Exhibit celebrates Wright’s ‘Usonia’


S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. today unveiled “Usonia: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Vision Of The American Home,” a new, free public exhibit at the S.C. Johnson Gallery on the company’s Racine headquarters campus.

“Usonia” is a term that describes Wright’s architectural vision for the development of cities featuring affordable and practical, yet beautiful, homes.

Wright designed his first “Usonian” home during the Great Depression as a way to bring great architecture to every person, a challenge that concerned him throughout his career. “Usonian” homes took a new approach to construction, utilizing less-expensive materials and commonly excluded basements and attics. There was always a strong visual connection between the interior and exterior spaces as well as a focus on the main living areas, including the fireplace, encouraging families to gather together.

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Through his “Usonian” period, Wright pioneered new and innovative ideas related to energy, space and material efficiency.

“We take great pride in The Gallery as we strive to showcase Wright’s profound influence on families and the American home,” said S.C. Johnson senior vice president Kelly Semrau. “We look forward to sharing ‘Usonia’ and Wright’s legendary collection of artifacts, along with his inspiring architectural designs, here on S.C. Johnson’s campus with visitors from around the world.”

In 1936, Wright completed his first “Usonian” house for Herbert Jacobs, a newspaper man located in Madison.

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“Wright is one of the most celebrated architects in history who sought to design beautiful spaces that were affordable and complementary to their natural surroundings,” said Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, Co-curator of The SC Johnson Gallery: At Home with Frank Lloyd Wright and Archives Director at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “This exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to view the stunning results of his vision, and also offers insight into his pioneering efforts into sustainable architecture – a passion of his half a century before it became popular.” 

Wright also designed the S.C. Johnson administration building and the research tower.

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