eBay: Letter signed by Frank Lloyd Wright

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SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Both of them---or just the one ?

It's a shame---but perhaps inevitable---that Wrightians must contend with forgeries, now. We have already been alerted to likely fakery at a Chicago gallery specializing in Wrightiana, and more recently of questionable correspondence on the market.

http://wrightchat.savewright.org/viewtopic.php?t=11517

Vigilance, here and elsewhere, may be a first line of defense. Ultimately, what is our recourse ?

S

Reidy
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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 3:30 pm
Location: Fremont CA

Post by Reidy »

If this is important enough, one could check Alofsin's index to see if the letter got written at all and with the archives at Columbia or the microfiches at the Getty.

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

Post by SDR »

Well, I would say it's more important than, for instance, some boob offering for sale a student model of a modernist A-frame, supposedly from the 'sixties and
said to be "frank lloyd Wright" (and said to have been purchased at a Wright house sale in a city with no Wright building).

Perhaps the main task of those wishing to minimize the appearance for sale of bogus Wright objects would be to call out, as loudly as possible, a "gotcha !"---
if not on the site in question (I see prospective eBay buyers are not now invited to correspond with the seller), then here---and (better yet) in more widely-read
art-historical and general-interest media ?

Any other (and hopefully better) ideas ?

S

DRN
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

The second letter looks graphically and compositionally more correct to my eye...the first is visually odd and unfamiliar.
I suppose the best way to determine authenticity would be to verify it against the correspondence on file at either Columbia or the Getty. The Getty was and likely still is the go to for correspondence they have scans of it all...I believe Columbia has all originals (carbons of sent correspondence) and the drawings.

SDR
Posts: 19469
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Indeed. The second (smaller) note is more convincing on several fronts, from overall look down to spacing and vocabulary/syntax---isn't it ...

The creator of the probably fake example falls into the same trap as the maker of some falsely-credited drawings: intentional mistakes, here
in spelling/typing, intended to lend verisimilitude but only highlighting (for me) the suspicious intent of the effort.

S

jay
Posts: 284
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 pm

Post by jay »

Forgive me for indulging in a "theory-of-mind" exercise with the focus being a potential forger.....but why would someone go through all of the effort to forge a letter, including stationary, but then, instead of copying the full signature of the famous person, settle for only a first name signature? After all, isn't the signature the item of real value?

DRN
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

Pandering to the “Loving Frank� romance novel market perhaps? The “I miss our walks.� bit is on the more “intimate� letter signed “Frank�.

jay
Posts: 284
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 pm

Post by jay »

Oooohh! Yes I suppose that's plausible.... Gotta hand it to our hero "Frank"� what other architect, as an 85 year old guy, has a market for his fake love letters!

m.perrino
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:46 pm

Post by m.perrino »

IMHO the first letter is highly, highly suspicious. A. I have never seen FLW sign "Frank" to ANYTHING. Let's say Gene Masselink signed at Wright's direction. He would have never signed first name only, but following protocol of the time, signed FLW full name and next to it or just underneath, HIS INITIALS. B. See the " Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation" side script. I don't think the Foundation came into being until AFTER April 1959. First letter : BUNCO Second letter, less suspect - Taliesin Logo and full signature. I rest my case.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

I so want to believe that. But---but ...

https://www.arts.gov/article/frank-lloy ... ttsdale-az

Anyway, no. 1 is a fantasy, wrought by an idiot---apparently. He/she (we're supposed to say "they," now ?) could only have composed their (ouch) fake after seeing the real thing. What were they thinking ?

S

m.perrino
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:46 pm

Post by m.perrino »

Thank you SDR, I stand corrected, but I don't believe the term FLWFDN was in general use when referring to FLW until after his death. Also, the FLWFDN script seems out of place, forced, contrived. I'll take a "T" Square to those rascals.....HA HA !

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

Post by SDR »

Ouch ! (A dark day for young Mr Wright---and his co-workers ?) Yes, that sounds right. I have to confess I seem to recall seeing that legend on an earlier (for us) Taliesin letter. Is it here ?

http://wrightchat.savewright.org/viewto ... 6223e8ee9c

Yes---on a check, and then a letter.

S

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

Post by Roderick Grant »

SDR, the elimination of the anonymous pronoun is unfortunate, making syntax awkward and ungrammatical ... and it is unnecessary. If the pronoun used is the gender of the speaker or writer, there would be no problem.

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

Post by SDR »

Roderick, the issue arises when the gender of the subject or subjects is unknown, as happens frequently, of course.

I wonder how the problem is handled in other modern languages ...

S

jmcnally
Posts: 867
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:23 am

Post by jmcnally »

m.perrino wrote: I don't think the Foundation came into being until AFTER April 1959. First letter : BUNCO Second letter, less suspect - Taliesin Logo and full signature. I rest my case.
The Foundation says it was created by Wright in 1940: "Established by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1940, the Foundation is deeply committed to the preservation of Taliesin West in Scottsdale, AZ and Taliesin near Spring Green, WI."
https://franklloydwright.org/about-us/

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