Mamah Borthwick Cheney | Photograph | Wisconsin Historical Society

Photograph

Mamah Borthwick Cheney

Mamah Borthwick Cheney | Photograph | Wisconsin Historical Society
Mamah Borthwick Cheney, mistress of Frank Lloyd Wright.
DESCRIPTION
Mamah Borthwick Cheney, mistress of Frank Lloyd Wright.
RECORD DETAILS
Image ID:3970
Creation Date:date unknown
Creator Name:Chicago Tribune
City:
County:
State:
Collection Name:Frank Lloyd Wright and family photographs
Genre:Photograph
Original Format Type:photographic print, b&w
Original Format Number:PH 6045.5
Original Dimensions:8 x 10 inches
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
On 11/20/2007 from "The Wright Library" website: Martha "Mamah" Bouton Borthwick Cheney (June 19, 1869 - August 15, 1914). She was born in Boone, Iowa. She received a BA at the University of Michigan, and later worked as a librarian in Port Huron, Michigan. In 1899, she married Edwin Cheney, an electrical engineer from Oak Park, Illinois, USA. They had two children: John (1902) and Martha (1905). Edwin commissioned Wright to design them a home in 1903. In 1909, Mamah and Frank left their respective spouses and traveled to Europe, settling in Italy for about a year. Upon their return, they settled at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin. On August 15, 1914, one of Wright's recently hired domestic workers murdered Mamah, both her children, three of Wright's associates, and a son of one of the associates. He set fire to one wing of Taliesin, and murdered the seven people with an ax as they tried to escape the fire. At the time, Wright was overseeing work on Midway Gardens in Chicago. Catherine Wright refused to give Wright a divorce until November 13, 1922. Note on Verso, dated 11/15/22 (two days after divorce was granted) "Old love of famous architect who is divorced. Photo is of Mamah Borthwick Cheney who fled with Frank Lloyd Wright to a `Love Hegira' in Japan, and who died in the flames of the 'Love Bungalow' of herself and Wright, at Spring Green, Wis. Note: Chicago Herald & Examiner of November 15th carried story of Frank Lloyd Wright divorce." Very few images exist. Meryle Secrest notes in a portrait caption "Frank Lloyd Wright A Biography" 1992, page 196, "The only known photograph of Mamah Borthwick Cheney, published in the Chicago Tribune at the time of her murder, in 1914."
SUBJECTS
Portraits
Women

How to Purchase a Copy

For Personal Use

For commercial or non-profit use, please contact Image Sales.

By clicking "BUY" you agree to our Terms of Use.

10-percent discount for Society Members.

Image-purchasing questions? Please Contact Us.

RIGHTS AND PERMISSIONS
This image is issued by the Wisconsin Historical Society. Use of the image requires written permission from the staff of the Collections Division. It may not be sold or redistributed, copied or distributed as a photograph, electronic file, or any other media. The image should not be significantly altered through conventional or electronic means. Images altered beyond standard cropping and resizing require further negotiation with a staff member. The user is responsible for all issues of copyright. Please Credit: Wisconsin Historical Society.
Reference Details
Location:Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, 4th Floor, Madison, Wisconsin

How to View in Person

To view this image, visit the Archives Research Room on the 4th floor at the Society Headquarters building in Madison, WI. Print out this index page and present it to the librarian. Use the links below to plan your visit to the Society's Archives.

Checking Out Materials

Visual materials in the Archives do not circulate and must be viewed in the Society's Archives Research Room.

How to Cite

For the purposes of a bibliography entry or footnote, follow this model:

Wisconsin Historical Society Citation
Wisconsin Historical Society, Creator, Title, Image ID. Viewed online at (copy and paste image page link).
Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research Citation
Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, Creator, Title, Image ID. Viewed online at (copy and paste image page link).

Have Questions?

Contact our Archives staff by email.