Edith Farnsworth’s Country House

John Hill
23. July 2020
Photo: Screenshot of VR tour

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has temporarily populated the Farnsworth House — the iconic work of modern architecture designed by Mies van der Rohe for Dr. Edith Farnsworth — with furnishings that reflect its original appearance in the 1950s.

While Edith Farnsworth’s Country House can be experienced in person via guided tours, most people will not make it to Plano, Illinois, this year to see the exhibition. Thankfully, the NTHP and Farnsworth House have created a virtual reality tour of the house with its period furnishings in place. 

The tour starts outside, on the steps leading to the house, where nothing looks out of the ordinary. (Photo: Screenshot of VR tour)

Gone are the Barcelona Chairs and other pieces of furniture designed by Mies that have occupied the house in its days as a museum, first with Lord Peter Palumbo and now with the NTHP. In the place of those furnishings are, among other things, Farnsworth's writing desk and the daybed she was photographed upon in the mid-1950s.

Inside, the VR tour includes hotspots with information on the original furnishings and their contemporary reproductions. (Photo: Screenshot of VR tour)

Visit the Farnsworth House website to see archival photos alongside photos of the exhibition, and click here to experience the VR tour.

An interactive floor plan allows visitors to jump easily around the small house and get a closer look at the furnishings. (Photo: Screenshot of VR tour)

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