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State Museum of PA Announces “Seeing Fallingwater – Celebrating Pennsylvania’s Architectural Masterpiece” Exhibit

06/18/2024

Exhibit on display now through January 5, 2025

 

Harrisburg, PA - The State Museum of Pennsylvania is pleased to present Seeing Fallingwater – Celebrating Pennsylvania’s Architectural Masterpiece. This special exhibit celebrates Fallingwater, the world-famous house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 for Pittsburgh department store magnate Edgar J. Kaufmann.

 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Fallingwater’s listing in the National Register of Historic Places. In 2019, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Fallingwater a World Heritage Site.

 

The centerpiece of Seeing Fallingwater is an architectural model of the iconic building created on commission in 1984 for the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). The model, currently on loan to The State Museum, will be on display along with other Fallingwater-related materials through January 5, 2025, in Brockerhoff Hall, Floor No. 1 of the museum. 

 

MOMA’s model, built by renowned model maker Paul Bonfilio, reveals key features of Fallingwater’s iconic design and construction over a waterfall on Bear Run in Mill Run, Fayette County, Pa.  Fallingwater embodies Wright’s desire for “organic architecture” – an approach to creating buildings that are in harmony with the surrounding natural environment. The scale of the model allows viewers to better understand the relationship between house and landscape. Given Wright’s site-driven approach to design, Fallingwater could only have been constructed in Pennsylvania.

 

Wright’s Fallingwater was completed in 1938 and catapulted its architect to international fame.  Today, Wright remains one of the most prolific and influential architects of modern times.

 

In 1963, Edgar Kaufmann Jr. transferred Fallingwater to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, which continues to administer the site.

 

Along with MOMA’s model, The State Museum’s display features a computer animation of Fallingwater by Spanish film director and 3-D animator Cristobal Vila, as well as graphic panels that interpret the history of Fallingwater and the various ways visitors continue to be inspired by Wright’s masterpiece.

 

ABOUT THE STATE MUSEUM OF PENNSYLVANIA

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 23 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History. The State Museum offers expansive collections interpreting Pennsylvania’s fascinating heritage. With exhibits examining the dawn of geologic time, the Native American experience, the colonial and revolutionary eras, a pivotal Civil War battleground, and the Commonwealth's vast industrial age, The State Museum demonstrates that Pennsylvania's story is America’s story.

 

For more information about the museum, visit The State Museum online or follow us on Facebook and X/Twitter.

Media Contact: Sean Adkins, sadkins@pa.gov, 717-705-5794​




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