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Picturing Wright
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 671
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm betting it's in Italian.
I can't quite read it either, but I keep imagining it has something to do with this (perhaps a gift from his hosts ?):

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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 7412

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recall the third "Ed Sullivan" appearance of the Beatles in 1964. The audience was full of screaming girls, anxious to hear them, but first came a performance by the legendary Cab Calloway singing "Minnie The Moocher." The giddy girls were completely perplexed; they had no idea who this old (56) man was, even though there's an argument to be made that without the likes of Calloway (and Ethel Waters), the history of popular music would have been so different that the Beatles might never have evolved. Calloway's performance of "St. James Infirmary Blues" is one of the greatest recordings of all times.
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SpringGreen



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 461

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:58 pm    Post subject: Oar Lock Reply with quote

My understanding was that FLW picked it up when he visited Italy with the "60 Years of Living Architecture" exhibit in 1951 (somewhere along the line I came to know that it was through students of Carlo Scarpa). The carving on the base of the Oar Lock says, "GLI. STUDENT ARCHITTECTI DI VENEZIA IL 22.6.1951".
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"The building as architecture is born out of the heart of man, permanent consort to the ground, comrade to the trees, true reflection of man in the realm of his own spirit." FLLW, "Two Lectures in Architecture: in the Realm of Ideas".
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14141
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gli, in Italian, is "the."

S
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 671
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just ran across this photo by Alan Weintraub (in "Prairie Houses"). It shows more fully the musical instrument about which SDR inquired.
The crack in the plaster to the right of the oarlock is unfortunate, presumably now repaired(?)

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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14141
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you. A harmonium -- and a T-square in the usual pattern, like the ones we all had at one time, before the parallel edge replaced them ? And the blessed oarlock, looking like Noguchi or maybe Brancusi . . .

SDR
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 671
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took this close up the other day for the record:
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 671
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, while inspecting the oar lock inscription up close, I saw that the harmonium is still in its place to the left, however, someone has switched out the periodicals on the right. The Chinese costume exhibit program (which appeared in DRN's photo link) has been replaced by an assortment of French offerings (which seems a little less Wrightian).

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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14141
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. Are we to assume, nevertheless, that these materials were all in the possession of Mr Wright, in this room, when he occupied it ?

SDR
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 671
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR wrote:
Quote:
Interesting. Are we to assume, nevertheless, that these materials were all in the possession of Mr Wright, in this room, when he occupied it ?

I assume so. There is lots of ephemera about, which makes the spaces feel wonderfully authentic.
The library area (beyond the studio space) contains a few shelves of books and some interesting objects. I noticed a pair of antique Chinese sculptures of ducks. I had recalled seeing them in the portrait Guerrero says was the last photo he took of Wright before his death, (which he took at Taliesin West).



Guerrero's last portrait:
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 671
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zooming into the bookshelf below the ducks, a few titles are visible.
There's an incongruent, latter day "Norton Anthology of English Literature" which I recognize as the same one I had in high school.
Of note is what appears to be a Russian title on the left end, which I am unable to identify (not knowing the Cyrillic alphabet). It reminds me of the presence of Stalin's daughter. Connection or coincidence?



Last edited by JChoate on Wed May 31, 2017 10:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 882
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Living with works of art was always one of the great joys of life at Taliesin.

The "ducks", for instance ... are old friends. Bruce occasionally placed them on the big table we shared, as a desk, in the Studio at Taliesin, along, more frequently, with a damaged foot tall buxom "female" statue from India. I treasure the photos Bruce took of the two of us .... she and me.

In the office at Taliesin West, on the window ledge above my desk, was a Pre-Columbian head. Bruce always insisted that it bore an uncanny resemblance to Edgar Kaufman, Jr, and in saying that he wasn't far from the truth.

Early on I had a particularly personal relationship with a four-foot tall wooden Bodhisattva, which for the past few years has been displayed on a table at the far end of the Garden Room at Taliesin West. If I hadn't inquired, when I did, it would have ended up unloved in some far away art collectors home, as it was going to be given away by an auction house for the ridiculous price of $400.00.
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 671
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting, Rood. Thank you for sharing those memories with us.

The Ducks are now in Spring Green, but were at T West in 1959. Was/is it common for art & ephemera like that to be moved from one site to the other? I suppose Mrs. Wright may have moved things as she saw fit, but after she passed did things stay put or continue to move around from East to West?

(I'd still like to know what happened to the pork pie hats)
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Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 882
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other than the Bodhisattva, I don't know where things are now. Of course in the mid-60's the great bulk of Mr. Wright's art collection was hauled off to Los Angeles and New York City to be sold. Much of what remained was either built-in or somewhat less valuable. There were exceptions, of course, the portrait of Klimt's mother, and the Georgia O'Keefe among them.

Generally ... whenever the Fellowship moved ... all objects were put into storage in vaults for safe-keeping, but once, when Susan Lockhart stayed in Arizona during the summer, she caught two young men trying to run off with a small sculpture which had been built into a wooden wall near the entrance to the Cabaret Theatre. Indeed, one winter, a very large multi-armed Indian sculpture was stolen from the Theatre at Taliesin. A few of us suspect it's been hiding in some college frat house ever since.

Mr. Wright probably would have moved things back and forth from Taliesin to Taliesin West ... and back, again, but I rather doubt Mrs. Wright took that much interest in "ephemera". The last year the Fellowship spent the summer at Taliesin Montagnola, I remained in the desert. After the Fellowhips left, I spent several weeks cleaning up after their hurried departure, which is when I found the O'Keefe still lodged, forgotten, above the dining area next to the Garden Room. Eventually Bill Mims took the painting for storage to the vault in Phoenix, while on his way to supervise the Lykes House.

N.B: Can't help you with the Pork Pie Hats, but I do know that one particularly favoured apprentice was given some of Mr. Wright's ties by Mrs. Wright.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 7412

PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In an interview with Georgia O'Keefe, the painting that she had given to FLW was mentioned. She said, in a sour voice, "He could have given it back." By that time, the work was worth a fortune.

One can only wonder what "Fast Company" was about, or who Margo Page was. She doesn't even have a Wiki-page. I'm betting along the lines of Fanny Hurst, Mae Eddington or Barbara Cartland.

The French books could easily have been of interest to FLW. "Chartres" is considered by many to be the ultimate Gothic Cathedral (although I prefer Amiens). "Notre Dame" continues FLW's fascination with Gothic architecture and Victor Hugo. Even "Toulouse Lautrec," whose work bears similarities to the Secessionist paintings FLW owned, might have interested him.
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