Article: FLW: Anatomy of an Egotist

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DavidC
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Article: FLW: Anatomy of an Egotist

Post by DavidC »


Roderick Grant
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$700 or $1,000?

Post by Roderick Grant »

They should get together and coordinate their stories. Richard Gunderman claims tuition to the apprentice program was $700 (I think he is right). Jennifer Gray claims it was $1,000. $700 in 1932 dollars is now $13,120, and $1,000 is $18,740. (In 1962, when I applied, it was $2,000, or $17,000 adjusted, so it decreased by Gray's accounting.) But that was for a 12-month admission, including room, board and all other necessities. The school also had no more than 40 to 60 students - a healthy ratio compared to the ivy league schools - as well as access to the greatest architect of the time. It was like students of poetry being able to study with Shakespeare, or musicians with Beethoven.

Another thing to consider, Taliesin was rather casual about collecting fees. Shortly after arriving at Taliesin, Geiger told Gene Masselink he was short of money. Gene told him not to worry about paying, and John went on without paying anything at all. The same thing happened with Jim DeLong. If FLW liked what you did, he wouldn't worry about money.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Architecture students and recent graduates have long been accustomed to substandard wages, no overtime multiple (maybe a small meal chit after eight
hours), and other "love-of-the-art" sacrifices. But I doubt that any other master got his apprentices to pay him for the privilege of working under his roof .

Dr Gunderman is hardly the first to analyze Wright as an egoist, with all the demerits that accrue to that description . . . and he won't be the last. Needless
to say, that's only one side of Wright's character; the sorts of concern and generosity that appear in apprentices' accounts show another side to the man.

S

SDR
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Post by SDR »

In Rob Barros' new film, "John H Howe, Architect--Frank Lloyd Wright's Master of Perspective," Howe is heard saying that the
fee at the new Taliesin Fellowhip was $620---and entrants were to bring a saw, hammer, pocket rule, T square and triangle . . .!

S

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

I didn't bring any of those things, and was not told to. Perhaps 30 years on, they had acquired enough. I did, however, bring my tux and a sleeping bag. In 1962, 2 grand would not have gone far at Harvard or Yale, even for the 9 months of their school year.

I am not contending that FLW was not an egotist (or egoist, as you say), but that there are flaws in the casual ways Gunderson talks about certain subjects that indicate he has not put enough effort into understanding the patient he never met. It would appear, for instance, that "The Fellowship" was one source of information. Would that pass muster with you?

jay
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Post by jay »

There's a certain irony of Psychology Today focusing on a guy who's been dead for 60 years.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Heh. A lot of things changed at Taliesin---and everywhere else---between 1932 and 1962. In fact, there may have been more change, worldwide, in that thirty years than in any comparable span in the entirety of human civilization ?

It's never too late to examine, and reassess, an historic figure, is it ? And, certain current events have shown that there's a place for remote psychoanalysis, professional norms notwithstanding . . .

S

jay
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Post by jay »

In fact, there may have been more change, worldwide, in that thirty years than in any comparable span in the entirety of human civilization ?
There's a fascinating concept by James R Flynn that the growth of IQ over the past century is due to the "liberation" of abstract thinking from the primary concrete world of thought. He explains it better:
https://www.ted.com/talks/james_flynn_w ... anguage=en

It makes me wonder, if the human population experienced a collective inward growth, with its ability to disconnect from outward associations and reassemble them into purely mental constructs, is the collective "ego" growths of the corresponding generation(s) a byproduct of this internalization?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_generation

Maybe FLLW was just a bit ahead of his time. A highly abstract mind who struggled in humbling his self-perspective.... And perhaps a psychologist should show compassion towards a person's shortcomings instead of chastising them? Of course, you'd first have to conclude that toxic egoism is a sign of mental instability before coming to find empathy for its ugliness.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

No dead person should be subjected to a personality makeover by a psychologist who has not done due diligence. There is a lot of information about FLW available, and a lot of misinformation as well. Without reviewing what is available, and determining what is credible, evaluations of this sort should be dismissed, especially considering the writer's profession (which has its own credibility problems). Gunderson has written an article for pay, and that is all there is to get out of it, whether the end result is positive or negative. His not-so-subtle reference to Trump puts the seriousness of the entire exercise in doubt.

Historic characters are always judged and re-judged. But those judgments should be carefully evaluated. Things change, as you say, SDR. Morality, for instance, changes with the wind.

Sometimes, as a result of jumping to conclusions, condemnations cause ridiculous results. To wit: Since it has been (accurately) determined that John C. Calhoun was a villainous character because he owned slaves (like Washington and Jefferson), Minneapolis changed the name of Lake Calhoun, which had been bestowed in his honor in 1817, to the unpronounceable and historically questionable Bde Maka Ska. Or maybe it should have been Mde Maka Ska, or Mde Med'oza, or Heyate Mde, or the old WASP name, Lake Medoza. Anyway, something vaguely Dakota, Ioway or Baxoje to honor Native Americans who have not inhabited the area for over 150 years. That such a change violated state law meant nothing.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

I agree, jay. Recent studies have put into question the old assumption that Neanderthals were dimwitted, intellectually inferior to Homo Sapiens (Sapiens = wise). Apparently the demise of the Neanderthals, while not as complete as once thought (their DNA is found in all populations except sub-Saharan African), had more to do with other considerations.

To study historical characters is one thing. To judge them retroactively is another.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Right. "Judgement" is itself a loaded term, capable of being used as a pejorative alternate to "analysis" ?

S

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