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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House presents its inaugural exhibition: “Thought-Built: The Imperial Hotel at 100.” Commemorating the 100th anniversary of Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel, the exhibit features architectural fragments, archival materials, rare books, and multimedia drawn from various collections.

The Imperial Hotel in Tokyo was Frank Lloyd Wright’s first international commission. The building officially opened on September 1, 1923. On that very same day, seismic tremors of the Great Kantō Earthquake hit eastern Japan destroying much of the capital. The Imperial Hotel famously survived the devastating quake with minimal damage.

“Thought-Built: The Imperial Hotel at 100” offers a unique look at this lost work through original architectural elements rescued from demolition in December 1967, including tiles, bricks, Ōya stone blocks, and an art glass window. The exhibition also explores Wright’s enduring relationship with the Martins through objects that Wright brought back from Japan and gifted to the family.

“It’s fitting that this exhibition is with us in Buffalo, New York,” stated Jessie Fisher, Executive Director of the Martin House. “Wright had such a genuine bond with Darwin Martin and his family as demonstrated by gifts he brought back from Japan. The exhibition features four original woodblock prints, two miniature vases, textiles, and a planter, which have never been shown in public before. The collection offers a unique window into a significant relationship during a pivotal time in Wright’s life and career.”

Curator of the Martin House Susana Tejada said, “Seeing these objects within the walls of Barton House will uncover lyrical connections in Wright’s work. We are thrilled for visitors to experience our historic site in dynamic new ways.”

The exhibition is held in the historic Barton House (118 Summit Avenue) on the Martin House estate. Re-opening on February 7, 2024, the exhibition will be accessible Wednesday through Monday from 12pm – 4pm.

Exhibition tickets are free for Martin House members and $15 per person for non-members. Admission to the exhibition is also included with any Martin House tour ticket purchase. Visitors can also take advantage of Free Exhibition Fridays on February 23, March 22, and April 26. During this time, admission is free and the exhibit is open 12pm – 8pm.

“Thought-Built: The Imperial Hotel at 100” is presented in collaboration with the University Archives at the State University of New York at Buffalo. The exhibit is presented by M&T Bank and the Wilmington Trust.