oval white porcelain body with trademark Frank Lloyd Wright red squares around the perimeter

Oval platter, 1914

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Midway Gardens was an elaborate, block-long outdoor complex designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1914. Modeled on German beer gardens, it had an interior court that served as a summer gathering place for dining, dancing, and concerts. Wright incorporated decoration into this dramatic structure through his innovative use of patterned concrete block on the exterior and by placing sculptures by Alfonso Iannelli and Richard Bock throughout.

The Institute's match holder, platter, and beer stein were among the few objects to survive the destruction of the garden and most of its Wright-designed furnishings in 1929. This match holder and platter were made in Germany by the Bauscher factory. The same pattern was also produced by Shenango China of New Castle, Pennsylvania, probably because importing replacements was difficult after the First World War broke out.

The decoration on the ceramics-a single row of red squares aligned along the rim-recalls the geometric elements in the work of various progressive European architect-designers Wright saw on his visit to Europe in 1909-10. With the beer stein, Wright rendered a familiar German form in a progressive way by using a modernist typeface on the glass body.

Oval platter
Artist Life
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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oval white porcelain body with trademark Frank Lloyd Wright red squares around the perimeter