For art and architecture lovers who can't make it to the recently reopened Guggenheim Museum in New York City, there's an audio listening guide that can transport you there.
It's called "Mind's Eye: A Sensory Guide to the Guggenheim New York" and it's a compilation of what the museum calls "quintessential New York voices" describing the stunning architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic building. Each of the 10 tracks in the guide describes a sensory aspect of the museum; for example, actor Maggie Gyllenhaal describes touching the thick, pitted paint layers coating the museum walls.
Karen Bergman, access programs associate at the Guggenheim Museum, calls Mind's Eye a meditative experience. "I remember in one listening session, someone said that hearing these tracks really made them homesick for the museum," she says. "It really does bring people directly there." Click here for the broadcast story and a selection of Mind's Eye tracks.
Melanie Wilcox is finding the relevancy of Frank Lloyd Wright in the COVID era. Wright introduced the Prairie-style home, a revolutionary step away from the traditional colonial revivalist-style buildings: open internal spaces, expansive ground floors, organic structures symbiotic with its natural surroundings, windows he called “light screens” located typically several feet off the ground, and compact, protective walls that serve as barriers to the outside world.
Wright said, “There should be as many kinds of houses as there are kinds of people and as many differentiations as there are different individuals. A man who has individuality (and what man lacks it?) has a right to its expression in his own environment.”
Wright viewed nature, natural light and beauty essential to human living. He incorporated these elements in his homes. To Wright, a home should reflect how a person lives and what he or she prioritizes in life. While each home differed, these tenets remained a consistent theme in the thousands of homes he built (with the highest concentration in Oak Park). He said that the greatest architects can predict how home living will change in 10 years, but he predicted how the world would change one century later, making him America’s most iconic architect. Read the entire article here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has named Kimberley Valentine its vice president and chief advancement officer.
Valentine most recently served as the Director of Leadership Gifts at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, and brings an extensive background in fundraising, development, campaign strategies, and planned giving. She will oversee strategy to build deeper community engagement and support for the Foundation with its new vision & mission: to inspire people to discover and embrace an architecture for better living through meaningful connections to nature, the arts, and each other.
“Kimberley brings superb leadership to our advancement team based on her experience at leading arts institutions like the LAPhil and the Huntington Library. As we reopen Taliesin West to the public and continue to ramp up our impact serving this community and people around the world, I’m confident that Kimberley will help us strengthen our relationships with donors and broaden our base of support.,” said Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation President and CEO Stuart Graff. More here.
Experience Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope- Leighey House by twilight in Alexandria, VA on Nov. 19, 2020 6:00 p.m. This tour series is a chance to see one of Wright’s houses illuminated against a night sky, bringing a whole new dimension and radiance to the typical tour experience. Pope- Leighey House staff only offer a few tours a year in the evening, so seize this great opportunity today. Grab a drink, which is included in the price of your ticket, and take an informative and fun open-house tour with plenty of time to take stunning photos. Tickets are $35. More information here.
According to the Baraboo News Republic, applicants for the 2019 Kristin Visser Historical Preservation Award are being sought. The award is given by the directors of the Seth Peterson Cottage Conservancy and presented every other year to an individual or organization in recognition of past work in historical preservation of a Frank Lloyd Wright or Prairie School building in Wisconsin or a contiguous state. In general, buildings constructed between 1900 and 1925 are given preference, and the restoration work shall have been substantially completed within the two calendar years previous to the year of application. The 2021 award will be given for work done during 2018 and 2019.
The award is named in honor of Kristin Visser, who was one of the people instrumental in the restoration of the Seth Peterson Cottage and a tireless worker on its behalf. She is the author of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School in Wisconsin and, with John Eifler, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Seth Peterson Cottage: Rescuing a Lost Masterwork. Visser, was a planner for the Wisconsin State Department of Natural Resources and died in 1998 at age 48.
Applicants are asked to support their request with a statement fully describing the restoration project, including its state of completion, a supporting statement from the building contractor and/or architect, a letter or letters of support from scholars and/or working professionals familiar with the project, photographic evidence of work completed, and any other supporting materials. Submissions will be judged by a panel of members of the Seth Peterson Cottage Conservancy, along with several outside experts/scholars.
Deadline is March 15, 2021. The $5,000 award includes recognition at the Seth Peterson Cottage in Mirror Lake State Park, near Wisconsin Dells. Send applications to Seth Peterson Cottage Conservancy, 400 Viking Drive, Reedsburg, WI 53959-1466.
The award recipient will be announced April 11, 2021, and presented June 13, 2021, at the Seth Peterson Cottage. Details here.
After 28 years, Pasadena Heritage’s Craftsman Weekend will be renamed “Preservation Pasadena: Craftsman to Modern,” and be reimagined with a broader frame to celebrate Pasadena, CA as home to some of the most notable examples of architect-designed properties, from Craftsman style to Mid-Century, and everything in between.
With “Preservation Pasadena: Craftsman to Modern,” Pasadena Heritage will be hosting a virtual 10-day celebration of preservation and architecture that will include tours, lectures, panel discussions, and conversations with artists and collectors. It’s a chance to explore architectural style and design over five decades and to learn the connections and differences that illustrate how architecture changed through time.
The celebration will include over 15 programs throughout the week, which you can join from the comfort of your own home.
All events are $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers. A package for all the events is available for $138 for members and $175 for non-members. Read more about all the events that will be offered here.
Clothing retailer Daniel Kessler had always imagined living in an original Frank Lloyd Wright house were he ever to make enough money. Unfortunately, by the time he did in 1966, Wright was six years dead. So Kessler and his wife, Helene, instead turned to one of Wright’s apprentices, John Rattenbury, and the firm that was created to continue Wright’s legacy, Taliesin Associated Architects, to build their family a home in Maplewood, New Jersey.
Rattenbury constructed a brick design that closely follows the Prairie style popularized by Wright with its long horizontal rooflines, an open floor plan with large terraces off most rooms, and 36 skylights that bring the outdoors in.
In the two-story foyer, sculpted teak ceilings and a grid of square skylights loom overhead, while a 25-foot-long teak pendant designed by Wright reaches all the way down to the billiard room on the lower level. Meant to resemble a tree with wood reflectors as “leaves,” the pendant includes 56 teak light boxes with hinges that swing open for bulb replacement.
The terrazzo-floored foyer leads to a sunken living room with an eight-foot fireplace surrounded by Italian marble. Both rooms capture the 1960s so perfectly they were featured in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s third season, when the series created its own talk-show dance party modeled after Hugh Hefner’s Playboy After Dark. Rattenbury also went all in on other Wright trademarks, like built-in bed frames and shelves, teak parquet floors, and a library with a sunken fireplace and a wet bar behind brass piano-hinged doors.
The house first listed in June 2019 for just under $3 million, and it has been on and off the market — with two price drops — ever since. According to listing agent Ben Garrison, potential buyers in past years felt the house and property were too large, especially in a neighborhood where most of the (much smaller) Colonials go for around $600K. At its new $2 million price tag, the Kessler house is still the most expensive listing in Maplewood. Even at a time when homes in this New Jersey suburb are on average selling for 4 percent above asking, the median sold price remains $766,000. This time, though, the listing includes 66 custom-designed pieces of furniture worth at least $140,000, including side tables, three unique hassocks (small ottomans), and a vintage green Harvey Probber sofa. See it here.
Built in 1961, the Mid-Century Modern masterpiece home in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, is a one of a kind ranch-style home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice and famed architect Alden B. Dow. The professionally landscaped home occupies 3,378 square feet and features 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, with its extreme built-in storage, floor to ceiling windows, and preciously designed use of open space. The living room features a statement fireplace, a built-in couch, as well as floor to ceiling windows overlooking the river. There's a sunroom, too, and a dining room with a wet bar. The massive kitchen has granite countertops and St. Charles cabinetry and is connected to a laundry room and mudroom off of the garage. Asking price is $469,000. See the photos here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation announces the Carr House, a Usonian built in 1950 and the only Wright designed home in Illinois’s city of Glenview, is now available for sale.
The Carr House is located on a secluded 3-acre lot in Glenview, IL near an area known as "The Grove." The 4-bedroom/3.1 bathroom home was just listed for sale at $1,695,000.
The Carr House highlights Wright’s blurring of interior and exterior spaces. The property now includes an in-ground heated pool surrounded by forested greenery. The home’s floor plan showcases several open common areas ideal for entertaining and features beautiful use of Honduran mahogany throughout.
Additionally, the Carr House includes well known Wright design elements like mitered glass windows and pierced “breeze block.”
The home also boasts having only two owners who have demonstrated deep care and respect toward its unique Wright characteristics. See the photos here.