Saturday, January 22, 2005

Wright in Japan Centennial Festival

A festival celebrating the influence of Japanese art and architecture on Frank Lloyd Wright's work as well as his contributions to the architecture of Japan is under way at Unity Temple in west suburban Oak Park.

"Wright's visit to Japan in 1905 is particularly significant for Unity Temple, since he began designing Unity Temple here in Oak Park as soon as he returned," said Emily Roth, program manager of the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation.

The event runs through April 16 and features exhibits, lectures and a documentary film. The renowned architect (1867-1959) left an international legacy that includes a collection of designs for masterpiece buildings and decorative arts.

Unity Temple is at 875 Lake. For a complete schedule of events and more information, call (708) 383-8873 or visit

Here are some of the upcoming festival highlights:

*2 p.m., Saturday, " Frank Lloyd Wright and the Light of Japan": Rolf Achilles, a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and curator of Smith Museum of Stained Glass at Navy Pier, will explore the relationship between Japan and Wright's designs for art glass, windows and lamps. All lectures are free with general admission to the Unity Temple Tour Program, $7 for adults, $5 for youths and seniors. Arrive by 1 p.m. for a comprehensive tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's first public building.

*2 p.m., Jan. 29, "The Hooden: The Japanese Pavilion at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893": David Sokol, director of Museum Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago, will discuss the design, construction and influence of the Hooden -- or Phoenix Hall -- including new information on the rarely seen Ra-ma, a group of exquisitely carved panels.

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