Sale  759
Lot   251
WRIGHT, Frank Lloyd (1867-1959). Autograph manuscript signed ("Frank Lloyd Wright"), entitled "Taliesin III," numerous holograph emendations and corrections in ink, a few in pencil N.p. Taliesin, 8 June 1926.  5 1/2 pages, 4to, creased. 

"YET A NEW TALIESIN HAS RISEN IN A WHOLE SPIRITUAL INCARNATION ABOVE ITS OLD - TO BE LIVED UP TO BY A SADDER PERHAPS WISER AND YET A HAPPIER MAN THAN IT HAS EVER KNOWN...WINDS SELDOM BLOW DOWN OAKS WELL ROOTED IN WISCONSIN SOIL...AND TALIESIN IS AN OAK."

Writing shortly after scandal with Miriam Noel (see previous lot), Wright carefully considers the past and the future of Taliesin.  After the devastating fire and tragedy that took the life of his partner Mamah Cheney in 1914, Wright rebuilt Taliesin II, where he lived with his second wife, Miriam Noel Wright.  On 20 April 1925, Taliesin was yet again destroyed by fire.  

Recognizing that Taliesin has become inextricably linked with several of his relationships, Wright continues to grapple with his relationship with the press: "Somehow Taliesin is mixed up in popular imagination with 'women': ignorant because regardless of true circumstances, 'the public'...takes for granted that where there are 'women' there must be demoralization blame and disgrace. And 'journalism' of the baser sort suppressing facts it may privately know to the contrary...that demoralization should enter the popular mind with women is not fair....I would be a coward to feel anyone by myself to blame for all this....Those who meet life head on not only make good copy for newspapers they arouse and set in motion forces for evil as well as good."

Throughout, he considers Taliesin's past as he contemplates building for its future: "The unfortunate comrade whose shelter Taliesin originally was met her death here in one of those unaccountable strokes of human fate that is like a stroke of lightning. Those privileged to touch the personal life of the Taliesin of that time in its difficult circumstances respected it highly. Only those who did not know it imagined it eccentric and profane. Tragedy suddenly destroyed that life forever and left a black whole, its smoking crater of a volcano upon the hill where once Taliesin stood. I was left to rebuild it - better and stronger than before. I tried to share the life I had dedicated to high purposes and great work there with a poor woman...This phase of Taliesin was ill-starred from its unsuitable beginning....Morbid resentments and suspicions hard to contemplate and worse to struggle with made Taliesin, for seven of the eight years, dead to all I had made it for.

"ONCE MORE THE LIGHTNING STRUCK AND THE TALIESIN THAT WITNESSED THAT USELESS STRUGGLE AND EVERY OBJECT LEFT IN IT WHICH THAT MORBID LIFE HAD TOUCHED WENT DOWN TO UTTER RUIN.

"I built it up again, this time painfully, with infinite difficulty out of scant resources, but better, nobler and stronger than before....And life smiled, life brought Taliesin late, at last, friendship and release from loneliness in sorrow and suffering in defeat. Blessed life can so bruise and maim and then bind up closing wounds and heal them." The metaphorical rebuilding which Wright contemplates would not be completed until 1928. Some of his best-known buildings and most ambitious designs would be created in his studio during the Taliesin III period, including Fallingwater, the world headquarters for S.C. Johnson, and the first Usonian house. 

  • Estimate$4,000 - $6,000

Sold for $5,000

Sold prices are inclusive of Buyer’s Premium