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sondern house and thomas hart benton

 
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 881
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:08 pm    Post subject: sondern house and thomas hart benton Reply with quote

I ran across the fact that the important American artist Thomas Hart Benton lived and painted in a house that was next door to FLW's Sondern House.
Benton moved into the house in Kansas City in 1939 and lived there until his death in 1975. Wright designed the Sondern House in that watershed year of 1939, with its construction taking place in 1940.

https://artistshomes.org/site/thomas-hart-benton-home-studio-state-historic-site

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/story-behind-thomas-hart-bentons-incredible-masterwork-1-180953405/

A wikipedia article says Wright spoke with neighbor Benton, offering to design for him a new studio.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Sondern_House

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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3513
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recall reading an account of a Taliesin Fellowship evening at the Sondern house soon after its completion in 1939-40....not sure which book it was in, possibly Besinger's. The Fellowship, Wright included, ate dinner with the Sondern's then the Felowship and their hosts walked over to Thomas Hart Benton's studio for drinks and further conversation.

Speaking of the Clarence W. Sondern's, I recently learned that after they sold their FLW home in Kansas City in the later 1940's, they moved to a small farm in the hamlet of Bernardsville, NJ to be closer to New York City. One wonders if the Sonderns knew of the Christie house in Bernardsville which was built at the same time as their Wright house in KC. The Christie's sold their house in 1949.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15938
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan correctly recalls Besinger's remarks (p 116 of "Working with Mr Wright), though "drinks and further conversation" are not specified. An additional
comment, there: "The Sondern house was one of the smallest of the Usonians, and probably the best in quality of construction. I don't know how we all
fitted into the living room for dinner." Elsewhere, Besinger notes that Jack Howe supervised construction of Sondern.

SDR
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