UNESCO Plaque Celebration

© Mark Hertzberg (2021)

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 002.jpg

The early morning fog burned off in time for two ceremonies at Taliesin Wednesday September 15, one to cut a ribbon for the restored Tea Circle, the other to unveil two plaques marking Taliesin’s place in architectural history. One plaque notes Taliesin’s designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1976, the other notes it as one of eight Wright sites collectively named UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2019. The latter marked years of effort by many people with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy in particular. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Anne Sayers, Wisconsin’s Secretary of Tourism headlined the event.

First, I will show you two photos I took wandering through Taliesin before the event, showing the view of Tan-y-deri from Mr. Wright’s bedroom and studio and one I took in the Blue Loggia:

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 013.jpg

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 019.jpg

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 021.jpg

Kimberley Valentine, left, Carrie Rodamaker and Stuart Graff, center, greet guests before the ceremony:

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 012.jpg

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 032.jpg

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 046.jpg

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 049.jpg

Gov. Evers was introduced to Minerva Montooth shortly after his arrival (look for a profile story about Minerva and my history of photographs of her on this website soon):

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 081.jpg

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 083.jpg

Carrie Rodamaker, CEO of Taliesin Preservation, led the ceremonies in front of the Belvedere:

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 100.jpg

There was a break in the middle of the speeches for Phillis Schippers, left, Gail Fox, and Sid Robinson to cut a red ribbon at the Tea Circle:

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 104.jpg

Then the two plaques on the crest of the hill were unveiled:

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 160.jpg

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 162.jpg

Gov. Evers and Secretary Sayers then toured Taliesin:

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 193.jpg

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 175.jpg

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 215.jpg

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 229.jpg

Sid Robinson and Minerva greeted each other:

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 242.jpg

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 172.jpg

Taliesin UNESCO World Heritage Site 173.jpg

— 30 —

 

 

Photographing Wright, redux

(c) Mark Hertzberg (2019)

Note: My photos of Minerva and Charles Montooth are the post below this one.

This is the final installment of my 2019 quest to find new photos as I visit buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that are familiar to me. I visited them five times accompanying Road Scholar trips this year:

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

I have posted earlier photos on the website since May. Have a look, and let me know what you think!!! The photos are in the order in which we visited these sites…not all the sites visited are represented on this post.

Wingspread, Wind Point (Racine):

Wingspread.JPG

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa:

AGOC 002.JPG

AGOC 001.JPG

Jacobs 1, Madison:

Jacobs 1 004.jpg

Jacobs 1 001.JPG

Jacobs 1 002.JPG

Jacobs 1 003.jpg

The Unitarian Meeting House, Madison:

Unitarian 002.JPG

Unitarian 001.JPG

Unitarian 003.JPG

Wyoming Valley School, Spring Green:

Wyoming Valley.jpg

Taliesin 3:

Taliesin 001.JPG

Taliesin 002.JPG

Taliesin 003.JPG

The original drafting studio at Taliesin:

Drafting Studio 001.jpg

Drafting Studio 002.jpg

Drafting Studio 003.jpg

Drafting Studio 004.jpg

Drafting Studio 005.jpg

Midway Barns:

Midway.jpg

Hillside Home and School:

Hillside .JPG

Michael DiPadova continues reconstruction of the Tea Circle:

Tea Circle 5.jpg

Tea Circle 4.jpg

Tea Circle 3.jpg

Tea Circle 1.jpg

Tea Circle 2.jpg

And, finally, my friends, I leave you with two more “selfies,” one at Wingspread and one at Taliesin!

Taliesin Selfie 9.25.19.jpg

Wingspread Selfie.jpg

Photographing my Friend Minerva Montooth

(c) Mark Hertzberg (2019)

Olgivanna Wright could not have picked a better and more congenial assistant for 25 years than Minerva Montooth, who I am privileged to call a friend. Make that “Friend” with a Capital F. We have been privileged to know Minerva Montooth since May 2003 when her late husband Charles invited me to give my “Wright in Racine” presentation in the theater at Hillside Home and School (that was indeed a heady invitation for a burgeoning journalist-student of Wright’s work!). Minerva has kindly invited us to the annual celebration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday at Taliesin every year since then.

I visit Minerva in her apartment at Taliesin whenever I am on campus helping lead Road Scholar explorations of Wright’s work in Wisconsin https://www.roadscholar.org/find-an-adventure/22976/architectural-masterworks-of-frank-lloyd-wright

Last week Minerva told me how she came to join the Wright community at Taliesin West in 1952 (gosh, I was only 18 months old!). She has a keen photographic eye. I admired the magnificent lighting of a photo of Charles, who died in December 2014, in her living room, not knowing that she was the photographer. When it was time for me to leave, I couldn’t just leave; after all my camera first had to photograph Minerva and Fifi:

Minerva Montooth Fifi 9.25.19 003.jpg

Minerva Montooth Fifi 9.25.19 009.jpg

Below are some of my earlier photos of Charles and Minerva:Evening at Taliesin 2004 008.jpg

Charles on the “Birdwalk” at Taliesin, Wright birthday celebration, 2004.

P50 JT Charles Montooth LR .jpg

Charles at The Prairie School in Wind Point (Racine), October 2003, with plans for the addition to the athletic center. Charles designed the original school building and each subsequent addition. He worked with Floyd Hamblen on the addition.

Johnson Athletic Center011 LR.jpg

Minerva and Charles at the dedication of the new facility, January 2005.

Johnson Athletic Center014 LR.jpg

Charles accepts accolades at the dedication.

By the way, if you email Minerva or write her something on Facebook, don’t expect a reply during your normal business hours: she is a confirmed computer night owl…1 a.m. is not an unusual time stamp for her.

Minerva Montooth 6.11.16 001.JPG

Minerva at the 2016 Wright birthday celebration.

We love you, Minerva!

 

Exploring Wright with My Cameras, 9.18.19

(c) Mark Hertzberg (2019)

This is a follow-up post to the one from two days ago and several from earlier this year, as I visit Frank Lloyd Wright sites that are familiar to me with guests traveling on Road Scholar tours. I have been with four tours this year, a fifth one is scheduled for next week. One of our guests this week was from Australia:

LR Touring Taliesin 003.jpg

LR Taliesin Selfie 9.18.19.jpg

My challenge to myself is to try to see (i.e. photograph) these sites in new ways on each visit. Earlier this summer Taliesin Preservation was kind enough to ask me to write about my photography for their blog:

https://www.taliesinpreservation.org/behind-the-lens/

I am dedicating this post to my friend Cate Boldt, docent and educator extraordinaire at Taliesin. First you see Cate, a Master Gardener, preparing for her role as a Taliesin Garden Fairy, and then with students in Taliesin’s summer architecture camp, as students prepare for their final presentations at Hillside Theater (the practice run was at Wyoming Valley School):

Taliesin Garden Fairy Cate Boldt  003.jpg

LR Cate Boldt Camp.jpg

Our first stop Wednesday morning was at Jacobs 1 in Madison:

LR Jacobs 1 9.18.19 001.jpg

I was taken with the glint of morning sun on the side of the house:

LR Jacobs 1 9.18.19 002.jpg

LR Jacobs 1 9.18.19 005.jpg

I have long admired James Dennis’s red Volvo P1800 sports coupe which sits under Wright’s first carport. Wednesday I challenged myself to photograph it in the context of the house:

Jacobs 1 9.18.19 009.jpg

Jacobs 1 9.18.19 012.jpg

Jacobs 1 9.18.19 013.jpg

Then it was on to the Unitarian Meeting House where I concentrated on the new copper roof. There is just a hint of light on the left edge of the prow in the first photo, the usual angle from which the church is photographed:

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 001.jpg

Then it was time to play with light and shapes:

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 003.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 006.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 007.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 008.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 010.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 012.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 013.jpg

As I shot the next few photos I longed for the days I worked for a newspaper, when I likely would have been given access inside the fence and allowed to climb up with the craftsmen restoring the landmark building:

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 014.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 016.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 018.jpg

Our next stop was Wyoming Valley School. I have posted geometric photos in the past, but I found new lines to photograph Wednesday as Mary Pohlman told our guests about the school:

Wyoming Valley School 9.18.19 001.jpg

Wyoming Valley School 9.18.19 002.jpg

Wyoming Valley School 9.18.19 003.jpg

Wyoming Valley School 9.18.19 005.jpg

I found a new way to show one of the many mitered windows:

Wyoming Valley School 9.18.19 004.jpg

After lunch at Riverview Terrace, it was on for a Cate-led tour of Taliesin. What could I see differently? The first two photographs are reflections in windows:

Talesin 9.18.19 004.jpg

Talesin 9.18.19 001.jpg

Percy Jackson (Hamblen) thinks he rules the roost (Fifi Montooth sometimes loudly challenges Percy, but she can never catches him):

Talesin 9.18.19 006.jpg

Inside the original drafting studio:

Talesin 9.18.19 007.jpg

Talesin 9.18.19 008.jpg

Talesin 9.18.19 009.jpg

In Mrs. Wright’s bedroom:

Talesin 9.18.19 011.jpg

Outside Mr. Wright’s bedroom:

Talesin 9.18.19 012.jpg

I struck out at Hillside Home and School, but that is okay…I can’t force pictures that don’t present themselves to me. Earlier Cate had urged me not to miss photographing Kevin Dodds (white shirt) from Taliesin Preservation and Michael DiPadova from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation as they rebuild the Tea Circle:

Taliesin Tea Circle Rebuild 003.jpg

Taliesin Tea Circle Rebuild 005.jpg

Taliesin Tea Circle Rebuild 007.jpg

Taliesin Tea Circle Rebuild 008.jpg

Taliesin Tea Circle Rebuild 009.jpg

Taliesin Tea Circle Rebuild 010.jpg

Taliesin Tea Circle Rebuild 011.jpg

Taliesin Tea Circle Rebuild 012.jpg

I leave you with one more “Selfie,” my reflection in the trim of the headlight of Jim’s Volvo:

LR Volvo P1800 Selfie.jpg

Thank you for joining me on my photo adventures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poking Around Taliesin With My Cameras

(c) Mark Hertzberg (2019)

Taliesin 6.8.19 003.jpg

This is the third installment this spring in my photographic discoveries at Taliesin…based on the premise that one can indeed see new things even on one’s umpteenth visit to a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. This visit was the weekend of June 8…when we were privileged to stay overnight in the Rose guest room after Minerva Montooth’s and Taliesin Preservation’s annual celebration of Wright’s birthday.

Taliesin 6.8.19 008.jpg

Taliesin 6.8.19 010.jpg

Taliesin 6.8.19 011.jpg

Taliesin 6.8.19 013.jpg

Taliesin 6.8.19 017.jpg

Taliesin 6.8.19 024.jpg

Taliesin 6.8.19 025.jpg

Taliesin 6.8.19 029.jpg

Taliesin 6.8.19 030.jpg

Taliesin 6.8.19 031.jpg

Taliesin 6.8.19 032.jpg

Taliesin 6.8.19 033.jpg

Taliesin 6.8.19 034.jpg

Taliesin 6.8.19 036.jpg

Taliesin 6.8.19 037.jpg

Taliesin 6.8.19 038.jpg

Taliesin 6.8.19 040.jpg

Yes, as seen above, sometimes there is a reason I bring a camera into the bathroom!

Taliesin 6.8.19 045.jpg

There are, indeed, gnats and mosquitoes on a warm spring evening.

Taliesin 6.8.19 047.jpg

 

Happy 152nd Birthday, Frank Lloyd Wright

(c) Mark Hertzberg (2019)

It is always a joy to mark Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday at Taliesin at a party hosted by the always-gracious Minerva Montooth and Taliesin Preservation. The celebration, which is always on a Saturday, was on June 8, his birth date.This year we had the privilege of staying overnight at Taliesin for the first time because I was giving a presentation the next day at Hillside about my new book about Penwern, the Fred B. Jones estate on Delavan Lake.

2019 Wright Birthday 006.jpg

Caroline Hamblen, left, Director of Programs, and Kyle Adams, Events Manager, show Minerva the traditional Frank Lloyd Wright birthday cake, made from his favorite cake recipe.

 

Dixie Legler Guerrero chats with Minerva.

2019 Wright Birthday 024.jpg

2019 Wright Birthday 001.jpg

2019 Wright Birthday 011.jpgCarrie Rodamaker, Executive Director of Taliesin Preservation, speaks under a lovely evening sky. This year’s guests were not subjected to the heat and humidity that has beset past birthday celebrations.2019 Wright Birthday 023.jpg

2019 Wright Birthday 015.jpgAaron Betsky, Dean of the School of Architecture at Taliesin

2019 Wright Birthday 017.jpgBenjamin Feiner played for the guests.

2019 Wright Birthday 020.jpg

2019 Wright Birthday 022.jpg

2019 Wright Birthday 025.jpg

2019 Wright Birthday 030.jpg

2019 Wright Birthday 031.jpgMinerva holds Fifi as the celebration winds down at 9:30 p.m.

 

Photographing Familiar Wright Sites, Part 2

Photos (c) Mark Hertzberg (2019)

A few weeks ago I posted photos that showed new things I saw at Frank Lloyd Wright sites that I had visited “umpteen” times. I was helping lead a Road Scholar tour and had told the guests that one of the joys of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture is the challenge of seeing his work in new ways on return visits. For me that means I have a personal challenge to see new things to photograph. On my visit to Taliesin last Friday – just two weeks after my last visit with a Road Scholar group – I saw many new things. One cannot help but be on the lookout for new things with Cate Boldt as docent (and that is not to diminish her colleagues’ skills, but, well, Cate is Cate!).

Taliesin Piano 007.jpg

I cannot count the number of times I have been in the living room at Taliesin and seen the piano. This was the first time I saw it this way and thought about Wright and his apprentices sitting next to the windows and gazing out at the “Valley of the Almighty Joneses” (the late Edgar Tafel, one of the first Taliesin Fellowship apprentices, often told of Wright directing him, “Edgarrrrr, play some Bach!”). Hats off to Cate for sending me into the small kitchen adjacent to the living room to look for our friend Minerva Montooth!

Taliesin Piano 003.jpg

How many times have I seen the old drafting tables in the original drafting room? This is the first time I have seen photographs in them:

Taliesin Drafting Room 002.jpg

Taliesin Drafting Room 003.jpg

This is what Wright called “the belvidere,” framed by the wisteria plants outside his bedroom:

Taliesin 5.31.19 018.jpg

I led my last post with a view of the farmland framed by a window near the bird walk. I saw more things framed by windows this visit. Two photos look abstract because I shot them as my camera’s autofocus was hunting for a focus spot:

Taliesin 5.31.19 015.jpg

Taliesin 5.31.19 016.jpg

Taliesin 5.31.19 011.jpg

Taliesin 5.31.19 010.jpg

Taliesin 5.31.19 009.jpgTaliesin 5.31.19 013.jpg

Taliesin 5.31.19 014.jpg

And, seen from the entrance to Hillside Theatre:

Taliesin 5.31.19 019.jpg

Sometimes the architecture itself frames our view:

Taliesin 5.31.19 004.jpg

Taliesin 5.31.19 006.jpg

Taliesin 5.31.19 007.jpg

Sometimes the red shuttle bus can add a point of interest, instead of being an element to crop out of the photo:

Taliesin 5.31.19 005.jpg

The next two photos are from the Jacobs 1 House and the Unitarian Meeting House in Madison:

Jacobs 1 5.31.19.jpg

eUnitarian Meeting House Hallway 5.31.19.jpg

While I have your attention, on June 14 Nick Hayes, steward of the Elizabeth Murphy American System-Built house in Shorewood (Milwaukee) will present a program about the house and the ASB homes in Milwaukee. I encourage you to hear his presentation:

https://uwm.edu/sce/courses/how-frank-lloyd-wright-built-an-artistic-legacy-from-a-tiny-house/

 

 

Photographing Wright for the Umpteenth Time

Photos and Text (c) Mark Hertzberg (2019)

When I take guests on Frank Lloyd Wright tours for Road Scholar I tell them that one of the joys of Wright’s architecture is the possibility of seeing new things on every visit to places one has been to before. I always take my cameras with me on the Road Scholar tours for that reason and on my fifth tour for them, two weeks ago, I saw new things in buildings I have photographed many times. Alas, I did not find new things at every site we visited.

My first discoveries were at 2734 W. Burnham Street in Milwaukee, an American System-Built duplex being restored by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Burnham Block. The walls have now been stripped off and I saw these things, including the incinerator chute in the kitchen. The first photo is the view from the living room into the kitchen:

2732-34 W. Burnham Interior 5.14.19 001.jpg

2732-34 W. Burnham Interior 5.14.19 003.jpg

I have photographed the Unitarian Meeting House in Madison many times. This visit I saw these views of the church. I hope to see the new copper roof by the time of my scheduled fall visits:

Unitarian Meeting House 5.15.19 004.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House 5.15.19 011.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House 5.15.19 012.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House 5.15.19 019.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House 5.15.19 015.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House 5.15.19 013.jpg

I also saw a picture which spoke to the church’s statement of what Unitarianism is about, a collection of May poles amidst a “Black Lives Matter” sign. No matter what one’s beliefs, this is what the church believes, which is why the church exists, which is why there was a building for Frank Lloyd Wright to design:

Unitarian Meeting House 5.15.19 002.jpg

I have enjoyed photographing one of Wright’s smaller commissions, the Wyoming Valley School. This is what I saw differently this time:

Wyoming Valley School 5.15.19 001.jpg

Wyoming Valley School 5.15.19 004.jpg

At Riverview Terrace (the Visitors Center at Taliesin), I was struck by the colors on a tree in the driveway:

Riverview Terrace 5.15.19 001.jpg

Then, of course, there was Taliesin. One of the guests asked why there are no art glass windows in the house. Cate Boldt (our superb docent) explained that Wright had no reason to shield the house for privacy and art glass windows would have blocked the views of his beloved land. What did Wright see?

Taliesin 5.15.19 001.jpg

Taliesin 5.15.19 003.jpg

Taliesin 5.15.19 004.jpgTaliesin 5.15.19 009.jpg

Windows looking out from the guest room were uncovered in December, 2017:

Taliesin Guest Room Windows 5.15.19 002.jpg

Taliesin Guest Room Windows 5.15.19 004.jpg

The “Hoffman rug” in the living room has been taken out:

Taliesin Living Room 5.15.19 002.jpg

Taliesin Living Room 5.15.19 004.jpg

Taliesin Living Room 5.15.19 007.jpg

Taliesin Living Room 5.15.19 011.jpg

The Romeo and Juliet Windmill and Tanyderi:

Taliesin Romeo and Juliet and Tanyderi 5.15.19.jpg

And, then, finally, this was the first time I saw the drafting room at Hillside Home and School without students, which meant I could go into the room and take pictures:

Hillside Drafting Room 5.15.19 003.jpg

Hillside Drafting Room 5.15.19 002.jpg

The tour I accompany for three days for Road Scholar is: https://www.roadscholar.org/find-an-adventure/22976/architectural-masterworks-of-frank-lloyd-wright

 

 

Reflecting on Wright at Taliesin

Photos (c) Mark Hertzberg 2018

LR Wright Birthday 2018 001.jpg

Much has been written about Frank Lloyd Wright’s reasons for building Taliesin after his return from Europe with Mamah Borthwick (Cheney). Perhaps Jamaal Allmond summed it up succinctly – without necessarily knowing the details of the turmoil in Wright’s life in 1911 – when I saw him at Taliesin Saturday several hours before the annual Wright birthday celebration. His answer when I asked him what I had just photographed him doing: “I was relaxing my soul.” Allmond, a first time visitor to Taliesin, is from Scottsdale, Arizona. He was visiting friends who are at Taliesin.

LR Wright Birthday 2018 004.jpg

Now, onto the annual celebration of Wright’s birthday at Taliesin, hosted by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, the School of Architecture at Taliesin, and Taliesin Preservation. Our hosts were the ever-ebuillent Minerva Montooth, Carrie Rodamaker, and Stuart Graff. There are more photos of Allmond “relaxing his soul” at the end of this post.

LR Wright Birthday 2018 017.jpg

LR Wright Birthday 2018 048.jpgThe birthday cake is presented.

LR Wright Birthday 2018 018.jpgMinerva Montooth greets guests at her home…Taliesin.

LR Wright Birthday 2018 026.jpgStuart Graff, president and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, describes his concrete (really!) bowtie to guests.Wright Birthday 2018 024.jpgJack Holzhueter, left, Mike Lilek (Frank Lloyd Wright’s Burnham Block, Inc.,) and Steve Sikora (Malcolm Willey House)

LR Wright Birthday 2018 035.jpgThe tables are turned on the photographer.

LR Wright Birthday 2018 003.jpg

LR Wright Birthday 2018 012.jpg

LR Wright Birthday 2018 008.jpg