Frank Lloyd Wright (American, 1867–1959), Library from the Francis W. Little House, 1912-1915, white oak, plaster, glass, copper-electroplated zinc, brass. Allentown Art Museum: Gift of Audrey and Bernard Berman, 1972 (1972.94)


The large and complex home Frank Lloyd Wright designed for Francis and Mary Little in Wayzata, Minnesota, was among the richest expressions of the Prairie aesthetic. Before the building was demolished in 1972, critical sections were saved, including this library.

Originally located to the left of the house’s asymmetrical entrance, the library functioned primarily as a reception area. Large art glass windows on the east and south walls overlooked a terrace and the lawn respectively. The west wall was lined with oak bookshelves.

When the library was reconstructed, the architect, Edgar Tafel, followed a scheme used elsewhere in the house and added concealed lighting and parallel bands of oak trim to the ceiling. The furnishings are not original but are consistent with Wright’s style of interior design: the barrel chairs are reproductions of those he designed for several other homes; the Wright-designed wall sconces in the Littles’ living room were reproduced for this installation; and decorative objects from the Museum’s collection reflect Wright’s aesthetic, including Chinese porcelain ginger jars, Japanese ukiyo-e prints, and a Gustav Stickley plant stand. In 2016 an iPad with interactive app was installed so visitors can explore the history of the room, learn about its furnishings, and discover Wright’s sources of inspiration while sitting in a space he designed.

The library is one of three intact spaces from the Littles’ Minnesota property on exhibit. The reconstructed living room is on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and a hallway at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation website includes the Little House Library HERE.