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Museum Exhibits Rare Photos of Taliesin I


A triptych view from the rare Taliesin I photo album showing the living room and fireplace in the first incarnation of Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio in Spring Green, Wisconsin

Reproductions of 33 rare and historic photographs and a small selection of original photographs that document the construction of the original Taliesin, the residence and studio Frank Lloyd Wright designed and built in Spring Green, Wisconsin, in 1911-1912, are on exhibit now at the Wisconsin Historical Museum. A Taliesin Album: Rare Photographs of Frank Lloyd Wright's First Spring Green Home will run through March 13. The photos come from a photo album that provides a rare glimpse at a structure that stood for only a couple of years. An arsonist burned down the residential wing of Taliesin I on August 15, 1914, and murdered seven people inside.

The Story Behind the Photo Album

In January 2005, with the assistance of 45 donors, the Wisconsin Historical Society purchased the photograph album that showed up suddenly on an eBay auction. The album was assembled at the time of Taliesin's completion in 1912. The identity of the album's creator, recipient or photographers is unknown. The images may have been taken by draftsman Taylor Woolley and/or by Wright himself. While these facts remain a mystery, the album sheds new light on the nature of the building and the property in the absence of many other visual documents.

After the destruction of Taliesin I, Wright quickly set out to rebuild. Taliesin II stood for 10 years until another fire claimed it in 1925. Work on the present-day Taliesin (III) began shortly thereafter.

For complete details on museum hours, location, admission, parking and bus routes, see the museum's visitor information section.

:: Posted February 8, 2010

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