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eBay: Copy of letter from FLW to W. Drummond

 
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 6439
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:58 pm    Post subject: eBay: Copy of letter from FLW to W. Drummond Reply with quote

Frank Lloyd Wright to William Drummond- Emotional Letter, c. 1911-12 (Photocopy)


David
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15863
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surprisingly I can read almost every word. Can you ? Maybe I should try to transcribe it while it's up . . .

SDR
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 3867
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR wrote:
Surprisingly I can read almost every word. Can you ? Maybe I should try to transcribe it while it's up . . SDR


That would be great because I can't read it and might want to buy it if I knew what it said.
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Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15863
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My dear William

Thank you. I will try Guenzel. I do not comprehend your note altogether except that I gather dimly that you are satisfied with your relation to me as
it is and would regard any expression of affection or regard from me with suspicion.

Anyhow, here's to you -- my boy. -- Be simple, and sincere, and honest with yourself [underlined] -- . It is the _______ virtue of the human heart
and the flower of the artist [sic] soul.

I loved you very much until I found the same thing in your mind and heart that has destroyed the love of master and pupil since the Middle-Ages.

You do not even know what it is William ! Your thought is too involved with William to see it yet, if ever -- Suffering is the [panacea] -- not "bitter
disappointment" [underlined] or resentment.

We poor humans fool ourselves out of the real prizes of life for a little mess of "oneself/ourselves" [underlined] seasoned to our taste especially if we
aspire to recognition as "artists" [underlined]. God save the m_____ ! What is the use . Strangely enough there are fifteen or sixteen of you -- all
children of mine who feel as you do and all have the same family resemblance ?

Each would claim the same exemption and lay hands on the same thing ! From John Van Bergen to "my dear William" there is only the difference in
ability which is far on the side of William in my opinion -- over the whole field.

If William would be honest with himself -- look the genealogy of his ideas in the face without fear or favor and in the humility that is the property of the
creative [underlined] soul -- be willing to serve -- then he might someday [command]. It is all between ones God and ones self. [sic]

None have any interest in the struggle.

Allons -- my son -- here's happiness to you and [love]. May you become a great artist. I shall know if you do. Nothing could please me more -- but
open the closed chambers of that egoistic, ingrowing, grasp of the life that is not -- for the sweet, genuine [giving] of the life that is [underlined] !

Do [underlined] ! I think of you as something stiff and not happy, turned in on himself for the vision that never comes from that direction. The real gist
of the message that was mine for you you have missed [underlined], as the others have. But it is no great matter, because the sap of love that marks
the artist as such is yours. You won't miss it much, for you will find it for your own.

Meantime the grasp for expedients [underlined] __ _______ arrive [underlined] stands across your pathway as ever they do and must. The
c____________ you must decide.

Sincerely as always, your Frank Lloyd Wright
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15863
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a very impressive provenance, if this is really Kelmscott gallery . . .?

SDR
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3491
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is Kelmscott.
The Xerox copy may be a "back up" Scott Elliot (gallery owner) had on file of an original letter he used to own, or that encountered for possible acquisition.

Any thoughts on the content of the letter? My take is that Drummond and Wright had a falling out...Drummond may have been chafing under Wright in the studio and felt it was time to leave the nest. Wright may have wanted to wish him well, but he still needed to ensure Drummond knew who was "master" or the "creative source"?
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8363

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"... rarest virtue of the human heart..."

"... panacea..." is correct.

"God save the ....work?" not sure about that.

"The compromise (?) you must decide."

(How often do you come across the use of "Allons"?)
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15863
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you think, Roderick ? Wright has asked something of William, and been turned down ? Is this 1909 rather than 1911 ?

After acknowledging the rejection, Wright spends the rest of the note alternately admonishing and encouraging Drummond . . .

If the dark rectangles, poorly photocopied, at the beginning and at the end of the letter are the remains of a letterhead of some kind,
perhaps that could be used to date the document ?

SDR
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15863
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15863
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who has written the most complete and reliable account of the period when Wright knew he was leaving Chicago, and was looking for someone to take care of the remaining work in the studio in his absence ?

Would he have approached Drummond ? Would Drummond in turn have suggested Louis Guenzel ?

Guenzel (1860–1956) had been a draftsman at Adler &Sullivan. In 1912 Guenzel joined Drummond in a partnership which lasted until 1915.

SDR
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3491
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahhh, you may be on to it SDR. That explains the mention and comparison of others in the studio. I recognized Van Bergen, but not Guenzel.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15863
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shall we try to parse portions of this letter ?

I offer this:


Strangely enough there are fifteen or sixteen of you -- all children of mine who feel as you do and all have the same family resemblance ?

Each would claim the same exemption and lay hands on the same thing !
i.e., my work From John Van Bergen to "my dear William" there is only the difference in ability which is far on the
side of William in my opinion -- over the whole field.

If William would be honest with himself -- look the genealogy of his ideas
or, where the ideas came from, i.e., me in the face without fear or favor and in the humility that is the property of the
creative [underlined] soul -- be willing to serve -- then he might someday [command]. It is all between ones God and ones self. [sic]



SDR
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 3867
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chronology

Spring 1909
-The City National Bank and Park Inn start construction

Fall 1909
-Wright leaves for Europe
-Wright leaves his practice to Mahoney and Van Holst
-Drummond comes to Mason City to supervise the ongoing construction of Wright's Hotel and Bank for approximately a year

Spring of 1910
-Drummond designs a spec house for J.G. Melson currently known as the G. Curtis Yelland house

Fall of 1910
-The hotel and bank are completed and open to the public
-Drummond returns to River Forest and sets up his independent architectural practice and also becomes the Town Planner for the next two decades.

Q: Why was Drummond working for Wright after he left for Europe?
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Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond
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Randolph C. Henning



Joined: 21 Aug 2005
Posts: 136
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or it could be simply that Wright was looking for draftsmen upon his return from Europe.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15863
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that would make perfect sense -- and it would align with the dates claimed by the seller.

I have copied the images of the letter.

SDR
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