About this artwork
Walter Burley and Marion Mahony Griffin were exceptional figures in the Prairie School, for they not only designed individual buildings but also planned housing developments, universities, and entire cities. In their partnership (formed in 1911 at the time of their marriage), Walter Burley Griffin was chief designer, while Marion Mahony, one of the nation’s first women to distinguish herself in architecture, contributed to design and produced the spectacular renderings for which the firm was noted. In this exquisite work, she delineated the pair’s major domestic work and the most important planning scheme of the Prairie School: the Iowa housing development Rock Crest–Rock Glen (begun in 1912). The vaguely Japanesque intertwining of single-family dwellings within the eighteen-acre site is a perfect encapsulation of the Prairie School’s emphasis on the harmonious integration of suburban domesticity and a tamed, almost pastoral, nature. Of the sixteen proposed houses, eight were built, four by the Griffins. Just as construction began, the couple won the international competition to plan Canberra, the new capital of Australia; the commission allowed them to bring their aesthetic to an international audience.
- Walter Burley Griffin (Architect)
- Rock Crest/Rock Glen, Mason City, Iowa, Perspective
- Mason City (Building address)
- Lithograph and gouache on green satin
- 59 × 201 cm (23 1/4 × 79 in.)
- Gift of Marion Mahony Griffin through Eric Nicholls