Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Frank Lloyd Wright's Autobiography Crafted in Stone -- His Personal Home, Built for a Mistress

He Would Rant and Rave
in Front of Prestigious Homes
Lacking Architectural Perfection  -- so writes an author.
I've been reading a piece of fiction based on fact: "Loving Frank" by Nancy Horan.
 Horan made various assertions in the novel, which included the rants -- and the speculation that he often didn't pay his workers, thinking it was their good fortune to collaborate with him. 
True or false, I don't know. 
But they did seem like possible characteristics of a creative genius.

Nancy Horan's book inspires this post. 

 Wright's home in Wisconsin. Taliesin.
(Boston College)



Wright built Taliesin for his mistress, 
Mamah Borthwick in 1911. (Read the book if you want to know what happened to them.)
The residence is open for touring these days. 
(http://www.tourdeforce360.com/taliesin/)
 

 Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous American architect Nancy Horan tackles as her subject in her first novel, coined the term "organic architecture." His design goals sought to achieve harmonious unity between structure and nature.


His own home, named Taliesin (pronounced "tally-ess-in) and built into a 600-acre grassy green hillside located in Spring Green, Wisconsin, served as an architectural laboratory of sorts for 48 years. He worked on the house up until his death in 1959. 

http://www.tourdeforce360.com/taliesin/

The 21,000-square-foot Taliesin showcases both his aesthetic tastes and vision. It is a story that began in 1911, written figuratively in stone; so much of it reflects a piece of his own personal history. Wright's creative mark still sparks interest and awe. So much happened here at Taliesin -- and still does. It might be best that you read it for yourself. If interested, you can go here. 

Mamah Borthwick, Wright's mistress and muse.
She and her husband, Edward Cheney, met with Wright to enlist his services.
To see the home he built for Mamah and her husband in Oak Park, Illinois, go here.  
The Borthwick-Wright illicit affair ignited sensational headlines worldwide. 

Wright was married three times.

 Wright's third wife had this rug, above, designed for the home's living room 
after his death. His sketches inspired the chosen design. 

 The Taliesin living room. Note there is no stained glass; he framed the outside 
for clear unobstructed views.
He uses varying ceiling heights to draw people into a space, as well as to encourage them to explore other areas.
 (http://www.tourdeforce360.com/taliesin/)

Wright was fond of Asian art. In what is called the Blue Loggia, he placed one of the largest Chinese hand-sewn rugs:



(http://www.tourdeforce360.com/taliesin/)

It's been said Wright was an insomniac who would awaken at various times in the night to work or roam. He apparently would enter the plunge pool below, at the time 8-feet deep but now only 3-feet, to refresh himself.

(gardengrow@wordpress.com)

Wright's red signature tile, a mark of his approval and authenticity:


Wright's Taliesin is comprised of numerous buildings -- for living, design and farm work. He wanted to live and work in a sustainable environment. 

This is where he drafted many of his designs:


 (http://www.tourdeforce360.com/taliesin/)

Thank you, Nancy Horan, for piquing my interest in Frank Lloyd Wright, an influential architect and interesting man.

6 Responses to “Frank Lloyd Wright's Autobiography Crafted in Stone -- His Personal Home, Built for a Mistress”

This is next on my reading list for the summer! I've appreciated FLW's style for a while now, so I'm looking forward to reading about him!

PURA VIDA said...

very very interesting

Carla Aston said...

Thanks for pointing me to this book. I love hearing how he would roam at nights, creativity just bursting out of him, I'm sure. Wow. Powerful.

Wonderful post, Susan. The photos are phenomenal and I crave that FLW carpet his 3rd wife adapted from his design.You might remember I visited Fallingwater outside of Pittsburgh and was blown away by the beauty and symmetry. I bought the book Fallingwater Rising, which looks very promising. I have another book, a novel called The Women by T.C. Boyle, still unread but it was on the NYT bestseller list.

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