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Merely studying the way he positioned plates, vases, and branches on the decks at Taliesin, and in his various houses is an artistic education, all by itself.
Seeing a photograph of a room decorated by Mr. Wright never fails to take my breath away. One of the greatest decorating jobs he ever did was for the little, private dining alcove located just inside the old Fellowship dining room in what is now the Hill apartment. As I recall the colour photograph was featured in a magazine article back in the 1940's.
There is a photo of Taliesin West where Mr. And Mrs. Wright's breakfast is laid out, oranges sliced, etc. the sun streaming in... I can't remember exactly, but it seems like the photo was almost taken mid meal, with toast on the plates, pillows everywhere, sheepskins.
Does anyone know if that pic has been posted here? It is sublime in its elegant messiness and informality, yet everything seems to be located exactly where it should be. Genius...
In searching for the photo that I just mentioned, I found this which I've never seen before. T West, still unpainted, at an Easter gathering:
One thing about digital books that I wonder about is size. I have some huge books and portfolios on art and architecture that, whittled down to the size of a Kindle, would lose a lot. Imagine lugging a 17"x26" Kindle onto the plane to enjoy Ausgefuhrte Bauten en route!
So what brought you to the house in the first place? When I went, I was expecting one of Wright's best designs.Who cared if Frank Lloyd Wright designed it? I was ready to encounter a dank and stale environment. I was wrong.
As much as I wanted to hate this old house on my first visit, I could not.
FLW's designs are timeless. I knew it would be beautiful, but it would still be a historic structure. I tend to be very sensitive to the energy of a thing or place, especially historic sites. I was not excited about acquiring a property with the possible negative energy that might be present in a 75 year old home that had had multiple occupants over the years.
But, apparently for all the reasons we love it, Usonian design keeps people happy!
Photographs do lie -- if they're published backward:
from a paperback edition of "The Natural House." Here's the correct orientation:
This photo is a perfect representative of the meaning behind Wright's comment, from the same book, to wit: "Yes, we must have polished plate glass. It is one of the things we have at hand to gratify the designer of the truly modern house and to bless its occupants." Only with polished plate do we have those perspective-perfect reflections of nature, and of the architecture !
Have glass makers forgotten how to make non-wavy glass or is it much more expensive.
Is it not possible to make insulated glass with two pieces of polished plate glass?
To the best of my recollection: the floor to ceiling glass in the Darwin Martin House Visitor Center does not have wavy glass.
But it did seem that the problem came on slowly. I'll look again at the Lever building in Manhattan, from the 'fifties. I don't expect the glass to be wavy at the Seagram building; Mies simply wouldn't have it, I'm sure . . . !
Touring the Farnsworth house, it's possible to see the original glass next to replaced glass (a worker recently accidentally put a hammer into a giant corner window!...) Even though the house is historic, they were required to replace with tempered glass for safety concerns.
There is just no comparison.
"The surface of tempered glass does exhibit surface waves caused by contact with flattening rollers, if it has been formed using this process. This waviness is a significant problem in manufacturing of thin film solar cells. The float glass process can be used to provide low-distortion sheets with very flat and parallel surfaces."
So, if you want a tempered glass without the El Cheapo wavy look, you've got to specify Float Glass. Did I get that right?
Also, sorta surprised to learn that the Farnsworth windows were not tempered in the first place.
I think I had always assumed that the wavy look was a recent thing, a consequence of the cheapening of material ingredients for market purposes and so not related to tempering.