My next post, Oldest Part of Taliesin, II , is on the way (part I is here). First though, I’m going to add a portion of an “At Taliesin” article posted in 1936 that was about Thanksgiving. In 1936, the Taliesin Fellowship, with the Wrights, celebrated Thanksgiving in Wisconsin.
Visitors who have seen Taliesin probably noticed that there is something uncompromising about Taliesin people’s clothes. We are seen either in overalls and working gloves or in evening dresses, respectfully dark suits: never the in-between morning clothes, afternoon clothes, etc. So it is also with our activities. Either at work, even in the studio – always prepared to jump in for some “dirty” job – or having beautiful parties and feasts.
Our Thanksgiving dinner was a real feast. Mrs. Wright directing everything in the preparation, yet never tired to add some new surprising touches of her refined taste both to the menu and decoration, making the party true to Taliesin tradition and yet have some unusual atmosphere.
And in this beautiful atmosphere among pine branches and chrysanthemums as if growing out of the interior architecture – there came to us the romance of Japanese prints – told by our Master. Mr. Wright has this wonderful manner of giving his most profound thoughts in a conversational tone. They seem so natural – in fact, I think every great thought is natural only it takes a great mind and creative imagination to formulate it and show it to people.
And in the low beautiful Fellowship dining room with pine branches overhead and yellow chrysanthemums dramatic and picturesque scenes, past and present, passed before our eyes: each of them seeming to have itself the colors and design of a Japanese print, as Mr. Wright was telling how the hoarded cases and boxes in Japanese court circles finally got open after centuries to show their contents and to tell him and the world their illuminating story. And find a final resting place in the great museums of the new world.
By MARYA LILIEN
In 1936, Thanksgiving took place on the last Thursday in November. That changed in 1941, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday in November.
Architect, writer, and Wright expert, Randolph C. Henning, went through most of the “At Taliesin” newspaper articles published in 1934-1937. He transcribed as many of these as possible and published them in a book: At Taliesin: Newspaper Columns by Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Fellowship, 1934-1937 –
I mentioned this and other books in my post, “Books by apprentices“.
He gave me an electronic version of the articles. That’s how I acquired the article that Lilien wrote.
First published November 23, 2022.
The post, “What’s the Oldest Part of Taliesin, Part II” is here.
Never in my life have I been given a more sensitive and comprehending tour of anything, anywhere. Listening to her talk about Wright and looking at everything she pointed out, I felt as if my eyes had opened to twice their normal size."
Whenever I have a question regarding anything Taliesin-related Keiran Murphy is the first person I turn to."
… her knowledge of Frank Lloyd Wright is close to astonishing. Over many years she has simply absorbed him—and his beloved Taliesin—into her bones.” “I am in awe at her willingness—her delight—in sharing what she knows with others."