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SPRING 2005 | WINTER 2005 | SPRING 2006 | WINTER 2006
New Additions to the Art Collection
Thanks to the efforts of artist, board member and art curator for
the Kraus House Peter Shank and to our members, a collection of
art has been forming to fill the empty shelves and make the House
look more lived in and at the same
time look more like the museum it has become. Peter reminds us that
"We are continuing to search for things connected to modernism
which began with the Arts & Crafts movement in the mid-19th
The first gift was a matte green Teco bowl from the collection of
Jan Greenberg. This bowl was presented as part of the Teco and art
pottery exhibit from both Jan's and Carole Kroeger's collections
in the summer of 2003. The second gift was a piece of sculpture
by Jean Frederic Thalinger, an artist who was at the Washington
University's School of Fine Art when Russell Kraus studied there.
This gift was by the late Susan Lorenz, a generous St. Louis benefactor
of the arts.
Anderson and the Zanesville pottery he has given to the House.
a result of the Teco art pottery exhibit, several members responded with generous
gifts of American art pottery, particularly Jim Harris and Mary Giles who donated
several pots from their collection which includes pieces by McCoy and Roseville
potteries, and Leon Anderson who searched the web and found some handsome Zanesville
pottery that he gifted to the house. He also contributed some magazine advertisements
for Teco pottery from Harper's
magazines and others from 1904-08. Other books
and magazines have been contributed by Joan Murphy, Marianne Andersen and Ellen
Van Briggle art pottery pieces have come from Lyn Berglar who donated
a brown ewer and Pat Leigh a bulbous vase with a flori-form edge. Another donation
has been a 1932 mellow yellow Catalina Island pottery bowl from California given
by Stephen Penkowsky from the estate of David Dutra.
There have been several
donations of Russel Wright (RW) dishes. Russel Wright, not related to Frank Lloyd
Wright, was one of America's finest industrial designers. Like FLW, he tried to
enhance the daily life of Americans by surrounding them with good design. David
Weiss donated a graceful set of dishes inherited from his grandmother for the
Kraus kitchen. A visitor, Patricia Shipman, even sent one small RW plate from
Jackson, Mississippi. Member June Shaw contributed a handsome RW pink platter.
Stephen Shank and Julie Golden donated a beautiful RW green pitcher.
most recent gift is a painting by Russell Kraus donated by Kyrle Boldt III called
Ballet Satire completed before Mr. Kraus moved into his house designed by Frank
Lloyd Wright. Each gift has created interest and enhanced the look of the house.
A big thank you to all who have contributed to the evolving collection and to
Peter Shank for concentrating
on the collection and displaying it so well.
We are most grateful.
Note from the Chairman
As we come to the end of 2004 and approach 2005,
I want to thank all of you who support the Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth
Park as board members, as Friends, as volunteers and as members of theÊCounty
Recreation staff. Welcome to the board three new members:Ê
Frisky Brigham, Kay Dusenbery, and Joan Markow. Laura Meyer came on earlier. They
each bring their own talents to the board which we very much appreciate.
the board members provide extraordinary service without which we could not exist.
Thank you all. Friends membership is still very important.
While most of
the restoration of the house is completed, the needs of the project persist. Thanks
to the Whitaker Foundation, we are now challenged to raise a matching $200, 000
to its $50,000. This funding will enable us to build a new badly needed road and
parking areas. I envision a day when the rock will not wash away after every rainfall
surface of the road will allow plowing so that we do not have to close
down during winter months.
We need everyone's help in contributing to the
Whitaker match. If you know potential donors and would like to offer a private
tour to introduce them to the House, we would gladly provide that. Call the house
at 822-8359 (8FLW) and let us know whom you would like to bring as our guests.
duo tour directors: Carolyn Noll and Sue Geile manage the tours, and the docents
do a marvelous job of
touring. Karen Halla and Michelle Brothers have started
a shop where you can purchase Wright memorabilia.
We are also going to print
our own postcards which will be available right after the first of the year.
are working on a membership trip to Taliesin East Sept. 16-18, 2005. Call Ellen
Post, Travel Chairman, at 862-6699. She will keep you informed.
help, we will continue to develop our mission of providing a house museum devoted
to the education of architecture and design. Let's all have a good year.
Joanne Kohn, Chairman
The Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth
Gene Mackey, chairman of the architecture, planning, and interiors
firm of Mackey Mitchell Associates, has been involved in saving some of St. Louis
architectural treasures. He recalls that Joanne Kohn engaged him in conversation
at a luncheon and asked what he thought might become of the Kraus House. They
had many subsequent conversations trying different scenarios.
with the project is important for so many reasons, as Joanne points out, including
his assistance in raising the necessary funding to acquire the Kraus House, his
input in estimating the costs for the restoration, his knowledge of architecture
and the importance of Frank Lloyd Wright, and his care in fulfilling the high
standards of restoration.
"Sitting in a spectacular setting in the
woods, on the slope, the House is and was in relatively good condition with
original fabric, furnishings and archives, which contributed to the impetus to
save the House," Gene notes.
"The park and House represent a unique
opportunity to grow in stature as an important educational and tourist destination
in St. Louis," he observes. "The fact that we purchased the House from
the original owner including the complete archives is wonderful," he says.
Gene, there is a need to continue to be creative in raising the necessary endowment
and funds to develop the site
so the public can access the land and the House
in interesting ways. Fund raising, a job he knows well, is not yet done.
When the idea of creating
an organization to buy the Kraus House and property was first proposed, my husband,
Tibor, and I were interested in helping however we could.
Our family has
been close to Ruth and Russell since 1980 when we purchased the land next to theirs
from them. Our daughters had a path through the woods that they used to take the
Krauses treats, sing Christmas carols, and beg for Halloween treats. I knew that
the Krauses house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, but for me, Ruth and Russell
were the attraction. We even had our garden in their yard and shared the fruits
of the garden with them. Ruth was fragile, but always very sweet and very smart!
Russell often had surprises for us in the form of art and ornaments. When Tibor
was designing our house, Ruth and Russell offered us the stained glass windows
that were originally
in their living room -- "if we wanted them."Of
course, we loved them. Since we moved into our house in 1984, we invited the Krauses
to join us at our holiday dinners or delivered meals if they were not able to
join us. Russell has continued to be close to our family since Ruth passed away
While pursuing a Ph.D. in American Studies at St. Louis University,
I focused on Russell and Ruth's house for one of my research projects in a class
entitled "The Spirituality of the American Landscape."I learned to really
appreciate the "architectural jewel" right next door. I learned how
few FLW houses were still lived in by their original owners and that many had
This fascinating Usonian home is a piece of art. I really
like its organic wholeness. It is complete and so very lovely at every time of
year nestled in its wooded site. My favorite room is Russell's studio. I love
the shape, feeling, fireplace, and view from that space. That is where Russell
would most often be when we visited. This is where so much creativity
It was often from this terrace that Russell welcomed us and waved good-bye.
am glad that our Board has been able to save this house in this setting. Because
it is an architectural icon of the 21st century, this is a house that will continue
to have a profound impact on all who experience it.
Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy Meeting in
Madison, Wisconsin, "Home
meeting of the FLW Building Conservancy brings together Wright home owners, Wright
aficionados, educators and others interested in Wright and Wright properties.
The organization meets in areas with a strong Wright
presence in the United
States to focus on the importance of Wright and the conservation of his work.
In 2003, we were asked to make a presentation on the Kraus House at the meeting
in San Francisco.
tour of Wright houses in Wisconsin |
Clockwise from top left:
Jacobs II House
2004 meeting was held in October in Madison, Wisconsin, the area where Wright
was born, educated and where a number of his buildings were designed and constructed.
Wright built his summer home and architectural training school, Taliesin, in nearby
Spring Green in 1911.
A pre-conference trip to Milwaukee included the
incredible Calatrava addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum and the prairie-style
Bogk house designed by Wright in 1916 with some of the same characteristics as
the Imperial Hotel that Wright was working on at the same time in Japan. Also
on the tour was Wright's early attempt at designing low-cost American System houses
built around 1915 on Burnham Street in Milwaukee.
The meetings in Madison
were held in the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center designed by Wright
and modified by Taliesin Architects in the early 1990s, built in the mid-'90s
and opened in 1997. Papers were delivered on a wide variety of topics including
the influence of Japan on Wright, organic architecture and the meaning of geometry
in Wright's work. A major highlight of the meeting was a talk by Pedro Guererro,
who was chosen by Wright in 1939 to photograph his work, which he did until Wright's
death in 1959.
Tours were given of Taliesin, the Jacobs I (1937 -- the
First Usonian) and Jacobs II (1943 -- a solar hemicycle) houses, the Pew House
(1938 -- one of the few two-story Usonians), the Unitarian Meeting House (1947
-- like the Kraus House based on the parallelogram), the Gilmore House (1908 --
a prairie-style house often referred to as "the airplane house") and
many other sites meaningful to Wright.
The 2005 meeting will be held in
October in Los Angeles, the site of textile block houses such as the Hollyhock
House. The meeting is open to members of the Conservancy as well as non-members.
Put it on your calendar!
Meeting House which is based on the same parallelogram plan as the Kraus House.
the Road to Wright" -- Garvey Foundation Helps
In our Spring issue
we were excited and pleased to announce the Whitaker Foundations Challenge Grant
of $50,000. Our efforts to raise the matching required $200,000 is underway. Requests
have been made of corporations and foundations to help us meet the challenge,
but we also need your support. We are pleased to announce that a $9,000 grant
has been received from the Garvey Foundation toward the match.
of the FLW House in Ebsworth Park and visitors to the House are keenly aware of
the need to improve the road, parking and landscaping around the house. Your continuing
support has demonstrated your belief in the importance of keeping the House open
to the public and making the necessary improvements to make the House and park
Tours must be limited by size, schedule and parking availability.
The road is impassable during winter months forcing us to close the house, and
there is constant need to shore up the road and re-gravel.
to "Rebuilding the Road to Wright"will be recognized for their donations
in an upcoming newsletter and receive an invitation to the dedication of the road.
Special recognition will be given to contributors at levels $500 and above.
for the road and parking are being developed by designer Tom Oslund of Minneapolis.
The board has seen preliminary plans. We will be ready to implement this exciting
project once final plans are approved, the Whitaker match is made and a total
of $325,000 is raised. Our goal is to begin work in the Spring of 2005.
one of the most exciting results of the rebuilding of the road will be the opportunity
to build and install the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed gate that is funded in the
original Gateway Foundation grant for restoration of the house.
a supporter of "Rebuilding the Road to Wright." Send your tax-deductible
c/o 40 Upper Ladue Rd.,
St. Louis, MO 63124
at the $5000, $2500, $1000, $500, $250, $100, or $50 level, all contributions
will be sincerely appreciated. The improved road and better parking will enable
the FLWHEP to further its mission of making the Kraus House a museum devoted to
architecture and design more accesible to the public.
Legacy Fund Celebrated at Wright's Birthday Party
On June 13, 2004, on
the grounds of Ebsworth Park, a benefit was held in honor of FLW's birthday and
Russell Kraus in whose honor a new Legacy Fund has been created. All donations
to the Legacy Fund will be used to improve the Kraus House and grounds of Ebsworth
Park particularly the building of a new road and parking spaces for visitors.
Approximately $15,000 was raised at the party.
The focus of the benefit
party was on Russell Kraus, the original owner of the FLW house and its builder,
Lee Patterson. With Joanne Kohn, chairman of board, as moderator, both Russell
and Lee told stories and remembrances about Mr. Wright and the enormous challenge
of building the house.
We are grateful to Sarah Bakewell and Edward L.
Bakewell, Inc., Realtors and John Wuest and Heartland Bank for serving as co-chairmen
of the event. John Wuest and his band provided music and members of both companies
served as committee members. John Whitney and Sally Pinckard from the FLWHEP were
very effective coordinators. Bryan Erdmann of Audioactive Projects provided perfect
acoustics. Thanks to all committee members for helping to make a most enjoyable
Betsy and Peter Enslin with LaVerna Meyer (center) enjoying the
in the park at the party.
Visit with Cornelia Brierly at Taliesin West
by Agnes Garino
a thrill! On my husband's and my annual March visit to Arizona (annually since
1997) for art, the blooming desert, architectural wonders, beautiful weather and
Cactus League baseball, I took the opportunity to once again take the in-depth
tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West in Scottsdale. Each year brings another
perspective to this
exciting FLW architectural treasure.
Brierly at her apartment at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona.
year was even more special. I visited with Cornelia Brierly in her beautiful apartment
at Taliesin West, complete with a small pool immediately outside her window that
looks out onto the beautiful landscape of Scottsdale. Mrs. Brierly, the official
Taliesin interior designer, came to St. Louis more than 35 years ago to consult
with the Krauses.
Cornelia is a spry, charming, 90+ year-old, one of FLW's
first apprentices who came to the Valley of the Sun in 1937. Like other Wright
apprentices she lived in a tent in the desert while Taliesin West was being built.
Mrs. Brierly moved to and from Taliesin West over the years, rejoining the Taliesin
Fellowship after leaving Pennsylvania in 1957. She has had a distinguished career
as a landscape architect and interior designer.
Mrs. Brierly recalls her
visit to both the Kraus House and the Pappas House (the other FLW-designed house
in the St. Louis area). She spent three busy days consulting with the Krauses
on the fabrics she selected. Her apartment
demonstrates her fondness for bright
colors -- colors quite similar to those in the floor pillows in the Kraus House.
recalls that the Krauses had never used the fireplace before she came; she suggested
that they light it which they did, and they were "really thrilled,"she
From the Krauses, she went to the Pappases to help Betty Pappas with
the landscaping. (The Pappas House in Town & Country uses pre-cast concrete
block, in a completely different style of Usonian than the Kraus House in brick
and tidewater red cypress.)
She spoke fondly of her visit to St. Louis.
She did not remember the year, but it was after the Pappas House was built (some
time after the mid-60s).
She was curious about the current status of both
houses. I shared with her that the Kraus House had been sold to our organization
and the house is open to the public for tours, and also that the Pappases still
live in theirs.
I expressed my appreciation to her for sharing her memories;
she asked that I give her best to the Pappases and to Russell. I thanked her for
allowing me to visit her in her fantastic apartment and agreed to pass on her
The Frank Lloyd Wright "Quarterly"featured Mrs. Brierly
and other residents of Taliesin West in the fall, 2003 issue. The article features
"The Private Side of Taliesin West", describing the "homes"of
several of its residents.
Cornelia's daughter, Indira Berndtson, whom I
had the opportunity to meet two years ago, also lives at Taliesin. She serves
as Administrator of Historic Studies for the FLW Archives, including management
of the oral history program. With Miss Berndtson's assistance, I was able to review
the archives of the Kraus House, an interesting, revealing look at the Krauses
adventure of building their house, including the wish list that Ruth and Russell
wrote. She is interviewing
living owners of FLW houses and has conducted an
interview with Russell Kraus.
Cornelia is honorary chair of the FLW Foundation
Board of trustees and author of Tales of Taliesin, one of the books available
in THE SHOP. Mrs. Brierly gives her perspective to the work and lives of not only
the Wrights but members of the Taliesin Fellowship. Extensively illustrated with
black and white and color photos, her personal memoir also
looks at the many
people she has known and worked with for 70 years both at Taliesin West -- Scottsdale,
Arizona and Taliesin East -- Spring Green, Wisconsin. The cover of the book is
a design of Mrs. Brierly's, one of her "yarn paintings,"based on her
pencil drawings. A thoroughly enjoyable read and photographic tour for those who
someday hope to and those who have visited Taliesin East and/or Taliesin West.
Shop -- Now Open
The new FLWHEP SHOP is located in the tool house. A limited
number of Frank Lloyd Wright designed items are being offered. According to Karen
Halla, co-chair of THE SHOP, "we want to offer tourists and members the opportunity
purchase items and at the same time help support the House." Michelle
Brothers, a former buyer for May Company, co-chairs THE SHOP project.
include mouse pads, note cards, books of WrightÕs postcards, holiday cards,
magnets, bookmarks, and a limited number of books, including "Wright Sites",
a guide to all the FLW designed buildings open to the public. A number of the
little books in the Carla Lind series including "Usonian Houses"for
$10 each are available.
Additional items will be added in the future,
if interest indicates. Also, items including postcards and souvenirs of the Kraus
House are planned.
All members at the $125 level and above are entitled
to a 10% discount on all items in the shop.
THE SHOP is open after most tours
of the House.
To visit THE SHOP, when not on tour, call 822-8359 and a time
will be arranged.
For a complete list of items currently available leave a
message at 822-8359 (8FLW) and Karen will return your call.
House Continue to be Popular
In 2003 approximately 475 tours were conducted
through the House with an average of 10 people per tour. Since then (January --
November) almost 330 tours have been conducted, with approximately 3400 visitors.
Groups range from students -- many local, but several traveling hundreds
of miles, including art, design and architectural students -- to senior citizens
to members of organizations interested in the arts, architecture and parks. Recent
foreign tourists included a student from Switzerland and a gentleman from Australia
attending a training
session at Boeing.
The heaviest tour months are
April through October, with a large concentration of school groups in April and
the fall. Many teachers have been to the House before and are scheduling return
trips with their new classes.
The exhibit of Teco pottery last summer and
the Rookwood Pottery this summer also attracted visitors, including
who came specifically to see the exhibit. This summer a number of out-of-town
visitors planned their vacations around visiting FLW sites. In June, about 125
participants from the national Arts and Crafts conference sponsored by New York
University and held at the Saint Louis Art Museum toured the House. Publicity
about the House, including an article in the Post-Dispatch in July, also generated
considerable interest in tours.
While the House was closed to the general
public this year from early January to mid-March, approximately 17 tours were
conducted for members and out-of-town visitors, scheduled around winter weather
conditions. Tours resumed to the public after mid-March. Plans are to close the
house again this coming winter on the same schedule.
Volunteers -- 26 docents
-- make these tours possible; without their willingness, knowledge and enthusiasm
it would not be possible to share this FLW treasure with the public. Tour fees
allow us to cover important House maintenance costs.