Analyses of Frank Lloyd Wright

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SDR
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Analyses of Frank Lloyd Wright

Post by SDR »

Recently we've been presented with more than one source of critical analysis of Wright: the man, the method, the work.

First, there was this, from Philip Johnson. https://franklloydwright.org/philip-joh ... ociety_200

Then, we had Vincent Scully, in an undated lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xp6pZQS ... e=youtu.be

Yesterday I came across a bit of text under the Robie house listing in Taschen I: Barry Byrne, on his time with Wright early in the career, quoted by Pfeiffer and/or Goessel:

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S

SDR
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Re: Analyses of Frank Lloyd Wright

Post by SDR »

A bit more of that statement, omitted in Taschen:

". . . by 1908, when I left the studio, by sheer force of circumstances Wright as draftsman had almost ceased to exist and that more vital being, Wright as architect, was operating in full possession of his extraordinary creative power." (Byrne, "The Drawings of Frank Lloyd Wright" rev., p 109)

Byrne, from another source:

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Tom
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Re: Analyses of Frank Lloyd Wright

Post by Tom »

Thanks for posting that.
If erasing and redrawing under Wright was a wearisome task
imagine what is was like under standard circumstances.

As a kid my first book of Wright drawings was the black and white compilation by Arthur Dexler.
I thought Wright drew those perspectives first thing and by himself.
I also thought he drew them in graphite.
When I learned they were in color I was incredulous.
I didn't believe it at first - so garish!

SDR
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Re: Analyses of Frank Lloyd Wright

Post by SDR »

Apprentices who have written of their experience in the Taliesin drafting rooms have remarked on the practice of altering existing drawings as opposed to starting with a clean sheet of paper. Whether this was an unusual practice in the 'thirties, 'forties and 'fifties can be addressed; another question would be whether Mr Wright or another---Jack Howe, for instance---was the driver behind that habit. I have assumed it was Wright. Would that practice have been in place during the Oak Park years ?

For drawings to copy legibly in traditional reproduction techniques---blueprint or cyanotype, for instance---it was necessary to provide an original with high contrast between mark and ground, so inked drawings were the norm---despite the obvious increase of labor and risk in comparison to pencil drawings. In the postwar period diazo and other methods, along with increased use and affordability of more transparent papers, produced acceptable prints from graphite originals. It would be clear that altering inked drawings would be a great deal less efficient than updating them while still "in pencil." (Am I the only one who recalls a fluid called "ink eradicator" ? Would this substance have been in use in drafting rooms during the period when inked drawing was the norm ?)

As a sidebar, it could be stated that there was no diazo machine at Taleisin, North or West, until sometime in the 'fifties---as I have it. Original drawings were frequently sent to clients and contractors, with request for return to Taliesin after local reproduction. One wonders how many hand-drawn copies of drawings---CDs and presentation drawings---were made over the years, there . . .

I think you imply that in other offices the practice of altering drawings rather than starting anew would have been if anything more prevalent that at Taliesin. If so, why do you think that ?


I am always interested to hear about first impressions and early experience with Wright. Most students of early Twentieth Century architecture have had the experience of appreciating the work in monotone only. We recall the moments when we first saw some of this work in color, on the page . . .

S

SDR
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Re: Analyses of Frank Lloyd Wright

Post by SDR »

Having been alerted to Barry Byrne's experience with Wright via the Taschen entry posted above and by multiple mentions of Byrne in Hoffmann, "FLLW's Robie House," I noted the citation of a piece he wrote for the Journal of the American Institute of Architecture, published in 1963. A PDF of this issue is available online:

https://usmodernist.org/AJ/AJ-1963-06.pdf

(A Google search for the issue in question brought up a different issue of the publication, from April rather than June of 1963. By changing a digit in the URL I was able to bring up the June issue. Who knows how many other issues of this publication are available online ?)

I will copy and post the relevant pages of the Journal forthwith. Byrne alludes to Walter Gropius and mentions Philip Johnson by name; I will post the letter by the former that appears in the same issue of the publication. One will also find therein a review of the first published monograph of Johnson, making interesting reading c. 1963.

S

SDR
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Re: Analyses of Frank Lloyd Wright

Post by SDR »

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SDR
Posts: 19052
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Analyses of Frank Lloyd Wright

Post by SDR »

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