Sandra Scott Travels: Exploring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Architecture

Welcome to Taliesin West

Welcome to Taliesin West

I have to admit I have never been a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture.

I guess it is too organic and modern.

Welcome to Taliesin West
Welcome to Taliesin West

However, I do like how Taliesin West blends in with the environment.

Personally, I prefer more traditional, classic architecture but our guide at Taliesin West, Lola, did a better job of explaining the concept of Wright’s architecture than any of the guides we had at other Wright’s houses we have toured.

We have visited the Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, Graycliff south of Buffalo (with a beautiful location on the lake), and Falling Water in Pennsylvania.

I love waterfalls and couldn’t understand why one would want their house built over the waterfalls.

I would enjoy looking at the falls.

Art Museum's Black Cloud
Art Museum’s Black Cloud

Also, the rooms were small, with low ceilings and, if there were closets they were well hidden.

Wright was living at his home, Taliesin East, in Wisconsin and it seems he had some health issues, so the doctor suggested he move to Arizona.

He did and created Taliesin West.

Taliesin means the “brow” of the mountain and the Arizona house has a great view.

“Taliesin West is a look over the rim of the world,” wrote Wright.

A young lady plays the piano
A young lady plays the piano

Taliesin West is more than Wright’s home as it also a museum and a school of architecture.

According to Wright, who wasn’t very tall, anything over six feet was unnecessary so all the ceilings are low.

The highlight of the visit was when our group visited the living room with a piano.

An attractive young lady in our group sat at the piano and played a Mozart composition – awesome.

Heard Museum art fence display
Heard Museum art fence display

When Wright visited the Chicago World’s Fair he became enamored with Asia art so there are many Asian art objects throughout the house.

The house had an amazing auditorium with outstanding acoustics.

Our next stop was the Phoenix Art Museum.

The entrance was interesting.

The walls and ceilings were covered with what looked like bats but were in reality an art work called “Black Cloud,” a “plaque of 25,000 black paper moths and butterflies” meant to represent the annual migration of the monarch butterfly.

 “Past/Future/Present” - nylon stockings
“Past/Future/Present” – nylon stockings

I can always identify a Calder mobile, but this is the first time I have seen his paintings.

The burst of color in his artwork resembled his mobiles.

There was a fascinating art display of “paintings” that had moving characters obviously based on video games.

The “Border Crossing” exhibit had a painting that showed the changes when cultures meet – a lot to look at.

The creative mind knows no limits.

The “Past/Future/Present” exhibit included an artwork made out of nylon stockings.

Entering the “Native People of the Southwest” at the Heard Museum there is a 30-foot glass and clay art fence that needed close examination as there were many hidden images in the sculptures.

I am intrigued by Kachina dolls.

I thought Barry Goldwater’s collection was the largest but that is not true.

The Heard Museum not only has his collection, but many more.

 Kachina dolls.
Kachina dolls.

A Kachina doll is a representation of a Pueblo ancestral spirit.

Probably the only way I will ever see the Havasupai and their place in the Grand Canyon with the beautiful Havasu Falls.

I would like to visit but the 8-mile hike down to the village is more than I can handle.

I would have to take a helicopter for $85 per person one way and then it is still a hike of a mile or more to the falls and accommodations.

Inside Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin
Inside Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin

Travel Trivia Tease™: Where is San Felipe?

Look for the answer next week.

Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!