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‘Building Taliesin’ Shares New Insights

Nov. 19, 2012
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"Taliesin is a house in three acts," declares the preface of Building Taliesin: Frank Lloyd Wright's Home of Love and Loss, a new book by Madison journalist Ron McCrea that tells the fascinating story of this famous residence in Spring Green, Wis. Building Taliesin explores the first act, when Frank Lloyd Wright initially decided to build what would become his principal residence for the rest of his life. While there have been many books written about Wright and his residence, Building Taliesin takes an original look at the beginning stages of home construction, complete with never-before-published photographs, letters, contemporary documents and memoirs. Photos taken by Wright’s associates show rare views of Taliesin under construction and illustrate Wright’s recollections of his first summer at the house.

Wright is well known for his distinctive architecture, but fewer people know of his passionate desire to live in peace with his lover in this airy retreat. The book brings to life Wright’s “kindred spirit,” Mamah Borthwick. Wright and Borthwick both left their families to be together, causing a scandal that reverberated far beyond Wright’s Wisconsin home. The shocking murders and fire that occurred at the home in 1914 brought this first phase of Taliesin to a close.

McCrea is an award-winning journalist and a former fellow at the Alicia Patterson Foundation. He has worked at The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and Madison’s The Capital Times. McCrea will discuss Building Taliesin: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home of Love and Loss at Boswell Book Co. on Nov. 27 at 7 p.m.


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