Following the success of the “Chihuly In The Desert” exhibition in 2022, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation continues to explore the ways that Frank Lloyd Wright connects with other iconic artists of his time through unique exhibitions at Taliesin West. As the latest iteration, the World Heritage Site will debut an exclusive “American Icons: Wright and O’Keeffe” exhibition this fall, offering the opportunity to view photographs of Frank Lloyd Wright and Georgia O’Keeffe—two legends of American art and architecture—taken by Michael A. “Tony” Vaccaro while on assignment for LOOK Magazine from 1957 to 1960, including some never-before-seen images.
The exhibition, curated by the Foundation in partnership with the Tony Vaccaro Studio in Long Island City, N.Y., and the Monroe Gallery in Santa Fe, N.M, renowned for its unrivaled vault of historic photography, will present a behind-the-scenes, intimate visual pairing of Wright and O’Keeffe in their homes and studios.
Through Vaccaro’s images and excerpts from LOOK, the exhibition—on display in the dining room at Taliesin West—will offer a closer look into the similar lives of the two American geniuses, how they inspired one another, and how their Modernist principles continue to inspire the public today. Tickets for the exhibition, which will run from Oct. 20, 2023 to June 3, 2024, will be included with an audio or guided tour purchase.
Wright and O’Keeffe are seen as giants in their fields but are rarely connected. Many are unaware that the pair met in 1942 and had a mutual admiration for one another’s work for many years. They also shared other similarities, including their birthplace of rural Wisconsin; careers that took them to New York, Chicago, and Japan; dwellings in the Southwest; and finding inspiration in nature for their creations of abstract versions of the world in their art. By sharing stories around their connections, the Foundation aims to contribute to a larger narrative about artists in America—they do not all work in isolation; rather, they inspire one another and find ways to connect through friendship.
“Frank Lloyd Wright and Georgia O’Keeffe are American icons. Their legacies are larger-than-life, and their names are known worldwide. What’s lesser known is their connection; they met in person in the 1940s and corresponded over the years, sharing ideas, and exchanging gifts,” says Niki Stewart, exhibition curator and vice president and chief learning & engagement officer for the Foundation. “In this exhibition, we explore that connection through the intimate photographs of Tony Vaccaro, from their shared start in Wisconsin to the homes and studios they built in the American Southwest. I’m excited to bring Wright and O’Keeffe together again through these beautiful photographs.”
Vaccaro’s photos of Wright and O’Keeffe have visual symmetry, which is why they will be displayed in pairs. By partnering with the Monroe Gallery—Tony Vaccaro’s exclusive representation—the Foundation has access to many photographs not shown to the public previously. Through the exhibition, guests will not only learn about the relationship between Wright and O’Keeffe, but also about Vaccaro’s long and impressive career.
“Working with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation affords Monroe Gallery the opportunity to place Tony Vaccaro’s iconic portraits of American Modernist Masters, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Georgia O’Keeffe, together in conversation with the visitors to Taliesin West. Surrounded by the grace of Wright’s architecture, O’Keeffe and Wright, as Tony Vaccaro understood them, are reunited within their century’s glorious creative context,” says Monroe Gallery owners Michelle and Sid Monroe.