Frank LINCOLN Wright

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peterm
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Post by peterm »

I realized I asked this before... Wouldn’t Eric Lloyd Wright know? Does anyone here stay in contact with him?

RA
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Post by RA »

Get that Henry Louis Gates Jr guy on it. He will figure it out.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

Jay, the Gill-Campbell battle is one reason I believe Gill had it in for FLW, as he did for Edgar Kaufmann and Louise Nevelson, both of whom got similar "I smile while I stab you in the back" obituaries. Gill and Campbell (no fan of Mr. Find Your Bliss am I) worked at the New Yorker at the same time, and more than once almost came to blows. It seems he used obits to take his revenge on persons who did 'm wrong. I don't know why he disliked Nevelson, though I do know she did not suffer fools gladly. His smarmy writings are a good reason to discount his credibility in all things.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

In "Many Masks" Gill seems to take pleasure in showing Wright in a poor light; he finds unflattering photos of the architect, including these two.
The second image is not the only courtroom-scene photograph in the book . . .


Image


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Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

It must be admitted that FLW's sartorial choices set him up for criticism.

DRN
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Post by DRN »

As a follow on to Roderick's comment about Kaufmann and Gill, and Gill's accuracy in writing (or storytelling?).

From the February 17, 1990 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette p.21:
Even though he was an historian, Edgar Kaufmann Jr. went to his grave at age 78 last year with family secrets, Brendan Gill writes in the March Architectural Digest about the Kaufmanns and Fallingwater. Gill wonders why Kaufmann left Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio Taliesin in less than a year, suggesting a homo-s-e-x-ual love affair there may have triggered it. He writes Edgar's mother committed suicide "with a rifle shot a few yards downstream from the house." Thomas M. Schmidt, Fallingwater director, said yesterday, "Edgar's friends are incensed at Gill. He raises issues, Edgar's homo-s-e-x-uality and his mother's death, that were extremely sensitive to Edgar and never discussed. Gill has now savaged Frank Lloyd Wright, philosopher Joseph Campbell, whom Gill called a 1930s fascist, and Edgar, who are no longer here to defend themselves. Gill is wrong about Liliane Kaufmann's suicide. She died in the house of a pill overdose, according to two servants who removed her body from her bed. Neither Gill nor Architectural Digest checked with us on this." Edgar Tafel, New York architect in charge of building Fallingwater for Wright, said yesterday, "I've always heard Mrs. Kaufmann died of pills. If it had been a shot we would have known it. Edgar left Taliesin because he decided he was not going to be an architect. Gill stretches the truth. When Gill started his architecture column at The New Yorker, Edgar told me gloatingly he loved to gloat that he wrote the editors so Gill would see his letter, saying, 'I see you've hired the Louella Parsons of architecture.'

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

It is also worth noting that, while Gill was still employed by the New Yorker at the time of Edgar's death, Gill wrote the obit for Architectural Digest ... or as it is sometimes referred to, Architectural Disgust. Apparently the New Yorker wouldn't publish what Gill had written?

Reidy
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Post by Reidy »

Franklin Toker, in his book on Fallingwater, says that Liliane didn't commit suicide at all, but rather died of an accidental overdose. Doctors used to be very loose with sleeping pills and didn't adequately warn patients of the risks.

DRN
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Post by DRN »

It was not uncommon for doctor prescribed medication to be taken at irregular times causing dosing issues or to have unintended or unexpected interactions with alcohol. A relative of mine accidentally died some years before I was born due to dosing or alcohol interaction issues.

From what I have read, weekends at Fallingwater included cocktails.

JChoate
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Post by JChoate »

Well, for something completely different, Meryl Secrest (in her biography of Wright) casually mentioned that Liliane shot herself with a rifle.

Image

SDR
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Post by SDR »

"Spectacular lack of awareness" has a certain ring to it -- but could it be said of Wright ?

I suspect it could be said that he chose to ignore certain conventions and inconveniences . . .focusing on the now and the future rather than the past ?

But it's an old man's privilege, if not unavoidable duty, to look back as well as forward -- if only to warn the young(er) of unexpected bumps in their path . . .

SDR

SDR
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Post by SDR »

It's not easy to shoot yourself with a rifle -- is it ?

S

DRN
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Post by DRN »

One must place the rifle vertically on the ground and stand over the muzzle or have extraordinarily long arms.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

So this is weird. Who are we believing, here . . .

SDR

DRN
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Post by DRN »

I suppose the title of this thread might want to be amended to “Frank LINCOLN Wright & Historical Accuracy in the Publishing of Biographies�.

If Secrest took Gill as gospel on the middle name, maybe she followed suit on the circumstances of Liliane K.’s death. I believe verification of this would be searchable via a death certificate on file in either Fayette or Allegheny County Pennsylvania. I seriously doubt a coroner, even in the 1950’s dealing with a locally powerful family, would fudge a death certificate to the change a gunshot to an overdose....or not? I recall a docent at FW noting that Liliane was found unconscious in her bedroom and was driven to a hospital in Pittsburgh, where she died, as EJ was concerned about the quality of care available in Mill Run or Uniontown on a weekend evening.

It would be ironic if the Fallingwater gift shop’s extensive selection of books for sale includes books that tell a story that differs from their understanding or knowledge of actual events.

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