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Article: 'Where does FLW's genius come from?'

 
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 6438
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:40 pm    Post subject: Article: 'Where does FLW's genius come from?' Reply with quote

Where Does Frank Lloyd Wrights Genius Come From?


David
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pharding



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
Posts: 2210
Location: River Forest, Illinois

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That article is nothing more than feminist rewriting of history to suit the author's bias.

This is what actually made Frank Lloyd Wright. Above average intelligence, Louis Sullivan, ambition and drive, hard work and perseverance, nurturing mother, charm, good looks, strong interpersonal skills, risk taking personality, great marketing intuition, longevity, repeatedly being in the right intellectual place at the right time, not bound by the norms of society, supreme self confidence, yielded the greatest architect in world history.
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Paul Harding FAIA Owner and Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, the First Prairie School House in Chicago | www.harding.com | LinkedIn
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15713
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good list. How about talent ? Does anyone here think Wright wouldn't have got anywhere without Louis Sullivan ? I don't.

The question posed is "Where did Wright's genius come from ?" Can anyone answer that question, for any individual ? The author didn't, and genius is
absent from the above list of traits and advantages as well. Perhaps it's the single unknown quantity -- we "know it when we see it," but defining it, and
its source, is perhaps beyond us.

I'm most interested in Wright as a designer. After all is said and done it's the work that makes the man -- or defines him, at any rate. Anyone can
write about works of art, before or after the fact, including the author of that work. "What a man does -- that, he has," was Wright's take on the matter,
and truer words were never spoken. Wright's work, on paper and later, often, on the ground, define him -- for me.

All the positive attributes cited by Paul only made possible the fruition of that genius.

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8293

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I reject that, SDR. As much as Sullivan contributed to FLW, he was far from the foundation for all of FLW's achievements. Read the first part of An Autobiography, and the early memory of following his uncle through the snow. Frank had "it" from the beginning. He knew to go to Sullivan, after he had already learned all he needed to know from Silsbee. If H.H. Richardson had lived in Chicago, he might well have sought employment with him rather than Sullivan. In effect, FLW was an opportunist, doing whatever advanced his career.

Wright said that once the public has labeled you a genius, they are through with you. Genius is indescribable ... at least beyond the obvious ... and does not play as important a role as generally thought. Thomas Edison famously stated that success is 10% genius and 90% sweat. But as you say, it's one ingredient in the pot. Ray Charles said that you could know everything about music, but if you couldn't perform it, it wouldn't do you much good. I would define genius as the innate quality that turns mastery of craft into art.

I agree with Paul that this article is for the most part irrelevant. The women in FLW's life were not the motive for anything he accomplished any more than the men.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15713
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you got tripped up in my double negative, RG; I agree with everything you said.

To be clear, I do not think that Wright would have got nowhere without Sullivan. His real tutor was nature itself: the universal principles of geometry.

SDR
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pharding



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
Posts: 2210
Location: River Forest, Illinois

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FLW always rose up to a great opportunity with an incredibly great architectural work. This entailed a great effort for Unity Temple. He said that he did 23 schemes for that project, as I recall, in order to arrive at something incredible. I worship at Unity Temple on most Sundays and the building is mind boggling in terms of how well it is done. The recent restoration is amazing and it brought out the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright.
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Paul Harding FAIA Owner and Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, the First Prairie School House in Chicago | www.harding.com | LinkedIn
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JimM



Joined: 06 Jan 2005
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed, the original presentation drawings for Unity indicated brick and concrete inside and out with intricate interior detailing akin to the contemporanneous Larkin light court colonnades, rather than wood trimmed plaster. Had the congregation the budget, there might today be essentially a mini-Larkin, and arguably not as important an addition to the works considering the "low-budget" masterpiece it is.

One thing is for sure; Wright was obviously eager for the opportunity to replicate and refine the articulation of the corner volumes. With Unity however, their use for accessing the auditorium and inter-level traffic was much more an integral part of the design while at Larkin, other than their effect on the exterior, they were simply stairwells. We do owe John Larkin thanks for agreeing to the extra $25,000 Wright requested for this major improvement, $600,000 today! Just the cost of genius.....
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8293

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the finest elements of Unity Temple design is the location of fenestration. While the windows and skylights provide glorious lighting, they are, but for narrow slits here and there, above the eye level of the congregants, peripheral lighting, allowing the focus of attention to be elsewhere, principally on the minister.
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