Wade House offers look inside first Taliesin


TRIPTYCH OF LIVING ROOM fireplace at Taliesin. A built-in bookshelf and bench are to the left of the fireplace. — Wisconsin Historical Society photo TRIPTYCH OF LIVING ROOM fireplace at Taliesin. A built-in bookshelf and bench are to the left of the fireplace. — Wisconsin Historical Society photo In 2017, Wade House Historic Site is celebrating the 150th birthday of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright with season long exhibits, lectures, and educational activities focusing on Wright’s life and work in Wisconsin and his relationship with Sheboygan carriage collector and restoration expert Wesley W. Jung.

The next event in the celebration will be a presentation titled “What Taliesin Looked Like, 1911-1912” by Jack Holzhueter, Wright expert and retired Wisconsin Historical Society staff member.

On Thursday, Oct. 12, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Wade House Visitor Center, Holzhueter will tell the story of the acquisition of the Taliesin albums as well as explain the significance of the photos in the albums. Holzhueter’s presentation will be preceded by a complimentary reception featuring microbrews and light hors d’oeuvres, which will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Two sets of photographs survive from the brief, threeyear period when Frank Lloyd Wright’s first version of his home and studio, Taliesin, stood on the brow of a hill outside Spring Green, Wisconsin. One set, taken by one of his draftsmen, Taylor Woolley, appears in a photo album acquired in a famous 2005 eBay purchase. After a hectic, four-day fundraising effort, that album was bought for the Wisconsin Historical Society.

The other set was taken by Wright’s preferred architectural photographer out of Chicago, Henry Fuermann and Sons. A set of Fuermann’s Taliesin proofsheets was bought in 2011 for the society, again after a hectic fundraising effort.

In 1914, an arson fire destroyed the house and left seven persons dead, so these two groups of photographs provide the best record of Wright’s initial vision for his home. Wright rebuilt Taliesin in 1914; it burned again in 1925; and he rebuilt it a final time - Taliesin III, the version that survives today.

The ninth event in Wade House’s “Frank Lloyd Wright: A Wisconsin Original” monthly speaker series will take place on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. and will feature a representative of Kubala Washatko Architects.

In their presentation, which is titled “First Unitarian Society Meeting House Addition,” Kubala Washatko Architects will describe their 2008 LEED Gold addition to the Frank Lloyd Wright designed First Unitarian Society Meeting House in Madison.

Built in 1951, the original Meeting House has been hailed as one of the world’s most innovative examples of church architecture. A Kubala Washatko representative will describe how the firm helped the congregation maintain the integrity of Wright’s original design while providing more space and modern environmental technology.

Besides the afternoon lecture at Wade House Nov. 4, there will be related programming in the morning at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, whose 1997 addition was designed by Kubala Washatko Architects.

The “Frank Lloyd Wright: A Wisconsin Original” monthly speaker series will take place at the Wade House Visitor Center located at W7965 State 23 in Greenbush, halfway between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac. Admission to “What Taliesin Looked Like, 1911-1912” on Oct. 12 is complimentary.

For more information, please visit our website at wadehouse.org or call 920-526-3271.

Wade House Historic Site is one of 12 historic sites and museums owned and operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society.


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