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eBay: Letter signed by Frank Lloyd Wright
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 17887
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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
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Reidy



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 1523
Location: Fremont CA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 17887
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3782
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 17887
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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
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jay



Joined: 02 May 2016
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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?
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3782
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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



Joined: 02 May 2016
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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!
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m.perrino



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 17887
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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

https://www.arts.gov/article/frank-lloyd-wright-foundation-scottsdale-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
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m.perrino



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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 !
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 17887
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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/viewtopic.php?t=11649&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=stationery&start=15&sid=ba25ea5c192eab2cf12fc96223e8ee9c

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

S
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 9342

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 17887
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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
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jmcnally



Joined: 24 Apr 2010
Posts: 863

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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