The Garden Room At Taliesin West
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Apr 19, 2023
Work on restoring the Garden Room was completed in 2021. The Preservation and Collections teams bring us back in time with historical colors and materials at Taliesin West.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s dedicated preservation team works to provide the most authentic and inspiring experiences for visitors to Taliesin West in Arizona. Their work is in concert with our collections team, who care for Wright’s significant collections of art, artifacts, furnishings, prototypes, and more at both Taliesin and Taliesin West.
The Foundation’s Director of Preservation at Taliesin West, Rebecca Barron, shared with us her account of the preservation work done in the Garden Room at Taliesin West
The restoration work completed in the Garden Room in 2021 was part of a larger plan to enhance the aesthetic and experiential values of the Wrights’ personal living room. The Garden Room continued to change after Wright’s passing. It was, of course, a living site, and home to Wright’s wife and the Taliesin Fellowship, who continued to make modifications to suit their lives and needs. The space has been returned to the historical period of Frank Lloyd Wright’s design, and, in this case, restoring it to the 1950s, the final decade of Wright’s life.
The first phase involved the reintroduction and reorganization of interior elements and collection items within the Garden Room in late 2020. The preservation department then worked on the next phase, which included the reconstruction of the banco seating and reupholstery of the Garden Room furniture, to reflect the color palette of the era. This work included a careful selection of textiles for the room’s upholstery, shifting from orange to red for the banco seating, and incorporating blues and golds into the surrounding furniture.
Since Wright’s passing in 1959, the banco seating and upholstery in the Garden Room have undergone several transformations and restorations. In the 1960s the banco seating was significantly altered to accommodate the introduction of central heating and cooling. A wooden back and skirt were added, and the upholstery was changed to a light orange. In the 1990s it was restored to its 1959 design and reupholstered using a blue fabric, rather than its 1950s rust red fabric. The most recent iteration of the banco seating was constructed in the late 2000s, which restored its 1970s appearance.
When you come visit, we know you’ll agree that the work was more than worth the effort. The Garden Room is a clear natural extension of the garden and landscape beyond. We hope the experience will inspire you to think differently about how we build and live in the world, more deeply connected to nature, the beauty around us, and our loved ones.