Westward for Sunshine
February 11, 2014 § 1 Comment
The winter blasts have not receded, so this week I am going to follow Frank Lloyd Wright’s escape path westward to Scottsdale, Arizona. Beginning in 1938, the Taliesin Fellowship has annually moved for the winter months from Spring Green, Wisconsin, to what is now known as Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona. The community remains active today, and sometime during my stay in Scottsdale I will make my annual pilgrimage to Taliesin to soak up the Wright environment.
Susan wanted to visit Taliesin in Spring Green in 1933 when the Fellowship was less than a year old. She had read an article in a magazine about Wright’s new experiment in communal living and learning that he was establishing in Wisconsin. In a letter dated August 17, 1933, she asked him if she could travel to Taliesin and “give it a look over.” Wright immediately replied that she was welcome to visit. Furthermore, he invited her to invest some money in the Fellowship or to buy some land on the property. He suggested that she could build a house there and watch firsthand the progress of the enterprise. There is no record of a visit to Taliesin by Susan, and since she was struggling financially in 1933, it is highly unlikely that she put money into Wright’s fledgling venture.
Written from the Arizona desert, my next post will include some of my observations about today’s Taliesin West. According to my friend Mary Ann Langston who volunteers at Taliesin West, someone once asked Frank Lloyd Wright, “Why do you like Arizona?” His reply was, “It is because of the eternal and everlasting smile of the sun.” I plan to smile back.