Saturday, February 27, 2010

Musing on Frank Lloyd Wright - in Song, Word and Stained Glass

I'm taking a stained-glass-window-making class at a great studio/store The Cradle of the Sun on 24th Street in Noe Valley. I made one window there about a year ago, in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright's "prairie" designs for windows -- long, thin strips of glass, not too much color but lots of texture and uneven lines -- perfect for a novice window maker! I called the first one my "Winter Window" because it looked like snow falling on a city, and the only colors were shades of blue. This second window is "Spring" and naturally has shades of green, with some really interesting glass that has seed-like spots embedded in it. I'm going to finish off the Four Seasons over the next year or so, whenever I need a fix of "manual" creation (instead of sitting and thinking/typing/reading/writing) - it's really good for the hands and soul to make something from start to finish (cooks know this, as do all artists).

But speaking of Frank Lloyd Wright, I recently read the book "Loving Frank" by Nancy Horan (2008) which chronicles the intensely interesting years of his love affair with a woman named Mamah Cheney (pronounced May-mah), who left her husband and children and escaped to Europe with FLW for a while, then lived with him in Wisconsin -- his wife refused to grant him a divorce. Excellent book - a debut author, too (as I myself will be come this July yay!)

And the song reference for FLW?  Two I can think of offhand: Simon & Garfunkel's "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright" on the Bridge Over Troubled Water album; and a reference in a song on Sufjan Steven's Illinoise album, to wit, "What would Frank Lloyd Wright think?" Anyone know any other musical or literary references to the great architect?

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