Martin House - Table of Contents...............Darwin D. Martin House Complex- Table of Contents

Interior - Darwin D. Martin House

Entry hall

Living room

Dining room and Library

Reception room and Bursar's office

Second floor
The term "art glass" was coined and the item produced in the Midwest during the late 1880s, in conjunction with a building boom that spawned a retailing invention, the mail-order catalog. By 1910, mail-order catalogs like those from Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward offered "art glass" windows in every style, from Art Nouveau to Prairie to Gothic Revival.

In contemporary writings about Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings and in Wright's own writings, including correspondence, specifications, and working drawings, the term "art glass" was rarely used. Instead, Wright's windows were almost universally called "leaded glass" by art critics. Wright's own term for his windows was "light screens." Bands of windows - or strip fenestration - replaced the single hole-in-the-wall window.

The casement, which opens by means of hinges at the sides, like a door, was preferable because it brought the outside in more effectively than the double hung sash, in Wright's opinion. Critical to the success of Wright's ornamental window patterns, the casement window was a single panel from sill to lintel, uninterrupted by the meeting rails of the double hung sash.

The single open expanse provided by the casement became the canvas - and light was the medium - for Wright to create ornament. Using the vocabulary conceived in his studio windows to enhance the fenestrational pattern, Wright created the Prairie Window.


Page by by Chuck LaChiusa
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