Images of the work of the late John H. Howe

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Eric Saed
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Location: Minne-sO-tah Norwegian living in exile in Lubbock, Texas

Images of the work of the late John H. Howe

Post by Eric Saed »

This is a long time coming, but, I finally got around to posting some shots I've taken of John H. Howe houses.



This will be a work in progress as this barely scratches my collection.



Enjoy: http://www.flickr.com/gp/18424556@N00/4S6mC6

RJH
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Post by RJH »

I think I speak for everyone by saying thank you very much for positing the Jack Howe photos! The photos are amazing!



I was wondering if any of the designs/photos are of Mr. Howe

JimM
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Post by JimM »

I haven't even savored these yet, and wanted to get a big "thank you" out of the way! I've waited a long time to see more of his work.



Howe was arguably the only one truly qualified to continue the Masters work. If he had been given the opportunity to influence events, rather than the short period as the pencil in Olga's vicious grip, the saga would not have soured so quickly.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

My thanks, as well, Eric. I'll look at as many of these as you have the will to post.



I was lucky enough to see some of Mr Howe's drawings at a small show of Taliesin-trained architects, here in Northern California, about ten years ago. His color-pencil renderings are of the very best, and the mid-late work (?) I saw, ditto. But I have seen very little else of his work, so your photos inform me for the first time that Howe took the pleasure of exploring for himself some of Wright's earlier vocabularies, apparently.



We have so much to learn from all those who were inspired by the Old Man, for the individuality of their work illuminates not only their own contributions but sheds further light on Wright's as well. . .



I understood then that Mr Howe was a California resident. Is he still with us ?



SDR

John Edwards
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John Howe Biographical Information

Post by John Edwards »

John Howe (1913-1997) joined the Taliesin Fellowship of Frank Lloyd Wright, in Spring Green, Wisconsin, in 1932, becoming a charter member of the Fellowship and apprentice to Mr. Wright. Howe has often been called "the pencil in Mr. Wright's hand" for his lovely work on hundreds of architectural renderings. Howe remained at Taliesin until 1964 as one of the Taliesin Associated Architects, during which time he designed more than thirty structures throughout the United States. Howe moved to Minnesota in 1967 and opened an office which he maintained until his retirement in 1992. After retirement John Howe and his wife Lu Sparks Howe moved to California. He died in Novato, California on September 21, 1997. His collection of papers, drawings etc is in the library system at the University of Minnesota and consists of architectural materials and includes working drawings, renderings, prints, photographs, job files, contracts, correspondence and specifications for over 300 commissions, built and unbuilt.

DRN
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Post by DRN »

Thanks for posting these pics!

I hope a book of Howe's work post 1959 materializes someday. I had the pleasure doing a drive-by of Howe's Royston Cottage (1961-69) in the Philly 'burbs not long ago. It wasn't very visible, even with leaves off the trees, but what little I could see appeared to be on a steep hillside and based on a diamond or triangular module with elegant dentil detailing on the fascias. The fieldstone masonry was similar to FLLW's nearby Dudley Spencer house.



A list of Howe's projects can be found at the University of Minnesota website:

http://special.lib.umn.edu/findaid/xml/naa014.xml

SWSinDC
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Post by SWSinDC »

Perhaps it is too much to hope, but, assuming for the sake of argument that Howe's work was the best perpetuation of FLLW's design concepts, are there any apprentices or proteges of Howe that now carry that torch, two generations removed?

Eric Saed
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Post by Eric Saed »

SWSinDC wrote:Perhaps it is too much to hope, but, assuming for the sake of argument that Howe's work was the best perpetuation of FLLW's design concepts, are there any apprentices or proteges of Howe that now carry that torch, two generations removed?


To my knowledge, Howe had 3 apprentices in his Minnesota career. First was Mark Kawell, then Yoshiteru (can't remember his last name), and then Geoff Childs.



I traded correspondence with Geoff a few years ago, and had an opportunity to hear him participate in a roundtable discussion. His command of the tenets of organic architecture as practiced by FLLW and Howe is excellent. I've only seen drawings of his work, and it definitely bears the mark of Howe, but I have yet to see any of his work in person.



I've been in 4 or 5 homes designed by Mr. Kawell. He is a talented and creative architect, but, it is not "pure Wrightian organic" as we would probably define it.



I don't know anything about Yoshiteru

John Edwards
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Question

Post by John Edwards »

Do I recall correctly that Howe spent some time in jail during the second world war due to his conscientious objector status?

Eric Saed
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Re: Question

Post by Eric Saed »

John Edwards wrote:Do I recall correctly that Howe spent some time in jail during the second world war due to his conscientious objector status?


Correct.



Despite the incarceration, this was an incredible time for him creatively. There was a good article about his WWII years in Architecture Minnesota a few years ago.

DRN
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Post by DRN »

Though not an apprentice to Wright or Howe, an architect by the name of Kelly Davis, AIA at SALA Architects has a body of work which has the "feel" of Wright and Howe. In fact, Davis designed a renovation project for a house designed by Howe.

Check out his work at:

http://www.salaarc.com/frameset.html?lo ... esume.html



Click on the numbers at the top of his page to see his projects. His work is supurb.

KevinW
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Jack

Post by KevinW »

Lets not forget that between 1963 and 1967 both Jack and Lu worked for Aaron Green in San Francisco. When Olga appointed her dear follower J.R. to run the drafting studio, instead of Jack, they went to Aarons to see the Marin County project through. While Jack was clearly defined as a draftsman for Aaron, he did produce a few commissions of his own in Northern California. I got to see first hand while working for Aaron, some of Jacks renderings of Aarons designs. Spectacular to see, inspirational to touch.
KevinW

Eric Saed
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Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:52 am
Location: Minne-sO-tah Norwegian living in exile in Lubbock, Texas

Post by Eric Saed »

I added a few more shots. They include Mr. Howe's original "cottage" in the wooded hills across from Taliesin. It was featured in the infamous 1959 House Beautiful FLLW Heritage magazine. The house has been heavily modified, with a sympathetic (but not authentic) addition and interior changes. Still a neat place, though.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Thanks. Haven't found the cottage yet, but it's very interesting to see (at last) the Mondale house. I had learned (?) years ago that Mr Mondale had a Wright house; now it becomes clear that the news item was flawed.



Great stuff. More, more ! These excellent photos give a good flavor of each building, and its setting.



SDR

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