When the five-story, 137,000-square-foot Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement opens in St. Petersburg in early spring 2020, guests will get the rare opportunity to see four iconic Frank Lloyd Wright dining room chairs.
Crafted in 1901, the chairs were part of the overall design of Wright’s famous 1902 Ward W. Willits House in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. The house is considered the famed architect’s first masterpiece in the Prairie style of architecture.
Rudy Ciccarello, founder of the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, acquired the chairs from an auction through his Two Red Roses Foundation. According to a news release from the Two Red Roses Foundation, the chairs “represent the rediscovery of lost Wright masterpieces.”
Made of stained white oak with dark seat covers, the high-backed chairs are in their original condition. They were part of a set of 11 and remained in the house until 1950, when the house and its contents were sold. They went to a private collection in Chicago until they were recently consigned to Christie’s Auction House.
The other chairs reside in world-class museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
They’ll join the museum’s collection of more than 2,000 objects from the early 20th century, including furniture, ceramics, tiles, glass and lighting. The museum is currently under construction at 355 Fourth St. N.