Does the COVID-19 virus, have you self-quarantined? It might be hard at times to stay occupied. We’re here with some good news, thanks to Google.
A Google Arts & Culture team has collaborated to create virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the best museums in the world, including the Guggenheim Museum in New York. These tours are available with just a few clicks. So if you’re bored and want something new to do with your kids, check out the following here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, like many other Wright-related organizations, has taken steps to address the threat posed by COVID-19 (coronavirus disease). The health and safety of members, event attendees, and staff is the priority. They are closely following updates from the CDC and local health authorities. This is a fluid and rapidly-evolving situation, and they are committed to sharing timely updates as decisions are made.
Current impacts as of March 13:
Dinner at Auldbrass Plantation, originally scheduled for Saturday, March 28, has been cancelled. They hope to announce a rescheduled date in the future.
They are continuously evaluating the status of Out and About Wright: New Mexico’s Modern Side, scheduled for April 30-May 3. As of now, the hope is that the event will continue as planned, and they will be communicating with registered participants regularly so that they can plan accordingly. More information here.
“The Boynton House” in Rochester, New York is a private residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and construction started in 1908. Kim Bixler lived in the home from 1977-1994. These days, the former Rochesterian — and graduate of Cornell University — lives in California, but she still comes back to New York often for giving talks and lectures based around her time living in the home. Edward Boynton was a successful lantern salesman and partner in the C. T. Ham Manufacturing Co. of Rochester. The home is oriented sideways on the lot. The living room is extended west by a veranda which aims towards the street. The dining room is very large and includes rows of leaded art glass windows on each floor, with separate designs for casements and clerestory windows and overhead light panels. The veranda was later enclosed and the same art glass added to it. The cost of the house and site was $55,000.00, a large sum in 1908. The Boyntons lived in the house until 1918. Kim Bixler shares her Boynton House story to News 8. See her story here.
The Laurent House in Rockford, Illinois, recently announced the Camp Laurent summer camp at the new Laurent House Visitor Center, 4627 Spring Brook Road. Camp will be held from 9 a.m. to noon June 15-18 for ages 8-11, July 13-16 for ages 12-14 and Aug. 3-6 for ages 8-11. The theme will be “How Excellence in Design Makes Life Better.” Hands-on experiences will have an emphasis on architecture, design, Frank Lloyd Wright and his inspiration from nature, and Ken and Phyllis Laurent’s life in the house. Materials including Legos, Froebel Blocks (which Frank Lloyd Wright played with as a child) and a various art media will be used. Campers also will have an opportunity to visit the Laurent House each day of camp. Class size is limited to 10 children. Camp Laurent is also seeking art or classroom teachers and assistants to staff the camp. Camper registration fee: $25. For registration, employment inquiries and information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need something to look forward to when we're (hopefully) through the COVID-19 issues? For one day only later this spring, a handful of private Chicago-area Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes will be open to the public for tours.
On May 16, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust will host the 47th annual Wright Plus Housewalk, a day of tours in eight private residences and two public buildings in the Chicago suburbs of River Forest and Oak Park. The area is home to more Frank Lloyd Wright designs than anywhere in the world, including the architect’s home and studio and the Unity Temple, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2019. Both are open for tours throughout the year, including during Wright Plus.
But the eight private residences — three designed by Wright and five by his contemporaries — are only open to the public during the event, and there are two newcomers that have never been part of the walk before.
One house that is new to the tour this year is the John A. Klesert House, which was designed by onetime Wright draftsman William Drummond in 1915 (Drummond left Wright’s practice in 1909). The house features Wright’s signature Prairie-style architecture, with horizontal lines and large windows that meld outside and in.
Another newcomer is the F.H. Bell House, which was designed by another Wright student, Harry Mahler, in 1913. It was Mahler’s only Prairie-style residence design and still has its original leaded glass windows. Also part of this year’s tour is the J. Kibben Ingalls House, which was designed by Wright in 1909. The house hasn’t been part of the tour since 1999.
Homes on the Wright Plus Housewalk are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 16 in River Forest and Oak Park, Illinois. While there are guides onsite at each home, the walk itself is self-guided — visitors can tour the homes in any order they want. This year there are a few clusters of homes near each other, but they are still at least a few blocks apart.
Tickets are $100 through April 15 and $110 after ($90 and $95 for Frank Lloyd Wright Trust members). Tickets include access to the eight homes plus admission to the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, the Unity Temple, the Robie House and the Rookery until Dec. 31. Ruscitti said tickets are limited and have sold out in the past.
Fast passes cost $500 and allow you to jump to the front of the entry lines that can form at popular spots during peak times. The Wright-designed homes are always popular. Proceeds from the Wright Plus tour go toward preservation and restoration of Chicago-area Wright sites. Of course, the state of the COVID-19 pandemic could affect this event like it has others. We'll keep our fingers crossed. More information here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has recently collaborated with KONZUK, a brand that creates unique architecture-insprired jewelry out of stainless steel and concrete. The Whirling Arrow spoke with Karen Konzuk of KONZUK to learn more about the creation of the new Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired collection and what the process for creating this jewelry from start to finish looks like.
Proceeds from this licensed jewelry collection contribute to the FLW Foundation’s preservation of Taliesin (Wisconsin) and Taliesin West (Arizona), which are open to the public as cultural landmarks and centers for art and education. Read the entire article here.
The Davison Apartment is one of many communal living spaces that are still in use at Taliesin in Wisconsin. This apartment is named after Kay and Allen Lape “Davy” Davison and their two children, Tal and Celeste who lived at Taliesin in the 1950s. It is believed that Davy Davison did much of the built-in work throughout the apartment. Records indicate that the apartment has served as living quarters for individuals or couples since at least the 1930s.
The space contains three bedrooms, a kitchenette, a living room, and a full bathroom. Our preservation team is working to return the space to its historical roots as a multi-person dwelling, that will allow for more people to experience life at Taliesin. Updates and rehabilitation of the space include cleaning and refinishing woodwork throughout, restoration of a built-in desk, and updates to the bathroom and kitchenette. This work is currently in progress and is anticipated to be completed by the end of March. Director of Preservation at Taliesin, Ryan Hewson, shares photos showing the progress of the work that has been completed so far. Read more abouit it here.