Works by Prairie-Style architectural legends Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin will be exhibited at Grinnell College’s Faulconer Gallery, beginning Sept. 23. The late husband and wife team designed more than 350 structures—“from cottages to mansions, from fountains to libraries”—throughout the Midwest, including Iowa.
Four of the renderings in the exhibition illustrate homes in Mason City and Grinnell, where the Griffin influence can be found in Ricker House, the college-owned guest house at 1510 Broad St. Daniel Strong, curator of the exhibition and associate director of Faulconer Gallery, explains that the Griffin exhibition was organized to mark the construction centennial of the brick-and-concrete Grinnell home formerly owned by Benjamin and Mable Ricker.
“Griffin considered Ricker House to be among the most representative of his architectural achievements, so Grinnell College is very pleased to share the home’s history,” said Strong. “The Griffin exhibition also includes renderings of three Mason City homes and of the Clark Memorial Fountain that was formerly located in Grinnell’s Central Park, so there is an historic local connection that should be meaningful to Iowans.”
A full-color illustrated catalog written by foremost Griffin scholar Paul Kruty of the University of Illinois will be available later in the fall.
Tours of the Griffin-designed Ricker House will be offered in October, November and December as part Faulconer Gallery’s schedule of public events:
• Sept. 23, 5-7 p.m.: Opening reception.
• Sat., Oct. 8, noon-3 p.m.: Tours of Ricker House, 1510 Broad St., with exhibition curator Daniel Strong. Tours begin each half hour.
• Tues., Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m.: Open mic night, co-sponsored by Grinnell Review, featuring original written works by Grinnell students and others who wish to share.
• Thurs., Nov. 3, 7 p.m.: “The Griffins in Grinnell” gallery talk by Paul Kruty, professor of architectural history, University of Illinois.
• Sat., Nov. 5, noon-3 p.m.: Tours of Ricker House, 1510 Broad St., with exhibition curator Daniel Strong. Tours begin each half hour.
• Sat., Nov. 12, 1:30-3 p.m.: Community Day with hands-on activities, including calligraphy, papermaking and architectural modeling. Refreshments will be served.
• Fri., Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m.: Concert by Fresh Flutes, conducted by Claudia Anderson, applied music associate.
• Sun., Dec. 4, 2-3:30 p.m.: Tea and tours of Ricker House, 1510 Broad St., with local personalities Milton Severe, Jon Andelson, M.J. Zimmerman, and Strong.
• Thursdays, Sept. 29-Dec. 8, 12:15-12:50 p.m.: Yoga with Monica St. Angela, co-sponsored by Live Well Grinnell. Mats provided for beginners and experienced practitioners.
The Walter Burley Griffin exhibition will share the gallery through Dec. 11 with “Book Forest” and “Propaganda Posters” about commercial publishing in Imperial China. The gallery is open Tuesday-Wednesday, noon to 5 p.m., Thursday-Friday, noon to 8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; closed Monday. All public events will be held in the gallery unless otherwise noted. For more information about the exhibition and related programs, call 641-269-4660 or visit www.grinnell.edu/faulconergallery.