Article: Tour of Hollyhock House

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: 19801
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Discussion of Hollyhock armchairs on this thread: http://savewright.org/wright_chat/viewt ... 9982#69982

Where will I find a photo of these chairs ?

SDR

SDR
Posts: 19801
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Is this the chair ?

Image

Looks most comfortable. Are we sure that this a FLLW design ? It would be quite unusual -- Wright's only fully-upholstered
chair design, I think.

Could Lloyd have done this ? Schindler ?

SDR

Reidy
Posts: 1604
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 3:30 pm
Location: Fremont CA

Post by Reidy »

He used a nearly the same design at the Imperial Hotel: http://rubens.anu.edu.au/htdocs/laserdi ... /35100.JPG (foreground, far right and far left).

Virginia Kazor recounted that when Lloyd came back for the mid-70s restoration he insisted the chair wasn't original because "my father would never design anything as ugly as that."

SREcklund
Posts: 818
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:24 pm
Location: Redondo Beach, CA

Post by SREcklund »

That's the one. Insert "comfortable" for "ugly" and he'd be closer to the truth. Here's a shot of another upstairs in master bedroom - believe this one is a reproduction; one of the three in the living room is original.

Can't speak for everyone at the house, but I wish Lloyd's shadow had never darkened the door ...

Image
Docent, Hollyhock House - Hollywood, CA
Humble student of the Master

"Youth is a circumstance you can't do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old." - Frank Lloyd Wright

SDR
Posts: 19801
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Yup -- looks like Lloyd's work. So, he would have provided the design for the Imperial chair, too ? Note significant differences between these photos and what appears on a Hollyhock drawing:


Image


The break line on the rear elevation seems to indicate options in width -- perhaps a love seat or sofa version of the design ?

Slight angles to seat and back, of both chair designs on the sheet, seem to indicate a more comfort-sensitive designer than the Old Man ? His Hollyhock dining chair has a perfectly flat seat and vertical back, I believe.

SDR

Reidy
Posts: 1604
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 3:30 pm
Location: Fremont CA

Post by Reidy »

Joel Silver ordered a sofa-width version of the design (left) as well as a straightforward copy of the original (center): http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/ ... bcd490.jpg

pharding
Posts: 2253
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: River Forest, Illinois
Contact:

Post by pharding »

Joel Silver purchased those two pieces from Atelier International. Hopefully they will offer them once again.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

SREcklund
Posts: 818
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:24 pm
Location: Redondo Beach, CA

Post by SREcklund »

pharding wrote:Joel Silver purchased those two pieces from Atelier International. Hopefully they will offer them once again.
I know that _someone_ created reproductions for Hollyhock ... Rod?
Docent, Hollyhock House - Hollywood, CA
Humble student of the Master

"Youth is a circumstance you can't do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old." - Frank Lloyd Wright

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10420
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

The chair was designed by Frank, Sr., both Barnsdall and Imperial. It was to have been built with wood trim running up the exterior front side of the arm, along the length of it and back down, with the side upholstered. There are no photos showing this tricky detail in place. It would seem the manufacturer chose to edit the design.

Joel's furniture was made for him by the same 'restorer' who tried to amp up the scale (Raphael, I believe his name was), not Atelier International, which did their work through Taliesin. Joel chose to go with the enhanced scale without the trim.

Stan, I agree with you: Lloyd was a bit full of himself, and did more to return the house to its 1946 incarnation, which was almost entirely his own work, than to restore the original. In 1968 a major restoration removed Lloyd's music room cabinetry. For the 70s work that Lloyd did, he restored his cabinets rather than the original Sr. cabinets at the north end of the room, for which measured drawings existed. His original landscaping was also ill-conceived. For the garden north of the dining room, he specified 29 hibiscus bushes, which, fully grown, obliterated the view of the north façade of the house. Although there isn't proof, it could as easily be Lloyd as RMS who designed the wood screen in the entry umbilical cord that blocked view of this forest of bushes, now thankfully removed.

SDR
Posts: 19801
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Roderick, what do you make of the drawing published in Mono 10 (above), which matches neither the built versions nor your description ? I love the subtle angles of seat, back, and arm -- but they're almost completely alien to my understanding of Wright's furniture designs . . .

SDR

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10420
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

The number of trials and errors at Hollyhock is excessive, unrealized drawings galore. Note the screen for Aline's room upstairs, Mono 10, directly above the drawing shown (partial plan, Mono 4/149, lower left). The couches went through several incarnations: See plans Mono 10, pages 10 (early) and 16 (as built); a third design reached blueprint stage. The chairs as built are almost in accordance with the (unpublished and undated) plan that FLW did, but without the wood trim.

While Hollyhock cannot be considered FLW's greatest work, it certainly is his most complex. It is the fulcrum at the center of his career.

SREcklund
Posts: 818
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:24 pm
Location: Redondo Beach, CA

Post by SREcklund »

Roderick Grant wrote:While Hollyhock cannot be considered FLW's greatest work, it certainly is his most complex. It is the fulcrum at the center of his career.
I think that's a big part of what has always attracted me to Hollyhock (beyond proximity). The house is a series of experiments - some spectacular successes, others magnificent failures. Wright was reinventing his architecture as he was reinventing himself - a new language for a new place and time. His willingness to experiment ... and if needed, to fail ... is what really sets it apart to me.
Docent, Hollyhock House - Hollywood, CA
Humble student of the Master

"Youth is a circumstance you can't do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old." - Frank Lloyd Wright

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10420
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees. On page 71 of Hoffmann's book is a photograph of the easy chair just as FLW designed it, with the wood trim intact. A close examination of the side (which is somewhat shadowy) shows that it was finished with upholstery, and that the wood trim showing along the top edge below the arm wraps around the back of the chair. I think the whole thing may have been ensconced in a wood box, so to speak, with upholstery tacked onto the wood. Why the wood was removed when the chairs were reupholstered (or when that happened), I don't know. But they should be restored. The trim makes that bit of wood at the base more sensible.

Iowegian63
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:03 pm

Post by Iowegian63 »

Roderick, don't you think the multiple drawings and unrealized plans are a reflection of Aline Barnsdall's issues with Wright and his designs, and the power of the purse and her ability to ultimately say "no?"

This is one of the things that has always intruiged me, Wright was able to convince so many clients, many who were powerful industrialists or businessmen (Darwin Martin, Frederick Robie, and post Hollyhock, the Kaufmanns and Johnsons) into buying into his vision for their house. But at Hollyhock, due to his being in Japan through most of the process, he wasn't able to apply his undeniable charm on Aline, or she was having none of it, thus the results were mixed.

SDR
Posts: 19801
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Looking for the photo with chair, online (good luck), I find this page:

http://www.urbipedia.org/index.php?title=Casa_Barnsdall

If the section drawing -- through the living room, with chimney on right ? -- is accurate, it does a lot to justify the formal composition, namely the housing of a tent ceiling within a battered-shoebox exterior form. Indeed, it explains the whole thing, to me. A ceiling plane is not indicated in the drawing -- but where else could it be than on the underside of the X-shaped "truss" . . . ?

SDR

Post Reply