Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > Art & Architecture > 72. Hendrick Petrus Berlage

72.  Hendrick Petrus Berlage (1856-1934).  Frank Lloyd Wright. Wendingen vol. 4, no. 11 (November 1921). Amsterdam: "De Hooge Brug," 1922. Avery Library, Classics Collection

This special number of the Dutch art magazine Wendingen testifies to the international reverberations of American architecture in the early twentieth century, as well as the powerful intersection of typography and book design with criticism and the visual arts. It also serves as a fine example of Avery Library's architectural periodicals collection, perhaps the largest in the world.

Under the editorial and design leadership of H. Th. Wijdeveld, the periodical entitled Wendingen–"Upheavals" or "Turnings"–was intended as a medium for creation and not just art journalism. Individual issues were dedicated to a single subject, with writings by noted practitioners. The distinctive format and style of binding echoed Japanese traditions. Covers were conceived as works of art, most being designed by "representative members" of the society sponsoring the publication, Architectura et Amicitia.

For this issue devoted to Frank Lloyd Wright, the artist El Lissitzky (1890-1941) was paid to provide the cover design, among his first commissions upon leaving Russia. In the magazine's fourth year (1921), German-language and English-language editions of issues began to appear, evidence of its appeal beyond the Netherlands. This deluxe copy of the English edition of vol. 4, no. 11, is one of about seventy five produced with heavier paper and hard covers. The text of the influential Dutch modern architect Berlage introduces a selection of photographs and renderings of Wright's work, including Midway Gardens, Taliesin, the Imperial Hotel, and the Barnsdale Theatre. A further seven issues of Wendingen would be devoted to Wright in 1925-1926.

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