Introduction

BY PETER LOUGHREY

Since LAMA’s first auction in 1992, we have always had a special affinity for the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. In fact, the very first auction lot ever offered by LAMA was a Wright-designed window from the Lake Geneva Inn in Wisconsin. In the years since, we have presented numerous chairs, tables, ceramics, glass, and textiles designed by the master. So why not an entire house? We have been offered other significant houses in the past, but we always felt we should wait until a house of unimpeachable pedigree was available.

We are, therefore, incredibly proud to present the George D. Sturges Residence in the February 21, 2016 auction with the cooperation of Barry Sloane and Marc Silver of Sotheby’s International Realty. In this special catalogue, we have endeavored to give as much context as possible by using a rich archive of vintage materials gathered by the most recent resident of the property, the late Jack Larson. This archive includes vintage prints of rare photographs, copies of old blueprints, Frank Lloyd Wright books, and a host of additional ephemera related to the house. The archive will be included in the sale of the property, as well as two small dining chairs that appear to be from the original construction in 1939. Of course, everything attached to the structure, like the Lautner-designed sofa and dining table, will also be included.

Pedro E. Guerrero photograph of the residence, 1947. Vintage print from the collection of Jack Larson sold to benefit The Bridges/Larson Foundation. © 2016 Pedro E. Guerrero Archives.

Pedro E. Guerrero photograph of the residence, 1947.
Vintage print from the collection of Jack Larson sold to benefit The Bridges/Larson Foundation.
© 2016 Pedro E. Guerrero Archives.

One of the most difficult decisions that had to be made when organizing this collection concerned the various freestanding pieces apparently executed by John Lautner. We will be selling these works individually because they were created to address the specific functional needs of various owners over the years and were not part of the original concept for the house. They are neither “organic” to Wright’s original concept for the Sturges Residence nor are they technically reproductions. Frankly, the next owner may have completely different needs for interior furnishings, but they will at least have the opportunity to acquire any of these works as well, if so desired.

I hope you will enjoy this catalogue. I would like to thank everyone who helped make it possible. First, thank you to Thomas S. Hines, Frank Escher, and Greg Cerio for their expertise and insights revealed in their respective essays. Thank you to the Getty Research Institute, the Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation at Taliesin West for access to historical information. Finally, thank you to the entire LAMA staff for their tireless efforts, and to our extended family of professional experts—Michael Rabkin, Joe Molina, Barry Sloane, Marc Silver, Carlyle Eubank, Allison Smith, Susan Rogers, and Claudia Ng.

For the full electronic catalogue of the Frank Lloyd Wright
George D. Sturges Residence, click here.

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