The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Wright Virtual Visits returns for 2023! Launched in April 2020 as a social media initiative highlighting Frank Lloyd Wright-designed public sites that were closed due to the pandemic, Wright Virtual Visits will begin a fourth iteration on February 9, 2023 with a visit to the D.D. Martin House. As sites have reopened to visitors, the format has adapted in order to continue to foster public engagement and visitation. In each month of 2023, we will go live at a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed public site, getting a behind-the-scenes look and insider tips for visitors. Those who are streaming live on Facebook will be able to ask questions, and recordings of each event will be available to watch afterward. More details here.
City Museum of St. Louis, Missouri, got a set of very fancy, very historic building blocks for the holidays.
These aren’t just any set: They are dozens of terra cotta pieces of the Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler-designed Schiller Theater building, which stood in Chicago’s Loop until the building was razed in 1961 for a parking garage.
The museum, which is in the business of collecting pieces of long-fallen buildings, already displays a large chunk of pieced-together facade of the Schiller in its fourth-floor architectural hall. Museum officials say it’s the largest remaining section of the building in the world. Next to that hangs two roundels, also from the theater, depicting the heads of artists Nicolas Poussin and Anthony van Dyck.
This spring, City Museum will use the newly acquired pieces to rebuild its front entrance, creating an archway that people can walk under before they reach the ticket counter. The latest pieces, 194 in all, came as a gift from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Twelve pallets’ worth came from Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin, at the end of November in a rented box truck. Three roundels depicting the heads of playwright Friedrich Schiller and composers Ludwig van Beethoven and Frédéric Chopin came from a storage vault in Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona, in mid-December.
Foundation president Stuart Graff, who grew up in Chicago and loves Sullivan’s work, is thrilled people will be able to enjoy them. The pieces had been sitting in storage since members of the Taliesin fellowship group rescued them from the rubble in Chicago more than 60 years ago.
“If we’re not sharing them with others, are we really doing our job as stewards sharing a historical legacy?”
Frank Lloyd Wright himself worked on the design of the building. At the time the theater was designed for the German Opera Company, he was a young architect for Adler and Sullivan, based in Chicago. When the theater opened in 1891, it was lauded for being fireproof and with no interior columns that would block views.
In 2017 and 2018, City Museum reassembled about 200 pieces of a massive section of cornice of the Chicago Stock Exchange building. That’s one reason City Museum was a good candidate for the Schiller Theater pieces, says Graff, of the Foundation. That and the fact the Sullivan-designed Wainwright building, among the world’s first skyscrapers, is just a few blocks away in downtown St. Louis. Read more here.
Creative residency programs are fantastic ways to create symbiotic relationships between artists and artisans and their cultural hosts according to Newell Nussbaumer of Buffalo Rising. Take, for example, the new Creative Residency Program at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House. Not only does the Martin House provide a sensational and inspirational place for artists to work (the Wright-designed Barton House), the relationship allows the artist to intuitively engage with the historic architectural site. By channeling the spirit of the house, and thus the mindset of FLLW, a creative person can explore unprecedented artistic possibilities.
“The Martin House was built on creativity and continues to inspire visitors of all ages,” said Martin House curator Susana Tejada. “This new program is designed to create an opportunity for creative makers to produce new work that responds to our site, engages with our public, and leads to greater understanding of what architecture is and why it matters.”
The residency is a competitive program, open to applicants who seek the resources to support ongoing projects or the creation of new work. Applications open February 1 and are accepted in two distinct categories: artists and researchers. Creative makers from diverse backgrounds and perspectives are especially encouraged to apply. Creative makers who are selected to participate will receive a stipend, limited travel expenses, and generally spend 2-4 weeks onsite, either consecutively or incrementally. While onsite, residents will stay in the Wright-designed Barton House on the 1.5-acre estate, located in the historic Parkside neighborhood of Buffalo, NY. More details and the online application can be found here.
Taliesin Preservation, Inc., a Wisconsin-based nonprofit with a mission to preserve the natural, built, and cultural environments of Frank Lloyd Wright's home at Taliesin, announced the appointment of Hugh Weber as Creative in Residence.
Weber is a network theorist, community organizer, and strategic advisor who counsels established leaders facing uncertainty across multiple industries, including design, media, government, and business. After spending more than a decade leading political campaigns throughout the United States, Weber founded OTA, a cultural organization focused on connecting creative disciplines across North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. He later founded WE MUST BE BOLD, a community design studio, and in 2019, acquired The Great Discontent, a platform that amplifies the work of emerging artists and under-represented creative communities.
Through the partnership with Taliesin Preservation, Weber will host the world's leading artists, creatives, and executives in multi-day workshops at Taliesin focused on exploring professional challenges and opportunities for transformation beginning in early 2023. "Uncertainty is a guaranteed part of any creative journey. We all reach crossroads and face obstacles while trying to make progress. When Frank Lloyd Wright experienced these moments of uncertainty, he went to Taliesin," Weber says. "With the support of Taliesin Preservation and in the context of Wright's home and studio, I believe that we can create literal and figurative space to examine these moments of the unknown while finding clarity of purpose, confidence in the process, and a commitment to moving forward." More here.
The Wolf Family Collection marks the most significant offering of American prewar design to appear at auction in a generation. The collection features some of the most important historical works by the quintessential artists and architects who defined the 20th century, notably Louis Comfort Tiffany, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Greene & Greene. As seen across genres, the Wolf design collection speaks to a connoisseurial criteria of the highest order defined by supreme artistry, masterful craftsmanship, and impeccable provenance. Learn more here.
The second edition of John Lautner’s Pearlman Cabin & Walstrom Residence exhibition at Architekton, in Tempe, AZ in collaboration with the Organic Architecture + Design Archives, TSOA, and the John Lautner Foundation. This exhibition, featuring two unique residential works by Lautner, a renowned American architect and early apprentice of the Taliesin Fellowship, first opened to the public at TSOA's Arcosanti campus in the Fall of 2022, and has been re-located and re-organized by TSOA students at the offices of Architekton in Tempe, Arizona.
The latest edition opens Friday, February 3 from 5PM–7PM. The opening event is open to the public. An RSVP is required. A closing event on March 31, 2023, will reflect on the two projects, the two exhibitions, the creative process, and future potentials of future exhibitions as the collection of materials continue to travel and grow. More details here.