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Exterior photograph looking south at Taliesin's Garden Court with Curtis Besinger working on stone

In Return for the Use of the Tractor

Photograph taken in 1943. From Taliesin’s Breezeway looking (plan) south at Wright’s apprentice, Curtis Besinger. He’s in Taliesin’s Garden Court, sorting through flagstones that would later be put on the ground in the courtyard. In my goal of researching Taliesin’s history, I examined Wright’s correspondence looking for anything that might give information about changes Wright […]

Cover of the Wisconsin magazine of History, Volume 50, Number 2, Winter, 1967

“Keiran: don’t try to correct the Internet”

That’s what a former boyfriend once told me. I believe that came after I’d spent feverish, anxious hours trying to change every incorrect utterance online to Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth date: June 8, 1867. What was wrong? People wrote (and still sometimes write) incorrectly that he was born on June 8, 1869. What can I […]

Floor plan of Taliesin. Drawing #1104.003. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art|Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).

“This will be a nice addition…”

A drawing of Taliesin, executed in June 1911. This drawing is accessible from https://library.artstor.org/#/asset/28509365;prevRouteTS=1621879846896 110 years ago, on May 25, 1911, the Weekly Home News (the newspaper of Spring Green, Wisconsin), noted on page 4 that: “Mrs. Hannah Wright is building her home in Hillside valley, adjoining the old homestead, a little north and west […]

Mies van der Rohe Farnsworth House on top and part of Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin on bottom.

“Treat him well and love him as I do”—Frank Lloyd Wright on Mies van der Rohe

Two pictures of the Midwest in Spring: the top shows the Farnsworth House, by Mies van der Rohe, in Plano, IL in early April. The bottom shows Taliesin, and was taken in early June. Taliesin, in Wisconsin, is 3 hours north of the Farnsworth House. I looked into architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) […]

Taliesin interior. On left: by Raymond Trowbridge, 1930. On right, by Keiran Murphy 2019.

Why Did You Have to do That, Mr. Wright?!1

Two views of the same space, 89 years apart. Frank Lloyd Wright began his home, Taliesin (south of Spring Green, Wisconsin), in 1911 and worked on it almost continuously until he died in 1959. As researcher and historian I easily documented over 100 changes he made just to his home (that number doesn’t include the […]

Photograph of nurses and wounded soldiers during World War 1

The Worst Mistake We’ve Ever Made as a Species

Caption: “Moreuil, France, 30 July 1916. Nurses Coloimbet, Louis, Egot and Flageollet pose with solders at a French military hospital in Moreuil, in the départment of the Somme. This picture was taken a month after the start of the Battle of the Somme…” A7794. Stéphane Passet. This was my assessment about World War I after […]

Taliesin from the south. circa 1920

Taliesin’s 1925 Fire

Looking north at Taliesin, 1920-24. On the far left is a workman’s apartment. The vertical tower to the right of the apartment is called the “Hill Tower”. On the far right are Wright’s living quarters. The workman’s apartment and Wright’s living quarters are connected under roofs. But, you can’t see it all because the building […]

Frank Lloyd Wright on balcony at Taliesin.

Mortar Mix

This post is about figuring out where Wright was standing in the photo at the top of this page. And, several years ago, “Looked at some mortar,” was my answer to the question, “What did you do at work today?” Wait – what? Why? A collection of images in Delaware: Earlier that day someone from […]

Books by apprentices

Last time I wrote on the book Years With Frank Lloyd Wright: Apprentice to Genius by former Wright apprentice, Edgar Tafel. This week I’m writing about more books by Taliesin Fellowship apprentices. If you need to remember what the Taliesin Fellowship is, click here Memoirs by former apprentices: Reflections From the Shining Brow: My years […]

Black and white photograph of apprentices Edgar Tafel and Jack Howe sitting on Taliesin's Hill Crown.

Apprentice to Genius: A Recommended Book

Apprentices Edgar Tafel (left) and Jack Howe (right) sitting on Taliesin’s hill crown. Wright’s bedroom is to the right of Howe’s left elbow. “You’ve made it,” I whispered to myself. At the far end of the room, on a raised platform serving as a stage, stood Mr. Wright. It was like coming into a presence. […]

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