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The study in architectural content is hard to express.
The articulation of the broader meaning of an architecture- Wright's in particular, is a challenging task.
Looking forward to his publication and what he has to say.
Just subscribed to the podcast on my phone.
Looking forward to it.
... I was scrolling thru the list of episodes. They have several on the demolition of Kahn's Indian Institute of Management dormitories.
That's news to me. Had no idea those were gone.
I have found very few podcasts on architecture that I could stand to keep around for very long. This one that Rood has dropped is different. It's about the history of modern architecture in India. It is conducted and curated by children of some of modernist India's best architects. So far the mood is sober and serious. I find I can easily participate vicariously in comparison to my own anglo-history while at the same time developing a more global understanding.
It is at least worth the time to scratch the surface and judge for yourself.
It is hard for information coming from a single source to remain pure; too easily it becomes propaganda.
Rahmani's general framework is more what interests me. He says:
"I come to the table not as a historian but as an interpreter of Wright and what he stands for, I’m seeking to preserve more than just the bricks, stone and mortar.”
The work of interpreting the meaning of Wright's work is, in a sense, renewed and re-examined, like all great historical figures, in each generation. In this sense I'm interested in what Rahmani's has to say. If I ever read it maybe I'll learn a little about what is living and what is dead in Emerson, on the way.
James Russell Lowell is intriguing, at least from the Wikipedia entry. His description of his Harvard years made me laugh!
He was an abolitionist during the Civil War. I'm impressed by that. Thank you.
It's built on the interconnection of the biographies of Oliver Wendell Holmes, William James, Charles Pierce, Louis Agassiz and John Dewey.
The first section on OWH was pretty interesting and relevant to Wright in terms of the formation of American culture post Civil War. OWH left Harvard as a "student radical" with abolitionist leanings volunteering in the 20th Massachusetts Regiment as an officer. He was shot at Antietam, Bald Bluff, and The Wilderness witnessing firsthand the aftermath of the Bloody Angle at Sharpsburg. His war experience turned him toward a "conservative" pragmatic philosophical position unlike his prewar position. It's very interesting because OWH is usually thought of as a "liberal" Supreme Court Judge, but this book makes clear his decisions come from a conservative stance that understood war as the consequence of extremely held political positions.
I could not help but think of Wright's stance on war in connection with what the author of this book, Louis Menand, describes as one of the streams of post Civil War American culture.
It wouldn't surprise if this book couldn't be found free online. Maybe Zlibray or some other place, but I have not looked.
And btw - James Russell Lowell comes up quite a few times in the section on OWH.
FLW claimed his father, William Russell Cary Wright, was related to James Russell Lowell, and suggested that Papa was part of the inner circle around Emerson.
Thanks for this, Rood.
Really interesting stuff at the 18:15 minute mark.
For an architect who designed details down to furniture and its exact placement, the vague "Emersonian" idea of Broadacre City in its lack of detail as a "narrative" is a pretty great way to think of the concept... Broadacre City has been so unfairly mischaracterized as a vision for suburbia. It wasn't; it was an agrarian model of living.
Really enjoyed Mr. Rahmani's commentary on this.
Mr. Wright spoke to the Fellowship of Thoreau more than once ... maybe sometimes tongue-in-cheek (for instance Thoreau's reference to a wooden coffin-like box being a good example of a minimal shelter), but then no doubt you are aware that not too many years before FLLWright's birth ... Thoreau visited Minnesota.Roderick Grant wrote: ↑Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:09 pmI am leery of anything that connects FLW with Thoreau, or for that matter Emerson and Thoreau. It was perfectly natural for the so-called Hippie generation to latch onto Thoreau, but I believe he should be left behind, like "old podcasts."It is hard for information coming from a single source to remain pure; too easily it becomes propaganda.
https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/a ... 0401-4/pdf
http://collections.mnhs.org/MNHistoryMa ... 35-046.pdf
https://tomwilson.com/2017/06/finding-t ... olis.html/
https://patch.com/minnesota/southwestmi ... ke-harriet
Thoreau's Minnesota travels ended in June after going up river with the Governor for the annuity payment ceremony at the Lower Sioux Agency. Little Crow was there.
A year later in August 1862, three months after the death of Thoreau, Little Crow and several Sioux bands initiated their rebellion, at that precise location, culminating in defeat and the Mankato Massacre - the largest single public execution in U.S. History.
Going out on a limb - it strikes me that no current scholarship on Wright, that I am aware of, has wrestled with the issue of Wright's moral imperative to make an American architecture with his nod to Native American culture on the one hand, and the genocidal policies of the U.S. Government on the other.
The over scaled statues of Nakoma and Nakomis are, in my personal judgement, among the worst, more maudlin, if not hideous, things Wright ever produced (right up there with those creepy Midway Garden sprites). What did he intend with those and what is their failure - seems to me an interesting question.
I have recently discovered going out on a limb at my age can be life threatening. Old habits die hard.
All of this hair shirt stuff is "the sins of my father" nonsense. Connecting FLW to the Mankato massacre by way of Thoreau is quite simply bizarre. Thoreau was dead, FLW was yet to be born. One thing about vile actions taken by our American ancestors: They didn't talk about it after the fact. It is likely FLW never knew about Mankato.
Aesthetics are totally subjective. Like or dislike whatever art you choose. I personally think the Nokomis/Nokoma statues are very handsome. If there is anything to carp about, it would be the obvious subservience of Nokomis to the utterly fictitious Nokoma. Likewise, the Sprites at Midway Garden are delightful, although I prefer the monumental male statues in the corners of the main hall.
Tom, what is your assessment of the Dana statue "Flower in the Crannied Wall"?