Friday, April 1, 2011

Loving Frank

Long ago when I was a design student, I spent 3 semesters studying Art History, which included a section on modern architects.  Among my favorites was, and is, Frank Lloyd Wright.   He was such a visionary.  I loved his approach to learning, his respect for the land, and for the materials he used in constructing buildings that were so unique in his time.

While I was in Arizona, I made it a point to visit Taliesin West (pronounced Tall-e-es-in) a structure that Frank and his students built and used as a home, studio and school back in the 1930's.    It was thrilling.  

If you don't know much about Frank, you might look at these photos and think 'What's so great about cement and stone?  I've seen much better.'    I will answer by saying - you need to read about him.  You do.   You will discover that while Frank was a little on the flamboyant side, he did amazing things that had never been done before.  His philosophies and desire for excellence in architecture are genius.   I admire that.   I also admire that he packed up his family and a handful of students, and made the trek out Arizona build this place, which is pretty much out in the middle of nowhere.  

I love that among all the things that Frank developed, the only thing he patented was his favorite color -- Cherokee Red.   You see it all over Taliesin.  I love this shade of red.

I love that Frank was passionate about Japanese art and that it influenced his work, even in the Arizona desert.   There are pieces of an antique Japanese theater he found in the basement of Gelson's Department Store incorporated into Taliesin -- little surprises that are all over the grounds here.

And I love that today I got to share my passion for Frank with Claire.  Even she loved touring the property and learning about his life.

I wish Eden could have  been here to see it with us.  He loves architecture as much as he loves dreaming about traveling to foreign lands.  Maybe someday he will be a student here.

That would be so awesome.  Eden, following in the footsteps of Frank, designing great things for others to enjoy.  You just never know. 


P.S.  If you are interested in a good read, check out Loving Frank.  It's a story about his early career and a torrid affair he had with one of his clients.  Be warned -- it ends tragically.


Leanne said...

I was waiting to read all the way through to tell you to read Loving Frank!! I loved it...and I love his designs also...
Thanks for sharing the photos. xo

Angie said...

So. Jealous.

But I'm sure that you knew that already. :)

Bethany @ Organic Enchilada said...

My mother adores Frank! :) I just love that weather you're having. Still jealous.

Jenni said...

so funny, i live here and i have never seen where you went?!

can't believe i missed you! pretty please lets have dinner next time!

Trish said...

ah yes, Frank. we have a wright house in Michigan... close to where i live. i should tour it sometime! i hear it is amazing! thanks for sharing :)