Frank Lloyd Wright's Ashes

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Tom
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Post by Tom »

Was he cremated in Wisconsin or Arizona?

Rood
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Post by Rood »

peterm wrote: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.
Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned it, but putting two and two together, based on what I know, what was given to me in confidence, what I observed, first-hand, and what has been written here, I came to my own conclusions, but those conclusions may be very wrong.

If Johnny didn't bring up the subject for the record, it's hardly my place to write about something of which I know only from a second-hand source, and from seeing him when he was in a state of acute emotional distress. It was so unlike Johnny, who was typically unflappable, upbeat, and positive, that I would be doing him a great injustice to dwell on it here. As Johnny was a great friend I want only to better understand what had so deeply upset him. It was probably nothing, but it has bothered me all these years.

peterm
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Post by peterm »

Is it possible that he felt taken advantage of, taken for granted, or disrespected? It could be that without Mr. Wright around, there might have been few left at Taliesin who appreciated his sensitivity and talents...

It sounds like Wright clearly trusted Hill's instincts.

Tom
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Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

Oh man, it's even got a golden harp. A golden harp for crying outloud.

kgsoft
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Taliesin West - Utter Disappointment

Post by kgsoft »

I came to America from England to visit the grave site of Frank Lloyd Wright to pay my respect for his sheer brilliance for his work as an architect. I went to Wisconcin to the family cemetery and to his foundation there but was shocked to learn that his body had been moved to Taliesin West. On my next trip to America I decided to visit this place to find the location of where the ashes were located with his wife.

When I arrived I was told that his body was buried in Wiscincin which I knew was a complete lie after spending hours online trying find out the truth as to where the ashes were.

I asked nicely if it was possible for me to see the location of where the ashes were and was refused quite prefusly. I even offered to give a donation but still they would not agree.

Although I understand that they do not want to turn this place into a shine and give details out to everybody, after spending so much time in research and driving across America it would have nice to make an exception for me but to actually lie to my face was very rude.

If any one has any idea where the ashes are located, or even better would be a picture then that would be great.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

The contents of this thread veer rapidly away from the title subject, after the first page. Perhaps this is an opportunity to return to the subject -- starting with the first post, which presents an intriguing possibility, namely that the ashes are incorporated into the masonry of portions of T West constructed after 1985 ?

According to a Wikipedia page titled "Olgivanna Lloyd Wright," this information is found on the following page, in the Taliesin West entry (see note 8 ):

http://www.doney.net/aroundaz/celebrity ... klloyd.htm

Perhaps the truth is more prosaic; the ashes may simply remain in an urn somewhere, the location of which remains a closely-held secret lest strangers attempt to acquire a pinch for themselves ?

SDR

peterm
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Post by peterm »

The perfect way to start a cult is to withhold information from the many and keep it for a small annointed inner circle. There are people who certainly know what actually happened, and for some reason will not talk about it. This serves to advance the deification or sainthood of Wright, but ultimately only reinforces the idea that everyone was out of their minds drinking the kool aid. I think this strange hierarchical culture must have begun with Olgivanna's infatuation with the ideas of Gurdjieff.

It's truly unfortunate that there isn't more transparency. Was Wright really born Frank Lincoln, where are the ashes? Did Wright really do all of the drawings to Fallingwater in an hour, etc. etc.? What can be innocent self promotion during one's lifetime morphs into the realm of mysticism and religion after the death. Isn't it enough to recognize genius? Why the hocuspocus?

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Extraordinary people and events generate their own mythologies, I suppose. The credulous will believe the most outlandish exaggerations, and truths will morph in strange ways. Mere veneration can seem overwrought, at times. I recently visited the SaveWright home page and read some of what is there, including Margo Stipe's summary of Wright's life. She opens with the following sentence:

"Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) has been called 'simply the greatest artist [America] has ever produced in any field of the visual or musical arts.' �

Why should America's great composers be swept aside in order to bestow an even greater crown upon Wright than the one he so richly deserves ?

Without necessarily revealing its exact location, now would be a good time for someone in the know to reveal what became of Mr and Mrs Wright's remains, once and for all -- assuming such person exists and is among our readers !

SDR

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

The person who would be most amused by this hocus-pocus is Frank, himself (the annoyance of not spending eternity moldering beside the love of his life notwithstanding). He created fantasies about his life with impunity. Even his stated birth year of 1869 was just a ruse. He knew his sister was born that year, and that her birthdate was no secret, so he had to know he would be found out. But I don't think he cared. Image is everything; reality means nothing. Same with the FW story. It's a good story. Whether or not it was true was irrelevant to him.

I do think the "beatification of Olga," as Geiger called it, also comes into play. Gurdjieff did not have his feet on the ground, either.

Dancer Ruth St. Denis was asked why she was so coy about her age. She replied that as long as journalists speculated about it, she got an extra couple of lines of publicity.

peterm
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Post by peterm »


Rood
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Post by Rood »

What were Mr. Wright's intentions regarding his final resting place?

People seem to have forgotten his project from 1957: Unity Temple and Cenotaph, designed for the churchyard where the old Lloyd Jones Chapel is located, a mile from Taliesin in Wisconsin.

Just now, by pure chance, I opened my copy of FLLW Monograph: 1951-1959 to page 304 ... to illustration 615 ... to the plan, elevation and section of the Temple.

The brief text says nothing about the possibility of building the Temple, but Mr. Wright's intentions are there, on paper, for all to see.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

There are reasons for not building the '57 memorial:
1) While the existing chapel is not great architecture, it is an important piece of FLW history and a sweetly sentimental structure that works well as the focus of a cemetery. To replace it would be unthinkable.
2) To build the new memorial anywhere within sight of the older building would be aesthetically disruptive.
3) To disinter Wright family members from graves they have occupied for up to 130 years could be seen as a sacrilege by some (not that it would have bothered everyone).
4) The cost to build, maintain and heat would be outlandish.
5) Deciding where Fellowship members should be buried was a bit presumptuous of FLW. Even the most devout followers might choose to lie elswhere.
6) As handsome as the design is, it seems not a good fit for the rolling hills of Wisconsin; it might have worked better in Arizona.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Taschen 3, p 548:

Image

Image

Image

Randolph C. Henning
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Post by Randolph C. Henning »

With all due respect Roderick . .
1.) Per FLlW's drawings, the new Unity Temple building was designed to be built west of the original Lloyd Jones Unity Chapel. The new was never meant to replace the old.
2.) FLlW obviously didn't seem concerned. Wasn't the Guggenheim aesthetically disruptive to its adjacent older buildings? Why not here then?
3.) Perhaps, but cemeteries relocate all the time.
4.) Expensive perhaps, but certainly not anywhere near being "outlandish."
5.) Perhaps, but certainly not out of character.
6.) FLlW certainly thought it was a good fit. That's good enough for me.

Should it be built? A good question . . But a good over riding reason to actually build this incredibly intrinsic and provocative design would be to honor the life, legacy and memory of FLlW in his beloved ancestral valley as he desired.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

"incredibly intrinsic" -- intrinsic to what, exactly ?

The design seems as close as Wright would come to honoring classical (i.e., northeastern Mediterranean) temple design -- with his own delightful substitutions and refinements, of course. Whether it would seem suitable in its intended location -- flat ground or not -- is another question. Building it today would be an exercise in "too little, too late," perhaps ?

SDR

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