Taliesin Associated Architects Archives

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DavidC
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Taliesin Associated Architects Archives

Post by DavidC »

Does anyone know whether the TAA Archives are still at T. West? Or, did they end up at the Avery Library at Columbia University, also?


David

PrairieMod
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Post by PrairieMod »

David,

The majority of it is still at TWest, though some projects were cherry-picked out and included in with what the Avery took. You'd have to reach out to the FLWF to see if they've fully catalogued it yet and how accessible it is.

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

Thank you, Eric. I appreciate you letting me know about the status of them.


David

DRN
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Post by DRN »

When I visited the Avery in May of 2019 to see the Sweeton and Spencer files (a visitor is permitted to see two files per session), I asked about TAA work. TAA work is at the Avery.

It was noted that the TAA files in AZ were in total larger than Wright's archive...larger drawing sets, many more repetitive prints, more shop drawings, correspondence etc., as one would expect with the modern practice of architecture. The Archives and Avery had to be selective about what was archived to avoid overwhelming storage space in NYC with tangential materials or insignificant work. All original drawings, particularly presentation and construction sets were archived of major projects and houses by TAA from 1959 to the dissolution of Taliesin Architects in the early 2000's, particularly those projects under the direction of former apprentices to Wright himself, or projects that involved alterations to Wright designed projects. Minor projects such as small utilitarian tenant fit-outs, or alterations to non-Wright or non-TAA work (bread and butter jobs in the later years, mostly worked on by students under TAA staff direction) were not archived at Avery.

https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/11596099

I have not yet found a TAA online catalog...it may be necessary to reach out to the Avery archivists to help with your search.

The folks at Avery welcome those interested in research of the Wright archive. I have been there and two of my clients have gone as well and found the experience very rewarding.
Contact information for the Archive is here:
https://library.columbia.edu/libraries/ ... right.html

DavidC
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Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Post by DavidC »

Thanks, Dan. I was mostly curious in wondering if T. West had held on to any TAA Archives - or, had chosen to go 'completely out of the business'. I guess all that has happened w/ the School closing, the Archives no longer there and, the residents 'aging-out' -- has me wondering what the future of the all of the facilities will be - if anything - beyond a tourist trap? And, what becomes of the land and surrounds - could they be in jeopardy next time a flush of cash is needed?

It's all hindsight, but it seems like so much more could have been done to maintain the life and future for Taliesin.


David

DRN
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Post by DRN »

It is my understanding the Taliesins will remain house museums and will serve to some extent as venues for immersive K-12 educational programs and adult seminars.
I haven't heard anything about the land surrounding TWest...the desert, the shelters, the Senior Apprentice houses. The UNESCO Heritage Site status, I'm sure, puts some stipulations on the land holdings, but I suspect the apprentice shelters, BBP's house, David Dodge's house, and the Lockhart house, all on the campus, are not part of the UNESCO designation. All will require maintenance as time goes on, which will take revenue from the primary focus of preservation of the buildings by Wright.

BBP's house would make a for a great overnight stay, and DD's house would work well for entertainment and receptions...just saying.

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

Actually, David Dodge's house is not on T. West property. We had the chance to tour it some years back (w/ Effie Casey and David Dodge) and were told that his property abuts the T. West property, but is separate from it. It's a fantastic home. Do you know if DD did much in the way of other residential designs?


David

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Post by DRN »

I'm not familiar with Dodge's work, other than his house which I have seen in photos and GoogleEarth imagery. It is my understanding he was with TAA/Taliesin Architects from its founding until its end.

Possibly Rood, FTA, or wjsaia could shed some light?

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

At an event at Taliesin in 1995, both Geiger and I, speaking about the future of the 2 sites, suggested that something along the lines of the MacDowell Colony at Peterborough, NH or Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, NY (see Wiki) would be supportable. Boy, did that idea bomb! The old guard are very defensive about the subject. Yet it may ultimately prevail by default. Either type of situation would bring in tons of money.

wjsaia
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Post by wjsaia »

DavidC wrote:Thanks, Dan. I was mostly curious in wondering if T. West had held on to any TAA Archives - or, had chosen to go 'completely out of the business'. I guess all that has happened w/ the School closing, the Archives no longer there and, the residents 'aging-out' -- has me wondering what the future of the all of the facilities will be - if anything - beyond a tourist trap? And, what becomes of the land and surrounds - could they be in jeopardy next time a flush of cash is needed?

It's all hindsight, but it seems like so much more could have been done to maintain the life and future for Taliesin.


David
I can add a few bits of information that I learned recently second-hand through a chain of sources that I fully trust as reliable. Every FLlW drawing that was sent to New York was first copied, and the copies have been retained at the (former?) FLlW Archives facility at Taliesin West. Whether this material is available at present on any basis for viewing by researchers or other interested parties, I don't know, but my understanding is that a donation is now in the process of being made to the FLlW Foundation that would be dedicated specifically to enhance access to the copied FLlW material that would be housed in the FLlW Archives building, the construction of which Bruce Pfeiffer oversaw years ago (and which was enlarged in the late 1980s to the extent that it would accommodate the full collection in the FLlW Archives, thanks to funding provided by a generous and farsighted gift from Aaron G. Green).

It seems natural enough that this same pattern of retaining copies would have been extended to the TAA material that went to New York rather soon following the transfer of the FLlW drawings. Dan's description of that TAA collection sounds quite congruent with a general understanding I gained (separately from the sources mentioned above) in conversation last fall with Jennifer Grey, the now-former Curator of Drawings and Archives at Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library.

Possibly m.perrino might be able to confirm or amplify for us some details concerning these points . . .

WJS

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Thank you, Bill. What can be said about the on-site storage facility that contains the copied material, as to its being secure from, say, fire ? What is the state of fire prevention and control at both Taliesins, dare one ask ?

S

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