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Wasmuth Porfolio
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crpat



Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:48 pm    Post subject: Wasmuth Porfolio Reply with quote

Sorry if this has been posted before, but I stumbled across a great digital archive at the Utah Library website.

available at: http://content.lib.utah.edu/cdm4/browse.php?CISOROOT=/FLWright-jp2
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14291
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't recall seeing this collection before. Thank you very much !


Stephen
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RonMcCrea



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 313
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you look at the title page, it is inscribed: "To patient long-suffering 'Wooley,' with grateful appreciation of his devotion to this work -- and a hope. From Frank Lloyd Wright"

I suppose the "hope" he refers to is that the book will sell and spread his ideas and achievements worldwide, which it did. Unfortunately, many copies Wright bought for American distribution were destroyed in the 1914 Taliesin fire.

'Wooley' [sic] is Taylor Woolley, the young delineator who worked with Wright in Oak Park and joined him in Italy in 1910 for the final preparation of the portfolio for press. Woolley carried the names of two founding families of the Mormon church. He returned to Salt Lake City and completed his career there.

I would like to know more about him. Does anyone have his obituary? There's a Utah professor who's working on a biography but I don't know of the plan for publication.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14291
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Wikipedia entry for "Wasmuth Portfolio" contains this sentence:

"Approximately half of the images in the Wasmuth portfolio are the work of architect and one-time Wright assistant Marion Mahony Griffin, whose visual style has a lot to do with its success."

Somewhere recently I read, in the words of one of Wright's sons (?), that some of the material for the Portfolio had been prepared in Chicago or Oak Park in advance, presumably by Mrs Griffin. And Lloyd was along as the third (fourth ?) hand. Yet the work is all of a kind. Have any of the drawings been identified as to who drew them: Wright, Lloyd, Griffin, or Woolley ?

SDR
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RonMcCrea



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 313
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm under the impression that the work Woolley and Lloyd Wright did in Italy involved scaling or reformatting the drawings to a standard page in advance of engraving, not making original drawings. More of what we would call prepress today.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14291
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From more than one source I believe we have that the three -- Wright, Lloyd, and Wooley -- traced or redrew images brought from the Oak Park studio, many of them no doubt by Mahony, so that the Wasmuth plates would have a uniform appearance. Correct and complete drawings made from scratch "in the field" (Fiesole) would have been difficult if not impossible, given that all the source material for each project remained (presumably) in Illinois.

SDR
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 3713
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://is.gd/KD7ya6
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14291
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. The video might have attracted more eyeballs (and dollars) if more of the portfolio were visible, at closer range -- for those who have never seen the images in any form ? Detail shots taken at an angle would certainly not prove hazardous to the interests of the owner.

It continues to surprise me that historic paper objects are not routinely handled with gloved hands. One sees this frequently on the Antiques Roadshow -- for instance.

One wonders if this particular example is complete. The sheets have not been kept in their original numerical order, for one thing . . .

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 7483

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a growing movement against using gloves, which tend to inhibit dexterity and cause torn or creased paper. A good washing to get the oil off one's hands should be good enough.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14291
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. I wouldn't use cotton gloves, but thin rubber ones, which are more or less like a second skin.

Fingerprints immediately show up on the blacker parts of printed photographs, on coated papers at least, spoiling what was a pristine object. But, nothing is forever. I don't handle my own books with gloves -- but they aren't priceless or even rare artifacts, in most cases.

SDR
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JimM



Joined: 06 Jan 2005
Posts: 1336
Location: Burlington, WA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In 1986 Rizzoli published a very nice facsimile of the portfolio printed in Germany. This "first edition" is reproduced complete with Wrights essay and plate notes, with each page a plate numbered as the original (not page 1, page 2, etc.). The 10"x15" format presents the plates proportional to the original printed on heavier stock and tinted for enhancement. The final line work done by hand without a trace of straight edge is amazing. Unlike the original, the Martin floor plan is included twice in my copy!

There were a few later reprints by Rizzoli and Dover which can be found for reasonable cost. The 1986 edition is out of print and difficult to find, unless upwards of $200 suits your needs.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14291
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Jim. The line drawings are a wonder, aren't they; their quality alone would make the portfolio an international treasure, as far as I'm concerned, even if the work had been designed by Joe Schmoe.

And these guys didn't have the technical pens that were the instrument of choice for architects (assuring, as they do, a consistent line weight) later in the century -- did they ?

SDR
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 700
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just listening to a lecture about Hokusai & woodblock printing ("ukiyo-e"). The lecturer said that the most common paper size for ukiyo-e woodblock images was about 10" x 15".
Apparently that most common size is called "o-ban" (38cm x 25cm), which is actually half of the "hosho" sheet, which is folded in half to make facing pages that are O-ban size.

http://www.woodblock.com/encyclopedia/entries/016_01/016_01_frame.html


Last edited by JChoate on Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:02 pm; edited 2 times in total
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14291
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aha. The mean proportion there seems to be 1:1.5, or 2:3. I wonder how many such rectangles can be found in Wright's work.

In the world of machine imagery, beginning with photography and film, image proportion might be tabulated on a chart of some sort. TV screens have grown in width relative to height, passing the 2:3 ratio some time ago and seemingly homing in on 1:2 ?

SDR
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 700
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that 10" x 15" format just the Rizzoli publication Jim mentioned, or is that also the size of the Wasmuth edition?
Proportions match, but is the size exactly the same, too?
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