I’ve been a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright since I was a little girl. Having grown up with artistic adults who referenced his work quite often, the lines of his most famous buildings and the philosophy that he espoused are as known to me as the number of planets in our solar system and the letters of the alphabet.
It doesn’t seem that he was a particularly nice person from everything I’ve read but the same could be said about many great, incredibly creative people. Those who are most brilliant are perhaps most incapable of being warm and trustworthy in their interpersonal relationships. Nonetheless, it’s his work I admire and always have. So when I had the chance to tour Taliesin West during my most recent trip to Arizona, I couldn’t turn the chance down…Along with my friend Matt, I drove into the dessert from downtown Scottsdale and the farther we got away from the sprawl of the city, the more excited I became.
Many think of Taliesin West as being Wright’s home. In fact, he did have a bedroom there and he did live there in the winters from 1937 until his death in 1959 at the age of 91. But it was, and still is, a school of architecture. It is open for tours but those tours change by the week, depending on what classes are, or are not, in session.
This is what I found most fascinating, the reality that though Wright is no longer living himself — his ideas live on and on, in the minds of people like me who admire his architectural and creative philosophies. Not only inside minds, but also, in the works created by the students who come to Taliesin and study. They’re actually required to create structures on the grounds of Taliesin West, which are still sprawling, though not as extensive as they were when Wright was alive.
Perhaps the best way to end is with his Organic Commandment from 1948, which is found all over the Taliesin campus and in the gift shop in several purchasable items. Given the state of the world at the time he wrote this, I’ve always found it particularly interesting.
Love is the virtue of the heart.
Sincerity is the virtue of the mind.
Decision is the virtue of the will.
Courage is the virtue of the spirit.
Schedule your own tour of Taliesin West by first visiting their website for more information. A broad range of public tours are available every day, except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, from 9 am to 4pm. Options begin at $24 and range up from there. Tours can last anywhere between one and three hours long. I highly recommend bringing extra water to drink and shade or a fan of some kind. The tour is largely outdoors and it can be quite hot in Arizona, even though it’s a dry heat, it’s easy to get dehydrated if you’re not used to it.
To see more of my Frank Lloyd Wright
obsession fascination, visit this link: my tour of the Marin County Civic Center.
My tour of Taliesin West was complimentary but as always these views and opinions are entirely my own.