Windows

Wright designed some of his most elaborate site-specific windows for the Martin House Complex. The Martin House has more art glass than any other of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs. There are 16 different patterns totalling 394 individual windows produced by the Linden Glass Company in Chicago between 1904-05.

Scholars have struggled to define Wright’s distinct windows. The term “stained-glass” does not apply since Wright’s designs primarily use clear glass. The term “leaded glass” is inaccurate because Wright’s windows use zinc and brass metal caming for added rigidity. Stained glass experts such as Julie L. Sloan have used the term “art glass”; however, Wright did not use this term, preferring to call his windows “light screens”, instead.

The light screens are important to the overall significance of the Martin House. The exterior walls had bands of light screens running around the house, contributing to the overall horizontal effect of the Prairie Style home. The light screens are also an intrinsic component of Wright’s revolutionary design principle of “organic architecture” by connecting the outside and inside environments, providing natural light, fresh air, and picturesque views of the landscape permeating through the house.

  • 1904-05 Glass and brass caming 106.50 cm x 44.00 cm University of Victoria Legacy Art Galleries / Martin House Restoration Corporation Photograph by Rob Destrubé
    Unit Room “Wisteria” Light Screen / 1904-05 / Glass and Brass caming / 106.5 cm x 44 cm / Photograph by Rob Destrubé