Writing Wright With Light-Photo Adventures at two Wright sites in Milwaukee

© Mark Hertzberg

Something wasn’t right today. I was not committed to taking pictures as I accompanied my 11th Road Scholar Frank Lloyd Wright trip, my second in a month, to sites in Milwaukee today.* As I have written in past blogs, I try to see and photograph something new every time I visit a familiar Wright site, but I did not feel photographically inspired this trip. When I got to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Burnham Block, our first stop, I thought I had seen all the pictures there were to take, on the trip in May:

https://wrightinracine.wordpress.com/2022/05/19/wright-tourism-is-back-bits-of-burnham/

So, I left my workhorse cameras on the bus and carried just my iPhone 11 Pro. Then I saw something that struck me. I gingerly took out my phone and snapped a picture:

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I put the phone back in my pocket, thinking it would be a “one and done” day. I took two photos of Road Scholars eager to enter the American System-Built B-1 Richards House, and again figured, that would be it for the day:

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Ah, but there was more to come, above me, and inside the house:

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Done for the day? Maybe, but I decided to bring the “real” cameras with me when we got to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa. I was immediately struck by the cloudless and rich blue sky. It seemed in synch with the blue color scheme of much of the church building. First, was the obligatory “record” snapshot before pushing my eye:

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The “crown of thorns” below the domed roof presented myriad photos:

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Then I came to the entry way and its cantilevered canopy:

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There are thousands of two inch by two inch ceramic tiles above the roof of the canopy. Our docent, my friend Cathy Spyres, explained that these are the same tiles that were on the original roof of the church. The original tiles were not replaced after they started popping off the roof.

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Then, onto a quest to see something new inside the church:

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Spyres told the guests that blue (as well as gold) is one of the dominant colors inside and outside the church because it is part of the Byzantine heritage. So was the sky, I thought, as I heard her explanation.

I was in touch a few months ago with the director of a Wright site to take photos for a forthcoming Wright book by a university professor. The director was critical of one of my earlier photos from the site because it had an “on the spot look.” I asked for clarification: “On the spot means it looks like a hand-held shot. It isn’t carefully studied. It has a casual look.” I make no apologies for my style of working: “Casually,” and “hand-held.”

Photography literally means “writing with light.” Today the light was perfect for me to write Wright.

*The guests’ week-long itinerary begins in Chicago and Oak Park, continues to Racine, where I join them, then on to Milwaukee, Madison, and Spring Green. They see 12 Wright sites in Wisconsin during this deep immersion into the World of Wright:

https://www.roadscholar.org/find-an-adventure/22976/architectural-masterworks-of-frank-lloyd-wright

Photographing Wright

Photos (c) Mark Hertzberg 2017

I have been accompanying a Road Scholar architecture tour in Racine, Milwaukee, Madison, and Spring Green. Below are some photos I’ve shot during the tour, as well as some photos from a shoot at SC Johnson Tuesday:

The ceiling in the entry way of Wyoming Valley School, Spring Green:Wyoming Valley 2 LR.jpg

Classroom window mitre at Wyoming Valley School:Wyoming Valley LR 1.jpg

View of the Wisconsin River from Riverview Terrace Restaurant:

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The Ceiling in the Assembly Room of Hillside Home School, Spring Green:

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Taliesin, Spring Green:

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Unitarian Meeting House, Madison

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Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Wauwatosa:

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Wingpsread (H.F. Johnson Jr. Home), Wind Point:

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SC Johnson Administration Building, Racine:

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And, finally, one that did not work out…I needed a photo to illustrate Wright’s use of light in the Great Workroom…I did not want the typical documentary photo. I borrowed a fisheye lens from Nikon. I have given it a trial run with some people via email, and they have given it a thumbs down. I am inclined to agree with them. But I had to try it. Here is what that miss looks like:Skylights 9.5.17.jpg

Good Friday at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

Photos and text (c) Mark Hertzberg

       I had the privilege of being invited by Father Angelo Artemas to photograph vespers and evening services yesterday, Good Friday in the Greek Orthodox Church, at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church near Milwaukee.

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        I came there as an architectural photographer, but photographed as a photojournalist, to show how the building works for its intended purpose, as an ecclesiastical building. I was allowed to shoot from wherever I wanted to go during the services, and was warmly welcomed by the congregation. The photos that follow show the service and rich traditions of the church, as well as the building. They are in order: first, the afternoon vespers service, and then the candlelit evening service, which included a procession around the outside of the church.

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Congregants kissed the icon of Jesus Christ before vespers

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Father David Hostetler holds the Gospel aloft during a procession around the sanctuary

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Much of the liturgy is conducted by the priests behind the screen in front of the sanctuary. This is because the priests lead the congregation in prayer, rather than praying to them. As shown in a previous posting of interior photos of the church (https://wrightinracine.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/annunciation-greek-orthodox-church-2/)

Eugene Masselink’s icons were replaced by icons that are said to better reflect church doctrine. That is why there are no plans to put Masselink’s icons back in the sanctuary. Masselink’s icons are shown in the previous article.

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Father Angelo Artemas takes the icon of Christ down from the cross

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The shrouded icon (right) is then carried around the church

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ImageAt the end of the service congregants, including children, express their reverence as they kiss the Gospel, the cross, and art work of the crucifixion of Christ which are displayed in a flower-decorated symbolic representation of the empty tomb of Christ. The empty tomb is part of the procession outside the church during the evening service, below:

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Father David Hostetler lights congregants’ candles

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The procession forms to go outside

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Father Angelo Artemas gives congregants flowers from the symbolic empty tomb, as they kiss his hand at the end of the evening service.