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While I am somwhat familiar with Mr. Smith's work as an artist, I was unaware that he spent time as an apprentice to FLW in the late 1930's. Does anyone here know more about Tony Smith's time at Taliesin? If so, I'd be interesed to learn more.
Here's the link to the story:
Looks like, from the information i am reading, that he spent 2 years at Georgetown (unknown dates), 4 years ('31-'35) with the Art Students League; '37-'38 at the New Bauhaus (that must be have been his intro to the Midwest), and was in the Fellowship for less than a year: April, 1939-Jan. 1940.
I don't know anything else because I've never gone looking for correspondence related to him since I'd never heard the connection before. I looked at Wikipedia, but that was a repeat of the blueverticalstudio page (or that page is a repeat of parts of the Wiki article).
Couldn't agree with you more. Any true individual could never function for long in what, honestly, was a somewhat oppressive environment-except to hold out as long as possible for the opportunity to experience architectural genius. IMO, some people prefer to be led, and a longer length of time in the Fellowship actually impacted designs negatively compared to those who struck out on their own.Paul Ringstrom wrote:It has always seemed to me that those who stayed for a relatively short period of time and were anxious to leave and make their mark on the world were the more successful of the "fellows."
I also think that had Olga not been able to heavily influence Wright at a difficult time for him with her own cult experiences, things may have ended up very differently. Frank surely liked the deity he ended up being treated as, but it did not have to become more so of what Olga wanted.
That's the common agreement from the people I've talked to (although Lautner is the exception, what with 6 years in the Fellowship).It has always seemed to me that those who stayed for a relatively short period of time and were anxious to leave and make their mark on the world were the more successful of the "fellows."
I knew there was at least one notable exception to my comment but I couldn't think of it at the time. Now I remember reading that fact at the recent Lautner exhibit and was shocked at the time.
I think we can agree that of all of the apprentices that became "famous" Lautner's work was the least derivative.
Speaking of derivative... I think it could be successfully argued that Wright's Usonian work was derived from Schindler's and Dow's previous work.
Alden Dow's early work is very Usonian in its principles. These houses were built using his own "unit-block" system. There is a housewalk every year in Midland, MI on the first Saturday of October where several of his houses are open. They change every year. I would highly recommend it.TnGuy wrote: The more I see and learn (and very much like) about Schindler, the more I am reaching the same conclusion. -David
I was able to get into a Dow Legacy house (not on the tour) that was built just a few years ago, for a friend of the Dow family, that was the most wonderful small Usonian that you ever could have imagined.
To me, it's more obvious to see Wright taking Usonian cues earlier (1920's) from Schindler. I'll have to learn more about the Wright-looks-to-Dow connection. Is there a "definitive" book on Dow?
Couldn't it be argued, though, that Wright already had a 'unit block' system prior to Dow with the California homes, which he (Wright) referred to as his "first Usonians"?Paul Ringstrom wrote:Alden Dow's early work is very Usonian in its principles. These houses were built using his own "unit-block" system.
Second Dow's block was 100% different from either of Wright's textile blocks (of which he had two distinct types: rebar joints and mortar joints).
There are only two readily available books on Dow:
Alden B. Dow: Midwestern Modern by Diane Maddex (2007)
Architecture of Alden B. Dow by Sidney K. Robinson (1983)
I have read the Robinson book and would recommend it. Sidney Robinson is currently an instructor at the Taliesin architecture school.