Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sh*t Happens

Frank Lloyd Wright's son's amazing carpet hits the auction block. Bummer?

To quote one of my fave blogs Dinosaurs & Robots:

"David & Gladys Wright's house in Arcadia, AZ has long been one of the major sites for the pilgrims of his father, Frank Lloyd Wright. FLW built it for them in 1951 out of concrete block, with Philippine mahogany built-ins and all the furniture, from the beds to the kitchen garbage can, to the massive, custom-fitted, abstract rug [above].

David died in 2006 at 102, and Gladys died at 104 in 2008, and the granddaughters sold the house for $3.5 million. The new owner has put the rug up for auction at LA Modern.

It's pretty spectacular, as far as rugs go. The design is apparently based on some early bubbly murals from the 1920s. The wall-to-curved-wall shape is so odd, you'd be tempted to leave it as is, floating in your even larger space. But actually, what you'd really be tempted to do is to cut it down to something more "manageable" that "works" in your [obviously architecturally inferior] space.

At which point you'd better hope the Cult of Wright doesn't have fatwahs or voodoo dolls or anything, because they would be even more pissed than they already are."

For more info: Read what the guy at the auction house has to say.

What do you think? Should historically significant pieces of art, architecture, and history be sold off in bits and pieces like this?


A Different Karen said...

I LOVE that rug!! It reminds me of an Indian headdress. Since it is privately owned the new owner could do whatever they wanted with it & the purchaser could do the same. (although anyone who takes carpet cutters to that beauty will have to answer to me!) I think the only hope for this particular piece is if FLW devotees were to purchase it. Oh, there's that bottom line again - money !! The (almost) same thing is happening to my old neighborhood church in a suburb of Cleveland. To my eye, it is stunningly beautiful but it will be closed forever in 3 months. If a thing of beauty exists but no one sees it...........

Kelly, Arte Styling said...

Hi, Karen.
I guess that depends on what the new owner plans on doing with the home. In my opinion, if the new owner doesn't like the rug...and is going to be living in the space, then it needs to go! If the home is/was to be simply an historical building celebrating Wright's work, then that's a different story. Hey - at least it's being auctioned off and not tossed into a landfill!

"Yeah, that works..!" said...

I agree with both of you. And as the auction house guy states, when a piece is auctioned off, then value is determined for that piece as well as record of who purchases it and where it ends up.

inspiration is all around even where we least expect it