Lot 276
  • 276

Wright, Frank Lloyd

Estimate
10,000 - 15,000 USD
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Description

  • Letters to Edgar A. Tafel
  • paper, ink
2 autograph letters signed and 10 typed letters signed ("Frank Lloyd Wright," "F. L. L. W."), with one ink sketch and numerous corrections and additions in ink, 16 pp (various sizes), most on Taliesin and Taliesin West letterhead, Spring Green WI, Phoenix, and Las Vegas, 19 June 1933–9 May 1957. One autograph envelope.

Catalogue Note

A FINE COLLECTION OF LETTERS FROM WRIGHT, INCLUDING A DETAILED INK SKETCH, TO EDGAR A. TAFEL, TALIESIN FELLOW AND AUTHOR OF SEVERAL IMPORTANT BOOKS ON WRIGHT.

Edgar Tafel (1912–2011) was a Taliesin fellow, who studied under Wright in the 1930's. He assisted Wright on such important projects as the Johnson Wax Headquarters and Fallingwater. After leaving the Taliesin Fellowship and striking out on his own, he remained close to Wright and was one of his staunchest defenders. 

One of the earliest letters, written in early 1934, lists the rules to be followed by fellows at Taliesin in Spring Green, WI (e.g., "Members of the Fellowship are requested not to seek the town for relaxation."). Many of the letters include instructions for various construction projects. In an autograph letter written on Santa Fe Railroad letterhead (c. 1936) en route to Taliesin West, Wright draws a sketch with notations of a walnut-wood box he would like built to house the folding cinema screen at the Arizona headquarters.

After Tafel and his wife have left Taliesin to work elsewhere, Wright comments (13 January 1942), "I hope you and Sally are finding wage-slavery a better choice than Fellowship-co-operation. But, I have my doubts. A pity you should allow the place you made for yourself with us to grow cold. A mink coat for Sally wouldn't make up for it. As a matter of fact all mink coats are for some kind of prostitution, I believe?"

Writing in response to news of the birth of the Tafels' son, Wright remarks, "Somehow I regard the advent of another Tafel in the world as of inferior consequence compared to a Tafel able to carry on a work in the world with loyalty based upon right-minded ideas — instead of selfishness. And violence. I can understand why you should be pleased however — as you would be at getting something to build, for yourself.

"It is probably ungracious and maybe a little ungrateful to say that there are too many babies already and too many parents who are 'let us then be up and doing' for us. And too many architects wanting to build something for themselves with no greater capacity to see anything as greater than themselves."

AN INTERESTING COLLECTION OF LETTER SHOWING FRANK LLOYD'S INIMITABLE FRANKNESS WITH THOSE CLOSEST TO HIM.

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