The Charles Hosmer - Morse Museum of American Art


Frank Lloyd Wright in Arts and Crafts Context: Prairie-style Architecture and Furnishings

November 12, 2008

2:30 pm

Ms. Robertson’s lecture will explore the characteristics of the Prairie-style home that made it a uniquely Midwestern expression of Arts and Crafts ideals, particularly the principle of unity in design. She will focus on Frank Lloyd Wright’s role as the leader of a progressive group of Chicago-area architects and designers in the early-20th century. Their work sought to marry the home design and furnishings with nature. Ms. Robertson will discuss historic projects such as the Dana residence in Springfield, Illinois, and the Robie home in Chicago, as well as Wright’s 15-year collaboration with interior designer George Niedecken.

A nationally recognized scholar on late Victorian and Arts and Crafts design, Ms. Robertson holds her master’s degree from the Winterthur Program in Early American Material Culture at the University of Delaware and her bachelor’s degree in history and French from Oberlin College. This fall she is serving as an adjunct faculty member in the Master’s Program in the History of the Decorative Arts at the Smithsonian Institution/Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington. She has worked with such institutions as the Darwin Martin House Restoration (Frank Lloyd Wright, Buffalo, New York), Stonehurst (H.H. Richardson, Waltham, Massachusetts); and the Ayer Mansion (Louis Comfort Tiffany, Boston).

Her published works includes the essay “Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School” for the catalogue accompanying the traveling exhibition International Arts & Crafts (Victoria and Albert Museum, 2005-6). Ms. Robertson has recently published an expanded second edition of her book The Domestic Scene (1897–1927): George M. Niedecken, Interior Architect (University of Wisconsin Press and Milwaukee Art Museum: 2008).