Obituary: Franklin Toker

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Paul Ringstrom
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Obituary: Franklin Toker

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

SDR
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Re: Obituary: Franklin Toker

Post by SDR »

Have we had a review or an appreciation of "Fallingwater Rising" here ? Who has read the book, and what did it leave you with ?

S

JimM
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Re: Obituary: Franklin Toker

Post by JimM »

I read it Stephen, a long time ago but recall it quite informative, well researched and with quite a few notes to the text. I suppose there will be criticism true of just about any book on Wright. The back of the jacket has the photo of Wright and EJ standing alongside one another at TWest in the 50's; both looking very dapper in the desert. I always assumed EJ a good sized man and although he does look to be in failing health, appears much shorter than Wright... even considering the elevated shoes.

SDR
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Re: Obituary: Franklin Toker

Post by SDR »

Heh. I have taken this Pedro Guerrero photo of father and son, and Wright, that appears in "Merchant Prince and Master Builder" as my guide for the height of the three individuals. I had thought of EJ as being taller---he comes across as a larger-than-life figure. Perhaps client and architect were able to become close in part due to their approximately equal (if below average) physical stature ?

Although jr is standing a bit closer to the camera than are the others, his relatively greater height is unmistakable, and the coincidence of the three heads aligning is amusing to behold.


Image

DRN
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Re: Obituary: Franklin Toker

Post by DRN »

I'm 5'-7" tall and EJ jr was a good 5" taller than I when I met him at a Carnegie Mellon lecture in the 1980's.

I read Toker's book. It was a page turner. It delved into the back stories of details that are commonly glossed over or taken at Wright's or jr.'s word. EJ was no ordinary client, he was as much a tactician and politician as he was a merchant. He was always promoting himself and his brand, and to some extent Wright got a lift from that. Through EJ's large advertising account with Time/Life publications, Wright gained connections with Henry Luce of Time/Life (and Architectural Forum) via EJ's desire to publish and promote himself via his new house. Wright took the relationship from there...

SDR
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Re: Obituary: Franklin Toker

Post by SDR »

Most interesting. There's always another side, to any story, isn't there. Guess I'll put that on my reading list.

S

Roderick Grant
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Re: Obituary: Franklin Toker

Post by Roderick Grant »

The average height for a US male is currently 5' 9". FLW claimed to be 5' 8-1/2" on his 1905 passport. Not short at all.

SDR
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Re: Obituary: Franklin Toker

Post by SDR »

He seems to have felt that some extra height wouldn't hurt---considering his choice of footwear.

In the photo above he seems to have the edge on EJ by an inch or two ?

S

Roderick Grant
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Re: Obituary: Franklin Toker

Post by Roderick Grant »

Or it may be that he was shorter than his first wife, according to her 1905 passport.

dkottum
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Location: Battle Lake, MN

Re: Obituary: Franklin Toker

Post by dkottum »

Just curious, are FLW and EJ standing on Whitman Square in the above photo?

JimM
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Re: Obituary: Franklin Toker

Post by JimM »

That is the same photo on the book back cover... sans junior. Perhaps a subtle comment by Tokler?

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

Re: Obituary: Franklin Toker

Post by SDR »

What---jr. is Photoshopped out ? Or a similar shot made at the same time, without him ?

A

JimM
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Re: Obituary: Franklin Toker

Post by JimM »

Same photo... see the shadow?

SDR
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Re: Obituary: Franklin Toker

Post by SDR »

I don't have the book; here's the beginning, anyway:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0012SMGM4/re ... =1&depth=1

I scanned this video quickly to see if the photo is included . . .

https://www.c-span.org/video/?180338-1/ ... ter-rising

S

SDR
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Re: Obituary: Franklin Toker

Post by SDR »

The ten minutes or so just before the middle of that video contains an argument about the design of Fallingwater that I find novel---all these decades later---and compelling: that Wright saw Neutra's Lovell Health House as an ideal example of the threat to his vision of a proper modern house, and thus the perfect source for a series of inside jokes found at Fallingwater. Shocking and delightful is the parallel drawn between the angled bolsters beneath both houses. Horizontal bands of vertical steel sash, white stripes of masonry stacked between them; could it possibly be that Fallingwater is quite literally an answer to Lovell ?

Toker's discourse is replete with errors about Wright and his work (flat roofs are "rare" ?); it is very rarely that anyone takes on that subject without getting one or more facts wrong. But that needn't invalidate certain observations and suggestions---as I see it.

S

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