivanna Ivanovna Lazovich about the possibility of acquiring the rights for his furniture designs.
Unprepared for the festivities of Thanksgiving Day, they were told that there would be no work talk that day and were invited as the guests of honour to the gala dinner. Wracking their brains on how to recover a tuxedo on this holiday, they were rescued by the hotel staff who brought a basket of suits, bow-ties and shoes left by guests who had passed away. They accepted with delight!
During the dinner, when Olgivanna rose to make a speech thanking ‘our young nice Italian guests’, Rodriguez delicately moved her chair back to make more room for her. When she abruptly sat back down he only just managed to accommodate her, first with his left hand and then a slight movement of the chair. Realising what had happened, she exclaimed ‘Those Italians!’.
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright’s passion for design and architecture left an indelible legacy on the way many people live today, right up to his death in Phoenix Arizona on 9th April 1959. Leafing through the innumerable pages that chronicle Wright’s life of design – picture after picture – one is struck particularly by the fact that his creative impulse and fervor never slackened.
His later life work was extraordinary and impressive.
The culmination of his influential work came in the 1950s with the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Elkins Park Synagogue, Pennsylvania. Two temples, one to art and one to religion. An allembracing gesture uniting the world of the intellect and that of the spirit. In every one of his works, right from the very outset of the architect’s career, there is an ever-present quest; dialogue between space and architecture in which the materials used in the construction and the natural environment within which the construction takes shape mingle as fundamental expressive media. It is within this dialogue that the architectural space takes form. It no longer has any precise boundaries or limits but becomes a metaphysical concept within which the inside and the outside, the container and the contained, come together in one whole.
That same integrated approach is seen in Wright’s furniture design, part of this universal concept of architecture. Wright’s designs for furniture gave the final touch to interior spaces creating a total osmosis of materials and dimensions. In regard to the question of mass-production at the time of their conception, but thanks to the concessions granted later to the design historian Filippo Alisons’s painstaking research, since 1986 a group of items designed by the architect have been produced by Cassina for the international market. The exertions of such a rigorously impassioned study were shared by the company in order to go over and over again to get to know the salient phases of Wright’s research and evolution – and then to diffuse the findings through the distribution of the articles of the long path of a life’s work, which above and beyond projected motivations and ends testify to an uninterrupted research in a limitless poetical world.