Corrections & Questions Department

We do our best to curate the choicest bits of Wright-related news each week, but we rely on our brilliant readers to make sure we stay factual. Case in point, reader Stephen Ritchings found a couple of errors and had some clarifying questions from the articles from last week we wanted to pass along to correct the record. Stephen writes:

"Good morning ! I always enjoy the weekly updates to your Wright Society newsletter. It does trouble me a bit, though, when I see misinformation included in the material you quote. It seems a shame to propagate questionable assertions. Two examples in this week's offering:

Is Tim Fischer certain that Wright took the Hagan commission only after assuring the clients that he would not visit the property? While it is true that many of his designs were built without his having seen the site in person, it seems wholly unlike him to have insisted on that before taking the job. [WS: We're not sure of this--does anyone else out there know?]

In the Rosenbaum story, the claim that Wright "insisted on the family using his furniture in the exact spots he saw fit" is repeated. Yes, there were instances of his rearranging furniture while visiting one of his properties, but I know of no evidence that furniture placement was more than a preference and a suggestion by the architect.

Common to both of these examples is that an anecdote has morphed into a generalization, and thence into a likely exaggeration of the facts. Docents at Wright sites dote on these tales, it seems, and they proliferate, leading to false impressions. While these titillate the public, they do not help us better understand the man and his work."

Thanks Stephen, we appreciate the feedback as always. If anyone has further information to help answer some of these queries, your insights would be appreciated!

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