Frank Lloyd Wright's Ashes

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Tom
Posts: 3217
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

Intuition by all means, always for Wright, and don't forget imagination too. The question of life after death is after all, in my judgement, basically and fundamentally an intuition, a very primal instinct. Philosophical ideas of life after death merely build upon that.

SpringGreen
Posts: 539
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:00 am

"Mrs. Wright's garden"

Post by SpringGreen »

krietzerjak wrote:
I remember there was a circular gate in a high stone wall. I did not see this when we were there. I just wondered if this is something that has been changed since Wright's death?
"Mrs. Wright's garden" was built after Wright's death & the retaining wall nearest it was heightened. The garden was removed after Mrs. Wright's death & the wall was lowered. John De Koven "Johnny" Hill was the major force behind that (along with Wes Peters). Johnny was really determined to try to bring back how things where in Wright's lifetime.

Fortunately, Johnny talked about a lot of things - everything he could remember (and his memory was great) - and interviews with him were taped & many transcribed.

And Indira Berndtson, from the FLW Archives, started doing interviews on tape and video back in the 80s to try to get information from people on what they remembered about Wright's commissions, the Fellowship, and what the two Taliesins looked like while Wright was alive. So Wes Peters, Jack Howe, Johnny Hill, Abe & Bennie Dombar, Cornelia Brierly (Indira's mother), and many others were interviewed, some of them multiple times. Indira has done over 1,200 interviews. She's done transcriptions of many, and the tapes are going to NYC with the rest of the archives (whenever they finish the move).
"The building as architecture is born out of the heart of man, permanent consort to the ground, comrade to the trees, true reflection of man in the realm of his own spirit." FLLW, "Two Lectures in Architecture: in the Realm of Ideas".

krietzerjak
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:19 pm
Location: Fort Branch, IN

Post by krietzerjak »

Where, exactly, was "Mrs Wright's Garden" located at Taliesin?

We were there this Summer when it was about 106 degrees outside. There was a themomemter inside, and I am sure it was 96 then (inside). I even made a comment to others on the tour the temp inside. I was surprised we could touch and sit in the original furnituture, but could not take pictures. There was a lot of repair being done at Taliesin North, and at his sister's house.

Andy

Tom
Posts: 3217
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

Stoller's photographs show both vessels in place by 1946 but with no glass. Then by at least 1951 Stoller has a shot showing cut glass in place.

Steve Lamb
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:53 pm

Post by Steve Lamb »

Mrs Wright made numerous changes at T West, most have been reversed. They are reversing most of the changes she made to Taliesin. I have to admit though, I liked the living room rug she had installed better than the Chinese rugs there now.........

Steve Lamb
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:53 pm

Post by Steve Lamb »

At least the living room rug was one of Mr. Wright's designs and at least it was in his personal color keys as opposed to lavender, pink, purple and peach.

Tom
Posts: 3217
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

The Stoller photographs show how strongly the pots and their spiraling frames work with the space as a whole. The pot and frame on axis with the living room is essential for that space. I can see how Wright could have simply cut glass around it.
All the same if I had to be the one making the decision where to put their ashes, I'd put them here, at least some of them, it's the perfect place.
Did Wright have a legal will?

Steve Lamb
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:53 pm

Post by Steve Lamb »

YEAH! Indira!!!! And yes, Taliesin West and Taliesin should be and are being restored to how Mr.Wright left them. While he believed in building evolution as a part of the Philosophy of Organic Architecture, no one should ever spend money to lesser efffect than the original, and no one still, can touch Mr. Wright's work and improve it.

SpringGreen
Posts: 539
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:00 am

Mrs. Wright's garden

Post by SpringGreen »

The heightened wall was the stone wall that forms the southern perimeter of Taliesin's crown of the hill. It's the low stone wall that has the stone Buddha on it, and when you stand on the Hill Crown & look over it to Tan-y-Deri (Wright's sister & brother-in-law's house) in the distance.

Mrs. Wright's garden was on the other side of the stone wall. She had a pool there, too. A photograph of the area is in Frances Nemtin's Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin, p. 53. If you have the book, the taller wall is on the left, and all the other stone walls were removed. The garden did have two circular entrances with round doors, called "Moon Gates".

Other photos of the area used to be found in the photo archives at Madison.com - the site for their newspapers - but can't haven't found any on-line in my latest cursory search.

*******
Oh: the reason for no interior photos: the intellectual property rights are retained by the site owners - the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation - not the group that gives the tours - Taliesin Preservation, Inc. The Foundation stipulated the no interior photo policy when they gave the tour program over to TPI.
"The building as architecture is born out of the heart of man, permanent consort to the ground, comrade to the trees, true reflection of man in the realm of his own spirit." FLLW, "Two Lectures in Architecture: in the Realm of Ideas".

SpringGreen
Posts: 539
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:00 am

Steve Lamb

Post by SpringGreen »

I think Indira would probably be pretty pleased with your reaction.

I've read some of her interviews (as well as interviews by other oral historians), and I think her work is among the best I've seen.

Part of it is that she has been very good at sparking people's memories by relating what others said in interviews. "Kenn Lockhart said you were involved in this. Can you talk about that a little bit?" Plus, she's just done so much that she thinks to ask questions others never got to.
"The building as architecture is born out of the heart of man, permanent consort to the ground, comrade to the trees, true reflection of man in the realm of his own spirit." FLLW, "Two Lectures in Architecture: in the Realm of Ideas".

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

Post by Roderick Grant »

I have the two-volume set of interviews of John deKoven Hill done by Maggie Valentine for UCLA and Wisconsin State Historical Society. I haven't made it very far yet, but of all the apprentices, Hill is the most interesting and probably second best (to Beharka). Someday I'll get around to finishing them.

What are the restoration plans for the original apprentice dining room at Taliesin? Since it was converted to Io's apartment before FLW died, I suppose it will remain that way, but restoring the dining room and that charming nook where Mr. & Mrs. dined would be more interesting.

Rood
Posts: 1189
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:19 pm
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Re: Mrs. Wright's garden

Post by Rood »

SpringGreen wrote:
Mrs. Wright's garden was on the other side of the stone wall. She had a pool there, too. A photograph of the area is in Frances Nemtin's Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin, p. 53. If you have the book, the taller wall is on the left, and all the other stone walls were removed. The garden did have two circular entrances with round doors, called "Moon Gates".
While I don't know the truth of the matter, Mrs. Wright's "Garden" has been characterized in several places as Mr. Wright's"last" design. Here's how it's portrayed in FLLW: HIs LIfe, His Works, His Words, c. 1966 by OLLW, p. 222:

"The last design created by F.LlW. was for an enclosed garden for Mrs. Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin, Spring Green, Wisc. Executed the following year by the members of the Taliesin Fellowship."

The "Garden" wasn't actually a garden, but a swimming pool surrounded by a concrete terrace. One Moon door was located in the south-east corner near the end of the Wisteria arbor. The other door was located at the northwest corner,where a semi-curcular stone stairway led down from the Hill Garden to the door. All walls were about eight-feet tall, but the southern side and the roof/ceiling were completely open, though covered with aquamarine mesh.

A five-foot high stone wall setioned off a narrow storage area for pool supplies at the northwest end of the garden. On top of this low wall were sections of ornamental terra cotta from Louis Sullivan's 1891 Schiller Bulding, a bulding torn down in Chicago about that time (and replaced by a parking ramp).

Mrs. Wright valued the pool, though on pleasant summer days she and guests occasionally had lunch seved on the terrace.

The only plants in the "garden" were annual flowers growing in a few small, concrete planting boxes set along the north wall.

The pool pump and heater were located in a small, low-roofed sunken room positioned outside, near the western corner of the garden. After John A's experience with gas burners, it was always a terrifying experience to crawl into that cramped space to light that heater. I know. It was one of my jobs.

Rood
Posts: 1189
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:19 pm
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Re: "Mrs. Wright's garden"

Post by Rood »

SpringGreen wrote: "Mrs. Wright's garden" was built after Wright's death & the retaining wall nearest it was heightened. The garden was removed after Mrs. Wright's death & the wall was lowered. John De Koven "Johnny" Hill was the major force behind that (along with Wes Peters). Johnny was really determined to try to bring back how things where in Wright's lifetime.

Fortunately, Johnny talked about a lot of things - everything he could remember (and his memory was great) - and interviews with him were taped & many transcribed.
I don't know, but I believe Johnny's interest in trying to "bring back how things where (sic) in Wright's lifetime." meant more to him than we might know. Something altered in him in his later years, something that disturbed and frightened me, but I've never known for sure what prompted the change. I wonder if transcripts of his "talks" might reveal some of the truth. I never quite knew how to get him to talk about it.

peterm
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

Rood-

Can you elaborate as to the changes which you noticed in John Hill? What was it that you found disturbing? I am particularly interested in knowing more about him, because he was the construction supervisor at Lamberson.

SpringGreen
Posts: 539
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:00 am

Mrs. Wright's garden; Johnny Hill

Post by SpringGreen »

I would say fortunately for Taliesin, Mrs. Wright's garden was not begun before Wright's death (they added the pool at a later date - a photo taken in the garden with the pool is in the last edition of Storrer's FLW Companion). And the only drawing of the design that I know of in Wright's hand is also in Frances Nemtin's book, on p. 55. It's a rough sketch.

In reading Johnny Hill's interviews with Maggie Valentine, I never noticed any problems articulated by him, but I can understand, in an interview situation, why he wouldn't state any personal problems.
"The building as architecture is born out of the heart of man, permanent consort to the ground, comrade to the trees, true reflection of man in the realm of his own spirit." FLLW, "Two Lectures in Architecture: in the Realm of Ideas".

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