Monday, March 21, 2016

CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART'S RECONSTRUCTION OF THE FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT-DESIGNED BACHMAN-WILSON HOUSE COMPLETED AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM

Located in the southern region of the Ozark Mountains in Bentonville, Arkansas, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, founded by Alice Walton whose father Sam Walton created the Walmart stores, explores the continuously unfolding history of America through collecting and exhibiting outstanding works of art that illuminate the American artistic heritage which enriches the understanding and appreciation of American history and culture.

Set on 120 acres of native Ozark forest, with 3.5 miles of included walking trails, Crystal Bridges’ grounds are surrounded by an environment which enhances the “museum experience”.  The Museum’s breathtaking and distinctive architecture designed by internationally renowned architect Moshe Saftie incorporates the topographical elements, immersing visitors in the landscape.


To this picturesque setting recently has been added the Bachman-Wilson House, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright who was known throughout his career for creating structures which incorporate and showcase the surrounding natural environment.


BACHMAN-WILSON HOUSE

In 1954, architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed a house in the “Usonian” style along the Millstone River in New Jersey for Gloria Bachman Wilson and Abraham Wilson.  

The word “Usonian” was derived from an abbreviation of “United States of North America”.  Wright embraced this term as the name for a distinctly American and “democratic” style of residential architecture which he had developed during the Great Depression.  Compared to his highly customized homes, these were simpler, lower-cost houses designed to be within the reach of the average middle-class American family, without sacrificing quality.  Approximately 120 Usonian homes were built.

Known as the Bachman-Wilson House for the Wilsons and also Gloria Wilson's brother, Marvin Bachman who was an apprentice to Wright, the house was subsequently purchased by architect/designer team Lawrence and Sharon Tarantino in 1988 and meticulously restored. Over the years, however, the structure was threatened by repeated flooding at its original location, and the Tarantinos eventually determined that selling the house to an institution willing to relocate it would be the best option for its preservation. After the Tarantino's multi-year search for a suitable institution, they settled upon Crystal Bridges, which acquired the house in 2013. The entire structure was then taken apart and each component was labeled, packed, and loaded into two trucks for transportation to the Museum. After its 1,235 mile journey, the Bachman-Wilson House arrived at the Crystal Bridges site in April, 2014. 

After the arrival of the de-constructed house, Crystal Bridges embarked upon more than a year of painstaking re-construction, including adding an improved climate-control system which better protects the extensive mahogany wood within the house, the Bachman-Wilson House opened to the public in November, 2015 at Crystal Bridges.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Bachman-Wilson House at Crystal Bridges Museum is included in Snobby Tours®' Presidential Libraries of the Midwest during Fall Foliage© custom-designed Americana Heritage Tour™.   For more information about this Tour, link to:  http://www.snobbytours.com/PrezLibMidwestFFChicago.html

(Primary Source information and Video materials courtesy of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art which retains all copyrights therein.)

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