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Building Taliesin: Frank Lloyd Wright's Home of Love and Loss Paperback – June 12, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The photographs in Building Taliesin reveal a masterpiece in the making. This is a beautiful book." (Pedro E. Guerrero, Frank Lloyd Wright’s photographer)

"Building Taliesin is a thoroughly enjoyable history of the house that Frank Lloyd built for Mamah Borthwick. With rich details and rare photographs, author Ron McCrea offers up new insights into Taliesin and the lovers for whom it was a refuge. A fascinating read." (Nancy Horan, author, Loving Frank)

About the Author

Ron McCrea is a prize-winning journalist and former Alicia Patterson Fellow who worked on the news desks of New York Newsday, the San Jose Mercury News, the Washington Post, the Washington Star, the Boston Globe, and the Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin, where he served for a decade as city editor. He appears in the E! Entertainment Network’s documentary Mysteries and Scandals: Frank Lloyd Wright and the BBC’s Frank Lloyd Wright: Murder, Myth and Modernism, and wrote the script for “The Making of Monona Terrace: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Last Public Building,” a finalist at the New York Film Festival. He serves on the board of directors of AIA Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Society of Architects, as a professional affiliate member, and was the communications director for Wisconsin governor Tony Earl. He holds degrees from Albion College and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wisconsin Historical Society Press; 1st Edition edition (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870206060
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870206061
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #724,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Until recently, Taliesin 1 has always been rather elusive. With the publication of this book, which includes recent scholarly discoveries and a treasure trove of outstanding images, the origins, milieu and physical reality of Taliesin 1 can now be understood. The vast majority of images are crisp and detailed and are published in a large format. The author's writing style is lucid and logical but also has a story-telling aspect which I enjoyed.

A few quibbles:
1. This book deserved a hardcover release.
2. There are a few date / age discrepancies which should have been caught by a copy editor.
3. The one glaring shortcoming of this book is the lack of plans and elevations from the Taliesin archives. I know that they exist; they were included in the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum last year.

All in all, this is a must-have book for anyone interested in Taliesin and the life and work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While there have been many books written about Frank Lloyd Wright, this book takes an original look at the beginning of Taliesin. In addition to stellar research facts, never-before-published photos add to the complete picture of that era. This well-written, factual presentation is fascinating to read as it approaches FLW's history from "real time" facts, not fictional drama.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Think it's all been written before? This book uncovers new facts and pictures. It is scholarly yet readable. Fantastic research.
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Format: Paperback
Most readers have visited famous houses. Some are famous because of their magnificence: Breakers, Biltmore or Hearst Castle come to mind. Others are famous because of their associations: Mount Vernon, Monticello or Lincoln's home. What do you do with a home that is an example of stunning design, an incubator of genius and associated with both love and tragedy in the life of one of America's most renowned architects? If you are author Ron McCrea you would scour the world for the words and pictures that bring them to life and publish them in a book that is a treat for the mind and a delight for the eyes.

For the unaware, Taliesin is Frank Lloyd Wright's home, studio and farmstead in southern Wisconsin. "Building Taliesin" tells the tale of inception, construction and fiery end of the first phase of its existence. The 1911-1914 story begins with Wright and his lover, Mamah Borthwick, having abandoned their families preparatory to divorce, in their hideaway in Tuscany. Upon their return to America, Wright built a successor haven where they could continue their love in the hills of Wisconsin. Predictably for the time, they were objects of gossip as they lived their lives together, lives that would be cut short by a tragic and shocking crime. I will leave it at that. The suspense is part of the book.

Although Taliesin was a refuge, it did not exist in a vacuum. That Taliesin and its people played their parts in the Progressive Movement that dominated Wisconsin during this era is well documented in this book.

That, in brief, is the story. Now for the pictures: Leavened by over two hundred photos and drawings gathered from around the world, this book is a feast for the eyes.
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More about FLW life and times, but not really that specific on his thoughts on why the home was designed and how it evolved over time. Very interesting though, but wish it was more architecturally definitive.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great photo's and a detailed back story of the construction process in 1911. Interesting details of Fiesole influence on Wright's work.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The photos are wonderful and fill out the well known story. The writing is repetitive and seems to have been done in an effort to add more heft and perhaps more importance to the book.
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