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.
If I hear an 8th grade band play Beethoven, it is a poorly translated interpetation, no it is no longer Beethoven....it becomes Beethoven-esque..Beethoven-lite, but Not Beethoven. Well intended as it may be, no longer Authentic. But the music eventually fades from memory, but the poorly interpreted building stands for years reminding us of the good intention....
We are too far removed from the creator of the idea for it to succeed as authentic.
Is the repair and reconstruction work done at Robie, or Martin, inferior to the standard that Wright held ? Wouldn't we expect the same degree of finesse in new work ?
In discussing this issue it should be assumed from the start that we have the best available craft at out disposal. At least, that is the assumption that I make. Of course inferior workmanship is loose in the world -- but what is the point of assuming that it will be the deciding factor in the success of a Wright reproduction.
Where are the cogent arguments against the enterprise ?
Thank you for some parralell thinking.
Shakespeare translated into japanese is still Shakespeare.
Like I said. Its about execution.
Im sure Mr. Wright would love to have his designs constructed with the best material in thge best manner. Time has now given us the technology to catch up to him. Im sure he would want to have his buildings made today. Just as Shakespeare would want people to read his work. Any variation is still Shakespeare(West side story even. Although not my favorite.) Wright may have seen in his lifetime many of his works unfullfilled to his expectations due to clients budgets or tastes.(fawcett house has tan concrete floor not red and Fallingwater never got its gold leaf).
SDR is SO correct about the execution of the designs. So many different masons and laborors of different talents and ability finalise the work..not wright himself. He Wright were the construction worker then the Reproduction of a Picasso argument may be valid. But I think The designs/plans are like the notes of a symphony on the page. Could last through the ages and played at a later time. Would beethoven object to his work being broad cast on something unbelievable such as RADIO? Maybe he would dislike the ringtone version. Maybe not?Perhaps today its the same. It could be done better or worse.The execution. These are the standards to measure if its a true Wright or not. Not if a design is made in his lifetime.
Are we to say The novel Les Miserables by Victor Hugo is not a true novel because the author is dead? The work can be re printed and can live forever. Im sure Mr wright would love to have copies of his work.(As long as he could be given the credit...and the cash) He always made of point of telling the world what was his and what was not. He would would be saying that these legacy houses were HIS... And... Wheres my check?
I agree wholly that the work on paper represents the true treasure. Each built work can at best be an approximation of the aim of the architect. Yet each of these is, of course, a treasure too -- and the "proof" of the work in each case, some better realized than others. It was the architect's aim to see, even if briefly, that proof of his ideas, and it seems to have been his aim from first to last to see as many of them as possible. He was always ready to build. And no amount of study of the drawings can satisfy the desire to see the work realized "in the flesh."
I recognize that some find the idea of (re)building Wright repugnant, perhaps for reasons not wholly able to be articulated. I value that point of view, yet I enjoy the contemplation of what seems an obvious and understandable desire, to continue -- to perpetuate ? -- the work of the architect.
Some scholar will one that go through the body of work and note which projects he labored over, which ones he delegated, which ones were executed to his satisfaction, and which one's weren't. Maybe then we'd have a core collection of his very best built work.
This is akin to a process art historians use to ID paintings by a Master vs those by his students or followers.
Of course, Wright worked to find the essence and utility of any new material he was exposed to; but we can not presume to select among the myriad of materials invented since 1959 which ones he would use, where or how?
My idea of Wright is not utility, but art. Not everyone who builds needs a roof over the head of their family. I would rather see Pauson constructed faithfully in a museum courtyard, than not at all.
I dare say that Deke has a good point -- it heads in the right direction, at any rate, in my opinion. But we must remember that for some, worship is the only possible stance. . .
Purity does not exist. (Tallulah said of herself, "I'm as pure as the driven slush.") The qualitative assessment of FLW's art and adherence of the construction to the plan of the master is an intellectual parlor game with no absolute resolution. One might go commission by commission, examining every detail, and determine whether it was done as FLW wanted it done (evidence is that Boynton was thusly constructed), changed by an apprentice on site (Geiger did some remodeling of the Zimmerman master bedroom) or in the drafting room (Bulbulian was mauled before it left Taliesin), changed by a client (the nortorious Mabel Ennis comes to mind), compromised by recalcitrant demands of the code Nazis (Kansas City Community Christian Church had to change its basic construction method), built by a clueless contractor (Sam Freeman was finished by a high school student) or a combination of unfortunate events (Hollyhock House was beset by many problems). Parsing all those details would be a daunting task, to be sure, and possibly not all that rewarding. Tracking down every misplaced comma in the works of Shakespeare, or even determining which of the 18 spellings of Shakespeare is valid, wouldn't add much to the work, would it?
To disregard work executed after an artist's death would be unfortunate. Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue's masterpiece, the Nebraska State Capitol Building, constructed after Goodhue's death, would then be suspect. There are instances where it's all too obvious that a project was better left unbuilt, but it's not impossible to construct something with due respect to the original intent. But it must all be evaluated case by case.
If one has a Usonian and swaps out the glass for double or triple pane, does that make it less a Wright house?