THE JOHN W. GEIGER COLLECTION
FOR THE STUDY OF
Frank Lloyd Wright research materials
The Frank Lloyd Wright Research Materials record group is organized into five series. The files contain a diverse assortment of documentation about Frank Lloyd Wright and his family, architectural designs, writings, the Taliesin Fellowship, and other professional associations, as well as information about exhibitions, auctions, and sales of Wright-related materials. These records were generally accumulated by John Geiger from personal event participation, exchanges with authors or researchers, or as part of his research process.
SERIES 1: Building Research Files
Folders (35): Documentation for individual structures in the building research files series may consist of informational mailings, brochures, newsletters, clippings, correspondence, stationery samples, and/or ephemera. Generally, there are one or two items for each Frank Lloyd Wright project, although the file for the Henry Neils house contains a large set of drawing reductions.
Series 2: Essays, Articles, and Excerpted works
Folders (24): Documentation in the essays, articles, and excerpted works series consists of manuscripts and publications focused largely on biographical aspects of Frank Lloyd Wright, his family, and associates. These materials were collected by John Geiger over the years as a function of his ongoing interest in understanding how personal relationships impacted the architectural production of the Wright studio. Reminiscences of Wright family members include writings by Miriam Noel, Elizabeth Heller Wright, and Svetlana Allilueva. Other documents discuss the creative environment of the Taliesin Fellowship and events affecting the life of that community. Essays, articles, and editorial correspondence by noted historians such as William Cronon, Paul Kruty, Jack Quinan, and Robert Twombly refer to Wright-designed buildings, exhibitions of work by the architect, and relationships with other significant artists. A small number of similar documents printed from the Internet are also present.
Series 3: Bibliographic Materials
Folders (5): Documentation in the Bibliographic Materials series consists of original notes developed to be entered into the Geiger database and some other research tools. John Geiger collaborated with others to recover information about participation in Wright studio projects. One of the most important of these efforts revolved around publication of the series of Frank Lloyd Wright Monograph volumes. Geiger enlisted the assistance of Taliesin Fellows John and Lu Howe, Curtis Besinger, and A. Louis Wiehle to review the contents of the books and make notations about who worked on projects in the Wright studio and, if possible, to assign authorship for individual drawings. These folders work as a group to document the consensus of their recollections. In addition, Geiger relied on an index organizing Wright works by their geographical location and a bibliography of Wright publications that are also present.
Series 4: Exhibitions, Auctions, and Dealers
Folders (16): Documentation in the exhibitions, auctions, and dealers series relates to the exhibition of and trade in Frank Lloyd Wright drawings, books, memorabilia, and ephemera from 1940 to the mid-1990s. Most folders contain programs, catalogs, and sales brochures. These publications were often sources of information that Geiger entered into his comprehensive database inventory of Frank Lloyd Wright project drawings. In addition, Geiger consulted with dealers about selling items from his own library and collection of Wrightiana. He also retained promotional materials related to significant scholarly publications of Wright drawings. Some of the files contain useful references to rare Wright objects, books, ephemera, or other memorabilia.
Series 5: Periodicals
Folders (16): Documentation in the Periodicals series consists of scholarly and general interest essays, articles, or news items published in magazines, journals, and newspapers about the life and work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Beginning in the 1940s and continuing until the end of his life, Geiger collected publications that featured articles or essays about Wright. The materials in these files represent a spectrum of periodicals that brought the message of organic architecture to the American public across more than half a century, and their titles form a bibliography. Some of these publications contain drawings that appear in the Geiger database entries.