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A Home Befitting a Triumphant, Tragic Genius


Frank Lloyd Wright sits by a sunlit window in his living room at Taliesin
WHI 23788

A new book from the Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 'Building Taliesin: Frank Lloyd Wright's Home of Love and Loss,' details the creation of the famed architect's Taliesin, which would be Wright's principal residence until the end of his life. Author Ron McCrea paints a vibrant picture of the building and its central characters through letters, memoirs, contemporary documents and a stunning assemblage of photographs — many of which have never before been published. Photos taken by Wright's associates show rare views of Taliesin under construction and illustrate Wright's own recollections of the first summer there and the craftsmen who worked on the site.

A Poignant and Tragic Tale

The cover of "Building Taliesin: Frank Lloyd Wright's Home of Love and Loss"

The book also brings to life Wright's kindred spirit, "she for whom Taliesin had first taken form," Mamah Borthwick. Wright and Borthwick had each abandoned their families to be together, causing a scandal that reverberated far beyond Wright's beloved Wisconsin valley. The shocking murder and fire that took place at Taliesin in August 1914 brought this first phase of life at Taliesin to a tragic end.

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, San Jose Mercury News, The Washington Post, The Washington Star, The Boston Globe and The Capital Times in Madison, 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.

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:: Posted July 5, 2012

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