Members of the Scottsdale Rotary Club were recently given an up-close explanation of the inner workings of Scottsdale’s Taliesin West and Frank Lloyd Wright’s history, innovation and architectural school.
Stuart Graff, CEO and president of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, was the guest speaker at the club’s Oct. 30 meeting.
Mr. Graff’s remarks included:
* Frank Lloyd Wright had a 70-year career.
* He was born in Wisconsin in 1867 just after the Civil War and died in 1953 before Sputnik and the space age.
* Mr. Wright thought of how development occurred: “How do we live” and “How do we build.”
* He was an architect of ideas and his ideas are relevant today. Mr. Wright built Taliesin in Wisconsin in 1911 after his Prairie School years in Chicago area.
His notable architectural landmarks include: Imperial Hotel in Japan, 1915; Fellowship, 1932; Textile Block, 1935; Usonian Home, 1930, and Johnson Wax Building, 1936.
Mr. Wright came to Arizona in 1938 upon a doctor’s advice for his health and first stayed at the Jokake Inn. He called the desert environment “raw geometry” and Scottsdale’s Taliesin West “the rim of the world at the moment of creation.”
The area around Taliesin West contains petroglyphs from the Hohokam and tool-making rocks. His work at Taliesin West inspired so many buildings around the world and culminated in the Guggenheim Museum.
Mr. Wright’s archives have been safely moved to Columbia University and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, where they are now accessible to scholars and students from around the world.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has a $8.6 million annual operating budget, with $700,000 designated toward the School of Architecture.
Income sources include: $3 million from tourism, $1 million from donations and about $1.2 million from grants.
The foundation has brought back Shakespearean theater productions; holds salons called “Taliesin Next” which take place in the living room of the Frank Lloyd Wright house; conducts K-12 field trips; and provides internet educational programs; and partners with Childsplay and the Arizona School of the Arts.
The School of Architecture at Taliesin received its re-accreditation Aug. 1, 2017. The school currently has 15 students and expects to grow to 45.
For more information about Rotary Club of Scottsdale – see www.scottsdalerotary.org.