Sale  759
Lot   250
WRIGHT, Frank Lloyd (1867-1959). Autograph manuscript signed ("Frank Lloyd Wright"), entitled "To the Countryside," numerous holograph emendations and corrections in ink, several in pencil or purple pencil. N.p. [Taliesin?], [June 1926].  2 pages, 4to, creased. 

THREE TIMES I HAVE BUILT [TALIESIN] UP FROM ITS ASHES EACH TIME STRONGER AND MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN BEFORE TRAGEDY DESTROYED IT.

Following the 1914 fire and massacre at Taliesin, which took the lives of his mistress Mamah Cheney and her children, Frank Lloyd Wright vowed to rebuild.  Calling the project Taliesin II, he began work on the new project. That same year, he began a relationship with wealthy divorcee Miriam Noel, and by 1915, the couple moved into the newly-completed Taliesin II.  Their relationship was turbulent, likely in part due to Noel's erratic behavior (later identified as schizophrenia), but the couple were married in November 1923; they separated less than a year later.  During their separation, in 1924, Wright met Olgivanna Lazović Hinzenberg. They moved in together at Taliesin in 1925, and Olgivanna gave birth to a daughter, Iovanna, in December 1925.

For three days in early June 1926, in a fury over divorce proceedings and convinced she had an ownership claim over the property, Miriam Noel Wright tried to take Taliesin by storm, but was rebuffed by Wright's employees each time. Wright, upset at the ensuing media frenzy, wrote a public response for publication in the local newspaper, the Home News.

"I have never thanked my neighbors and townspeople directly for their friendship and forbearance - I want to do so now...My grandfather began my life here, my mother and her people lived here and loved this valley to which I have come back as the third generation in a struggle to develop on old family soil some of the finer elements of what we call civilization. It seems that my direct ways of meeting life as it comes to me and meeting my obligations to it has made me a marked man for the benefit of modern journalism. I can have no private life...I have made a mistake in accepting the desertion of Miriam Noel as final or ever believing her to be human. Having every reason to believe myself finally deserted and an intolerable domestic situation humanely ended, I allowed other lives to become entangled with mine - thinking no difficulty could arise to prevent me from making my life here 'regular' at last...What I wanted to say to you was that I like you people of this region. You all seem homelike to me. I've been about all over the globe and come back here with that feeling of coming 'home.'...I think the countryside deserves the best of me and if you who make it what it is give me its benefit of the doubt in all this for a year or two I believe I will come through right side up and you may yet take pride in Taliesin as I have always hoped and believed you would do."

[With:] A typescript copy of an account of Miriam Noel Wright's attempt to storm Taliesin while accompanied by a team of reporters, from the 10 June 1926 edition of the Home News ("Mrs. Wright is evidently a sick woman, and as such is deserving of more consideration than was shown her by a syndicate of scandalmondering newspapers in staging the spectacular attempt which she made...").


  • Estimate$4,000 - $6,000
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