At the beginning of this week, after leaving Maine, we travelled to Pittsburg to see Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous creation: the house called Fallingwater, commissioned by the Kaufman family and built in 1937. It still looks as modern as tomorrow to me. When he was about 26, Wright first saw Japanese architecture at the 'World's Colombian Exposition' in 1893, in the form of a large pavilion * that survived until it was destroyed by arson in 1945. Aspects of Japanese design aesthetics were a huge influence in his evolving ideas about architecture.

The visit to Fallingwater was arranged to be the highpoint of our trip to North America.  We had arranged a private tour of the house for us and our two american friends, both called Michael.  Our tour guide was a senior curator who talked to us for over two hours as he took us into every room of the house and the adjoining guest house, including a number of rooms that were not on the usual tour schedule.  One of the extraordinary privileges of our tour was that we were served lunch on one of the outside terraces.

The house is built over a waterfall in a steep, densely wooded valley. The view above is taken from Mr Kaufman's study.

The sound of the waterfall welcomes the visitor before this first view when approaching the house . 

I was initially irritated by the tree in the centre of the photo above until it reminded me of Mr Umemura demonstrating the desirable asymmetry of ikebana by holding a vertical stick in front of an arrangement to emphasise the difference between the two halves.

After lunch on the 'pottery terrace' the four of us walked into the grounds for this classic view of the house. Michael, Laurie, Christopher and Michael.

This weeks ikebana is a beautiful autumn arrangement of 'bittersweet' berries (Celastrus scandens), miscanthus, petunia and hydrangea, created by Michael Beedenbender. The vase is by Scott Goldberg *, a ceramic artist from Brooksville, Maine.

Greetings from Christopher
24th October 2014

* Click on blue text for further information

No comments:

Post a Comment