John Geiger Database : : Taliesin Fellowship population

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Mark Hammons
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:30 am

John Geiger Database : : Taliesin Fellowship population

Post by Mark Hammons »

For those who are interested, I have created a temporary sandbox web site to display a series of database queries composed originally by John to show in a simple list who was resident in the Taliesin Fellowship in the years between 1932 and 1959.

[There are still a few corrections to be made to the underlying data (and display of the married name permutations that John recorded), but generally this has shaped up well. The next step will be an extended view, which incorporates biographical notes, citations, etc.]

http://sandbox.organica.org/JGDBFULLProcIndex.html

There will be many more examples of his search queries to come, and in the end an interface to allow user composed searches. If you would like to read more about the content of the database, here's a general description:

http://jgonwright.net/jgdb1.html

Mark Hammons

KevinW
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:41 pm

Post by KevinW »

If an apprentice was on the job site supervising construction during a period, they will not show on the list for that year it appears?
KevinW

Mark Hammons
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:30 am

As Far As I Know

Post by Mark Hammons »

These dates were generated in several ways. The first push was through being copied on Bruce's 1988 effort to capture Apprentice data. The second was through the two biographical questionnaires that were sent out during the 1990s via the JTF. Third, John corresponded directly with various Apprentices who supplied information from their memory, including Elizabeth Kassler.

In response to your question, I can only note that John shows himself as resident in the Fellowship during the time he was supervising the construction of the Zimmerman house. My best guess would be that he did the same with everyone else as far as he knew -- I think this is intended to be members of the Fellowship, whether they were away on client business or not.

Mark

KevinW
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:41 pm

Post by KevinW »

The reason for my comment is that I noticed that Bob Beharka was listed only for 1954 through 1955. Between 1955 and 1961 he was supervising construction of Llewellyn Wright, Marden and Fawcett houses, leaving the fellowship after Fawcett was complete to start his own office. Perhaps just an error since these 3 projects were consecutive.
KevinW

Paul Ringstrom
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Mark Hammons,

Correct me if I am interpreting these lists properly.

Based on my search for 1959: There were 106 apprentices (plus, FLW, OLW and ILW) on-site at either Taliesin or Taliesin West during that year?

This seems like a lot of people.

I had always heard that somewhere between 30 and 60 was a normal year.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

Mark Hammons
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:30 am

Much appreciated

Post by Mark Hammons »

I appreciate everyone's help in spotting such issues. That was my motivation in making this post.

When John died in 2011, these data tables were stuck in a DOS software application called DataEase. John had tried to move the data forward into a Windows version, but the conversion caused him to lose much of the existing structure so he left it in DOS ("I wasn't going to break it to fix it.") When I extracted the data through a very elaborate process (the old program could only export to long defunct formats, which also had to be converted at least once or twice again through other only slightly less defunct formats), I noticed that date fields were, in particular, getting distorted.

This came about because DataEase allowed "fuzzy dates" (e.g. ??/??/19-whatever), and of course current date formats do not. There are 4,468 records of individuals in the biographical table. 1,349 of these were associated with Mr. Wright either at Taliesin or in Oak Park. More than 500 were Apprentices, though that number increases if you count certain categories John devised to sort them.

I have by hand corrected the date fields where necessary, and may have missed a few. Turns out that John did not enter the death date for Bob Beharka (John was just starting his radiation treatment when Bob died), in another column, and that lapse dropped the dates you mention. I will fix that now, and I thank you for the assist.

(and thanks for telling me about his work on the Fawcett house, which Art Dyson has so beautifully restored).

As for the number of people at Taliesin in any given year, I heard during the time I was there that sometimes in the later years of Mr. Wright there were sometimes 100 people or more in the Fellowship. I forget who said it to me, but one of Seniors told me that it could seem crowded. I do not know these numbers for a fact, beyond what John recorded. His dates include family, musicians, artisans, and anyone else who was part of the community. In the end, this is what he entered from his research. My effort is to keep his achievement from being extinguished. Again, thanks for these comments. Everything helps me finish this for his collection at the University of Minnesota Libraries, where it will remain on-line.

Mark Hammons

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

When I applied to the Fellowship in 1962, someone told me there were about 80 people there at the time. That could have been Olga, herself, but I don't recall.

Mark Hammons
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:30 am

Strange

Post by Mark Hammons »

I sort of vaguely recollect it was Minerva who told me that toward the end there were more than 100, one afternoon sitting in her office going over her database and comparing it with (gasp, I just realized) the data John gave the Fellows for their mailing list in 2000. 17 years later here I am still dealing with the same data. Life is strange.

SDR
Posts: 19311
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Thanks so much for your efforts, Mark. "Better to be part of the solution, than part of the problem," to paraphrase an old civil rights warrior . . . ?

SDR

DRN
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

keywords: John Geiger, List, database, apprentice

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