The Levin House, Parkwyn Village

To control SPAM, you must now be a registered user to post to this Message Board.

EFFECTIVE 14 Nov. 2012 PRIVATE MESSAGING HAS BEEN RE-ENABLED. IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS AND PLEASE REPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

This is the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Message Board. Wright enthusiasts can post questions and comments, and other people visiting the site can respond.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, *-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time they see fit.
SDR
Posts: 20196
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Craig provides this catalog page -- invaluable input on the subject:


Image

JChoate
Posts: 995
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:29 pm
Location: Atlanta
Contact:

Post by JChoate »

Cool !

Still more mystery, though. In the auction photo we see a chair with the 'training wheel' wings (like the Atlanta chair) but unlike the Atlanta chair, it has arms.
Perhaps the Atlanta chair originally had arms that broke off (likening it to Venus de Milo), or there was yet another arm-less variant (?).

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10571
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

In order to sit in some of FLW's more challenging chairs without tipping over, one must assume the composure of Monsieur Bertin, as painted by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingers.
That stance in effect makes the chair 5- or 6-legged.

JChoate
Posts: 995
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:29 pm
Location: Atlanta
Contact:

Post by JChoate »

Image

SDR
Posts: 20196
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait_ ... eur_Bertin James beat me to it. Does M. Bertin have some extra fingers, to accompany his stabilizing stance ?


Craig writes: "Here is the page from the 1996 auction catalog with the Winn furniture. Note how the chairs with arms have the supports and the ones
without do not. This leads me to believe the armless chairs were to be used in tandem between the armed ones and thus be “self-supporting.� Just my
theory."

Now I wonder if that little ferrule (?) I saw under the seat of a Winn chair is part of a connection system . . .

So many mysteries. Were all those extras -- the arms, the wing legs, the connection system -- Wright's work (or the work of an apprentice), or did
some busy soul take on the corrections and additions after the fact ? It would be so helpful to have in situ photos, the older the better, to establish
the dates and the facts.

SDR

JChoate
Posts: 995
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:29 pm
Location: Atlanta
Contact:

Post by JChoate »

I was thinking that the 'ferrule' looking thing was a loop of the fabric buckling the seat cushion to the chair, but now you're highly plausible logic has got me distrusting my lying eyes. I need to go back over to the museum for another look (damn that $15 parking).

JChoate
Posts: 995
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:29 pm
Location: Atlanta
Contact:

Post by JChoate »

Here's another website showing better photos of the Craig chair.
It has a zoom-in function that allows you to inspect the wood up close -- roll your mouse over the photo and it enlarges.

https://auctions.bidsquare.com/view-auc ... lot/515639

Craig
Posts: 564
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 7:25 am
Location: California

Post by Craig »

That auction photo from Rago is identical to my former chair. It's interesting because that is the same upholstery mine had when I bought it in 1997. I had it re-upholstered in the more richly textured fabric you see in the Wright auction.

The chair is solid wood not plywood. I have no idea what the specie of wood might be - mine appeared to have been re-stained at some point, perhaps this is the "cherry" wood reference?

The cushions are secured by snaps on both the chair and cushions. I have no idea of what he 'ferrule' looking thing does. Mine did not have one nor any holes indicating it once did.

Roderick - you are right about the seating stance. Perhaps this is why I seldom actually sat on the chair.
ch

SDR
Posts: 20196
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Mr Wright has to hold the record for a major architect whose chairs (and ottomans ?) have demonstrated stability issues. We love the man -- but . . .

I mention the ottomans because a number of them show, in photos, various added feet or bolsters of some kind at the bottom. Ones at T West have red
knobs on stems, like something from an insect. Peter reports no issues with his, at Lamberson; I suspect floor conditions, and user skill, have some part
in the equation ?

But, we have the man himself commenting on his own chairs, and black-and-blue marks on his body, to confirm some of this. And in "The Natural
House" he follows that with

"But we are accomplishing it now. Someday it will be well done. But it will not have metal spider-legs nor look the way most of the steel furniture these
days [1954] looks to me." And, "Finding a good comfortable chair in which to place one's trunk is never quite easy and so most sitting to date still lacks
dignity and repose. But it is possible now to design a chair in which any sitter is compelled to look comfortable whether he is so or not. And there is
no reason why he, or she, should not be comfortable in mind as well as body folded up or down."

The photo of Mr Wright sitting on a Ralph Rapson webbed arm rocker, seen on the cover of "Merchant Prince and Master Builder," shows a man trying to
look comfortable when he is not, I think. "Repose" is not likely in a lounge chair, when one is sitting up and holding conversation ?

SDR

JChoate
Posts: 995
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:29 pm
Location: Atlanta
Contact:

Post by JChoate »

While looking at Marmol Radziner's nice website, I ran across this chair in the restored Elliot House by Schindler. It bears a striking resemblance to the Winn chair we've been discussing, in particular the training wheel wings.

Image

Image

Do we think that maybe the chair in Schindler's Elliot House is one of the auctioned Winn chairs? See how it compares to the one in the Atlanta collection.
Image
(I know our collective preference would be to keep the original chairs in the house for which they were designed, but in the event that they are dispersed, I guess it's nice that one would arrive in a sympathetic, semi-related setting like this.)

SDR
Posts: 20196
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Yes, if a piece has to leave its home, it should at least find itself in sympathetic surroundings.

There's enough transparency to the red stain on the chair in the auction photo to show, I think, that the dark streak on the left-hand leg panel of the Elliot chair isn't present there. Perhaps more than one chair was auctioned ?

SDR

JChoate
Posts: 995
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:29 pm
Location: Atlanta
Contact:

Post by JChoate »

SDR,
Yes, I think more than one was auctioned. Looking at Craig's auction brochure it says that 6 armless versions were sold. Of those, we know of the one that was Craig's, the one in the Elliot house, and the one in Atlanta. 3 down, 3 to go. (pretty good "arm[less] chair" detective work for amateurs like us).


Image

SDR
Posts: 20196
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Heh-heh. "You're either part of the solution, or part of the problem" . . .

If nothing else, Taliesin issued more furniture designs than any other architect's office, I imagine.

SDR

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10571
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

What I notice in the Elliot photo is that MR restored the fireplace to its (almost) original configuration. As the plan shows, the fireplace originally was open to both living room and outdoor terrace, a combination fireplace/raccoon entrance. When I saw the house in the 80s, when it was owned by a printer of art books (who had received an award which was a wall-hung piece by Louise Nevelson, today probably worth more than the house), the exterior opening had been closed off, possibly after an unwelcome visitation in the night, or even during original construction if the Elliots had their wits about them. As restored, there is a sheet of plate glass as can easily be determined, giving the owner the best of Schindler's idea without the mess of midnight marauders. Notice also the small fixed window to the left of the fireplace. Only Schindler would do something like that.

The chair is also nice.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10571
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Another bit to note, the clock tucked into the nook at the top of the chimney. I don't know if that is original or not, I don't recall seeing it 32 years ago, but it is a nifty detail.

Post Reply