Frank Lloyd Wright’s Liberty Magazine Covers
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | May 6, 2021
In 1927, Frank Lloyd Wright designed a series of twelve monthly covers based on seasonal themes for Liberty magazine. While they were never published on the magazines, the designs endure as a lasting part of the Wright legacy.
When Frank Lloyd Wright submitted his designs for the covers for Liberty magazine in 1927, the publishers judged them as too avant-garde for the time. The magazine returned Wright’s presentation drawings and they became the basis for later interpretations executed in diverse media. Each design of the Liberty magazine covers is an example of Wright’s practice of using the tools of his trade: a T-square, triangle, and compass to create lively geometric designs.
Saguaro Forms & Cactus Flowers
The saguaro cactus with its massive arms and barrel trunk becomes an element for play in his unrealized design for a Liberty magazine cover, “Saguaro Forms and Cactus Flowers,” 1927.
Old Fashioned Window
Also known as “Garden Window” or “Fugue”
This colorful design features an abstraction of a stained glass window depicted in a complex, multi-colored grid. Each version of this design included an abstract butterfly in its lower right-hand corner.
Also known as “September Desert”
This design features a complex abstraction of the triangular pattern Wright saw in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains that encircle his desert home, Taliesin West.
This derivative design is believed to be based on a mural Frank Lloyd Wright had created for his epic Midway Gardens in Chicago. Wright commissioned several mosaic tiles, including “Earth”, from his associate Charles L. Morgan for a potential Liberty Magazine article and cover on the demolition of Midway Gardens.
December Gifts depicts festive holiday gifts with ribbon and bows in striking geometric shapes, gathered around an abstracted Christmas tree made up of concentric linework.