Press Release: The Westmoreland and Fallingwater Collaborate on Groundbreaking New Exhibition, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Southwestern Pennsylvania
Mill Run, Pa. — August 19, 2023 — The Westmoreland Museum of American Art is excited to announce Frank Lloyd Wright’s Southwestern Pennsylvania, an exhibition co-organized with Fallingwater, a property entrusted to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. This innovative exhibition presents video animations and 3D models of never-built residential, commercial, and civic projects that American architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed for Southwestern Pennsylvania in the 1940s and 1950s. The exhibition opens at The Westmoreland on Sunday, October 15, 2023, and will remain on view through Sunday, January 14, 2024.
Realistic animated films, created by Skyline Ink Animators + Illustrators, provide, for the first time, a virtual exploration of five unrealized Wright projects for Southwestern Pennsylvania. These include a monumental reimagining of the Point (1947), a self-service garage for Kaufmann’s Department Store (1949), the Point View Residences designed for the Edgar J. Kaufmann Charitable Trust (1952), the Rhododendron Chapel (1952), and a gate lodge for the Fallingwater grounds (1941).
Using three-dimensional rendering technology to choreograph camera paths and to shape lighting to produce the same type of visual effects used in the film industry, Skyline Ink’s resulting animations will be presented throughout the exhibition to provide a multimedia experience. A viewing theater set within the Museum’s Cantilever Galleries will envelop visitors to show an expanded film of the three unrealized Pittsburgh designs. To further engage the senses, the film will feature an accompanying musical score by Daniel May with Marty Ashby and produced by MCG Jazz. Viewers will take a journey into Wright’s creative mind, exploring architecture from an artistic perspective, with emphasis on his intended materials, textures, light and shadow.
“The legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright echoes through the architectural marvel of The Westmoreland’s cantilever wing, a testament to his enduring influence on modern design, and we are delighted to be able to present this groundbreaking exhibition in that very space,” remarked Silvia Filippini-Fantoni, The Richard M. Scaife Director/CEO.
“This exhibition celebrates the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright’s design in a new and approachable way, but it also asks visitors to question how these projects might have changed the Pittsburgh region as we know it, for better or for worse,” commented Justin Gunther, Fallingwater Director and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Vice President.
The exhibition also explores the role of individuals involved in these projects, namely Edgar J. Kaufmann. Kaufmann first introduced Wright to the region in 1934, inviting him to Pittsburgh to propose designs for a planetarium and later to recommend the architect to city officials as an advisor for large-scale civic projects. Additionally, the exhibition examines the role of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development (ACCD). This civic organization’s focus on improving Pittsburgh included cultural initiatives and housing, as well as addressing traffic and parking concerns. Kaufmann was a key player on the ACCD planning committee and enlisted Wright’s advice, specifically in the revitalization of downtown Pittsburgh.
The animations of Wright’s unrealized projects featured in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Southwestern Pennsylvania will be further contextualized by 3D models, architectural drawings and historic photography to provide a multimedia exhibition experience for visitors to The Westmoreland. Additionally, the exhibition features the realized designs for Edgar Kaufmann’s private office in Pittsburgh; the Kaufmanns’ country house, Fallingwater; and Kentuck Knob, the house for I.N. and Bernardine Hagan, which will be represented by drawings, photographs, and Wright-designed furnishings.
An exhibition focusing on the unbuilt works Wright designed specifically for the Fallingwater estate will be on view in Fallingwater’s Speyer Gallery from October 15 through the end of December 2023. More details on this exhibition can be found at fallingwater.org/exhibitions.
“It is wonderful to see this collaboration – more than four years in the making – between The Westmoreland and Fallingwater now come to fruition with these exhibitions at both of our sites, which truly surpass our original expectations,” stated Scott Perkins, Fallingwater Senior Director of Preservation and Collections. The collaboration between institutions also extends to loans received from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and from Lord Peter and Lady Hayat Palumbo, owners of Kentuck Knob.
Toshiko Mori & Frank Lloyd Wright: Dialogue in Details, a complementary exhibition to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Southwestern Pennsylvania, will be presented in The Westmoreland’s Paneled Rooms, on view from October 15, 2023, through January 14, 2024. The exhibition highlights the dialogue between two architectural works – Wright’s 1907 Martin House, the home complex for businessman Darwin D. Martin and his family, and Mori’s 2009 Eleanor and Wilson Greatbatch Pavilion, a visitor center and interpretive gallery for guests to the Martin House historic site. Dialogue in the Details features two sculptural totem structures representing details from both buildings, as well as a suite of documentation regarding the two projects. Presented at half-scale, the sculptures speak to one another in an unfolding dialogue regarding history, precedent, and reference.
“Dialogue in Details is an exhibition that asks: what about the past should we be carrying forward, and what about that past should we leave behind? In the times in which we find ourselves, Toshiko Mori’s project feels more relevant than ever,” commented Jeremiah William McCarthy, Chief Curator.
Upcoming exhibition-related events and programs will soon be posted to the Museum’s website at thewestmoreland.org/events. Planned programming includes special gallery tours, “In-Conversations,” and a culinary event inspired by long-time Fallingwater cook Elsie Henderson’s recipes.
Group Tour packages, including Fallingwater tour, lunch, and self-guided tour of the exhibitions at The Westmoreland, will be available on select dates. To inquire about these packages, please email email@example.com.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Southwestern Pennsylvania is co-organized by The Westmoreland Museum of American Art and Fallingwater, a property entrusted to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. It is generously supported by The Heinz Endowments, The Hillman Exhibition Fund of The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, and Wendy and David Barensfeld.
Toshiko Mori & Frank Lloyd Wright: Dialogue in Details is organized by Jeremiah William McCarthy, Chief Curator, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art. Support for this exhibition is provided by The Heinz Endowments and The Fine Foundation. Special thanks to the National Academy of Design, PLANE―SITE, and the ECC-Italy.
Fallingwater is a house designed in 1935 by renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) for the Kaufmann family, owners of Pittsburgh’s largest department store. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater is one of his most widely acclaimed works and best exemplifies his philosophy of organic architecture: the harmonious union of art and nature. Owned and operated by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy since 1963, Fallingwater is open to the public to tour and is surrounded by the Bear Run Nature Reserve’s 5,100 acres of natural land, streams, and trails. On July 10, 2019, Fallingwater and seven other Frank Lloyd Wright-designed properties were inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage List as “The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.” In addition, Fallingwater is designated as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. National Park Service and a Commonwealth Treasure by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. For more information, visit Fallingwater.org. Join the conversation with Fallingwater on Facebook or Instagram.
About The Westmoreland Museum of American Art
Western Pennsylvania’s only museum dedicated to American art, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, is a place to share meaningful cultural experiences that open the door to new ideas, perspectives, and possibilities. The Westmoreland’s extraordinary permanent collection with its strong focus on the art and artists of Southwestern Pennsylvania is complemented by an impressive temporary exhibition schedule featuring both nationally traveling exhibitions and those organized by the Museum. Additionally, The Westmoreland presents a full slate of community-oriented programming as well as special events. More information is available at thewestmoreland.org and on the Museum’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles. General admission to the Museum is free with advance online registration recommended. The Museum’s operating hours are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm. One can find information on registering for a visit at thewestmoreland.org/visit.
Senior Administrator of Special Projects at Fallingwater
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art
Senior Director of Communications
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy