Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why I Call Him Frank

I was watching a Ken Burns documentary recently in which the interviewee was describing the atmosphere at the Taliesin fellowship in Wisconsin. Frank's third wife, Olga, gave directions and communicated Frank's wishes to workers and students by telling them that "Mr. Wright said such and such," or "Mr. Wright wants so-and-so to do a, b and c." She rarely, if at all, referred to him as Frank to anyone.

So why do I call him Frank?

from les writes more Nov. 8, 2010

I wont say that everyone who knows me knows I love Frank, but I can confidently say that many people do. I love Frank so much, in fact, that I think we're on a first name basis. When I refer to Frank, the unknowing often ask, "Frank, who?" as though I'm referring to a friend. Frank, who? Pssssh! The Lloyd Wright himself, of course!

I digress...I love Frank. I admire Frank. I am in awe of Frank's work. The lines! The blending of earth and man! The organized abstract nature of it all. And that's just his work.

Frank himself is such an interesting man. His house burned twice. He left his wife and children for his mistress, and then his mistress and her children were murdered in his home by his employee. He married someone half his age -- and had a child with her. He was banished from Chicago society, had a sporadic streak that nearly bankrupted him more than once and was wildly impulsive. His best work came after he nearly lost it all, and I love him for that. He was cocky as hell, didn't listen to clients and was notorious for going over budget. I'm talking more than double what he was supposed to spend. He pushed the limits of design and engineering (have you seen Falling Water?). He rocks my world.

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