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June 5, 2005
Laura Meyer and Frisky Brigham, Benefit Co-chairs.
The benefit this year will be a duo
celebration of Wright's birth and the 50th anniversary of the completion
of the Kraus House. FLW was born on June 8, 1867, in Richland
Center, Wisconsin, and died in 1959, four years after the completion
of the Kraus House.
Russell Kraus, an artist, and his wife Ruth contacted FLW after
reading in 1948 about the Usonian Pope House (now the Pope-Leighy
House) being designed by Wright in Virginia. The architect
agreed that the Krauses would have "their little house"
and work was started in 1951 and completed in 1955.
Frisky Brigham and Laura Meyer, both FLWHEP board members, are
chairing the birthday/ anniversary fund-raising party on June 5 on
the grounds of Ebsworth Park from 2-5 p.m. Proceeds, as in recent
years, will go to the rebuilding of the road.
The afternoon event includes a presentation by architectural historian
Jane King Hession at 3 p.m., an exhibit of woodcuts and prints by
renowned painter Werner Drewes, a return visit by the St. Louis
Ragtimers, and a delicious repast by caterers Something Elegant.
The newest donations of pottery and sculpture will be on display
and tours will be available.
Tickets start at $100 per person. Reservations may be made by sending
a check to the FLWHEP to Frisky Brigham, 1723 Millstream, Chesterfield,
MO 63017. We hope you will join us for a double celebration
acknowledging the birth of the architect 138 years ago and the completion
50 years ago of one of his best examples of a Usonian house, the
For more information call 822-8359 and leave a message; your
call will be returned.
Jane King Hession
King Hession Will Speak at Benefit
Architectural writer, curator and historian Jane King Hession will
be the speaker for the benefit program on Sunday June 5, 2005 honoring
the 50th anniversary of the Kraus House. She will speak at 3 p.m.
under the tent at Ebsworth Park.
Jane has a masters degree in architecture from the University
of Minnesota and is a member of the board of the Frank Lloyd Wright
Building Conservancy, editing the bulletin for the premier organization
dedicated to saving Frank Lloyd Wright structures. She is the former
president of the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Architectural
Historians and co-author of the book Ralph Rapson: Sixty Years of
In 2000, she received the Independent Publishers Book Award, winner
in architecture, for the Rapson book. She curated a show about John
Howe, the FLW apprentice who worked on the plans for the Kraus House,
called John Howe in Minnesota: The Prairie School of Frank
Lloyd Wright. She is currently working on a book and exhibition
entitled Frank Lloyd Wright in New York: The Plaza Years,
Jane is a guide at the Pope-Leighey House in Virginia, which is
the house that inspired Russell Kraus to contact Frank Lloyd Wright
to design his house in Kirkwood, Missouri.
A Note from the Chairman
The board is working very hard to raise funds to match the Whitaker
Challenge to make the road and parking more accessible. Our
benefit on June 5, chaired by Frisky Brigham and Laura Meyer, will
help us raise the $200,000 needed to qualify for the $50,000 match.
We hope you will come to the party, renew your membership, and/or
contribute to the road fund so we can take advantage of the generosity
of our funding community.
The landscaping improvements will create parking for school buses
and cars that will blend into the grounds and a road that will not
wash away with each rainfall. It is not easy to turn a residence
into a public institution and keep its essence, but that is our
Our organization also continues to work towards another goal --
learning more about Frank Lloyd Wright to better explain and interpret
the Kraus House to our members and the public, including students
of all ages. Wright is the vehicle through which we perceive
creativity, envision philosophy, and understand history.
An example is the recent Arts & Crafts exhibit at the Los Angeles
County Museum (LACMA) which included Wright as one of the chief
proponents of that massive movement that swept across Europe and
the United States in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries.
Included in the exhibit was a lamp from Wright's Prairie style Dana-Thomas
House in Springfield, Illinois. You can see this exhibit at the
Milwaukee Art Museum this Spring and Summer.
Wright, we know, was not just an egotist who insisted that home
owners use the furniture he designed, but he was expressing an Arts
& Crafts principle shared by other architects of the period
that the inside must be integrated with the outside.
We now have a bit of the Arts & Crafts movement on the Kraus
House shelves thanks to the generous contributions of art pottery
from our members. Do come to see it and attend the June 5 benefit
to learn more from Jane King Hession, noted architectural historian
and expert on Frank Lloyd Wright.
Have a great summer!
Joanne Kohn, Chairman
The Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park
All of St. Louis and all lovers of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture
everywhere are grateful to Barney Ebsworth whose gift of one million
dollars was key to the purchase of the Kraus House and the 10.5
acres which surround it. A St. Louis county park was created
and is named in honor of his parents. Barney now lives in
Seattle and was contacted to learn about his initial interest in
saving the Kraus House and property.
"First of all, I have always been interested in architecture
and Frank Lloyd Wright. Bill Bernoudy, a St. Louis architect,
who had apprenticed under Mr. Wright, designed my house in 1952,
approximately the same time as the Kraus House. It was made of the
same wood, tidewater red cypress, and had similar design features
as the Kraus House.
I had been looking for some way to honor the memory of my parents.
My mother was born in St. Louis and father emigrated from England
to St. Louis in 1923; so both of them lived their mature life in
I am very interested in helping children to get interested in art
and architecture at an early age. I gave the mummy to the Saint
Louis Art Museum as I felt it was an object that would draw children
to the museum. Saving the Kraus House was the only opportunity
to secure an example of Frank Lloyd Wright work for St. Louisans
to learn about and enjoy.
This is not a grand Prairie house like the Dana House, the Robie
House, or Fallingwater. It is a Usonian house, less grand
in its conception, but fulfills FLW's belief that all people
should live well and be surrounded by beauty."
Werner Drewes, Portrait of Sculptor Gerhard Marcks, woodcut,
Collection of Peter Shank.
Werner Drewes Exhibit
Werner Drewes, Portrait of Sculptor Gerhard Marcks, woodcut, 1963.
Collection of Peter Shank.
An exhibit of Werner Drewes (1899-1985) prints and woodcuts opens
at the Frank Lloyd Wright birthday party on June 5. The 20 plus
works will be on display through August 31.
We are thankful to the friends of the FLWHEP for loaning these works
by the world renowned painter, printmaker and teacher. The exhibit,
curated by board member Peter Shank, includes works lent by Peter
and his brother Paul Shank, as well as Gary Tenenbaum, Jean Coleman,
Kyrle and Ann Boldt, Arthur Osver and Ernestine Betsberg, and Frank
and Faye Roth.
We want to attract attention to artists who lived and worked
in the St. Louis area, said Peter Shank commenting on the
Drewes spent almost 20 years (1946-65) as a faculty member in the
School of Fine Arts at Washington University, serving as Professor
of Design and Director of the First Year Program. During this time
he worked with fellow faculty member Max Beckman. Washington University
hosted two of his one-man shows: one upon his retirement in 1965
and a retrospective in 1979.
His works are in collections in the U.S. including the Saint Louis
Art Museum, Guggenheim, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum
of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art and the National
Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C. as well as in Paris,
Jerusalem and Berlin, Bonn, Cologne, Dessau and Hamburg, Germany.
German-born Drewes was a student of the Bauhaus during the 1920s,
bringing its concepts to the U.S. in his paintings, prints, and
teaching. Reacting to the foreboding political climate of the 1930s,
he left Germany for New York where he taught printmaking at the
Brooklyn Museum and Columbia University. He was a founding member
in the late 1930s of the American Abstract Artist group for the
creation of nonobjective art.
Drewes career expanded well-beyond the usual retirement working
more than 65 years of his some 86 years. He was honored by the Smithsonian
for his 60 years as a printmaker.
Like Frank Lloyd Wright, Drewes long active career demonstrated
his love of nature and his willingness to experiment.
Art collector and former gallery director Horty Shieber and her
husband Bill have donated our second metal and wood piece designed
by Eugene (Frederick Jean) Thalinger to the FLWHEP. The piece, titled
The Astronomers, is on display in the second bedroom
in the House.
Thalinger (1915-1965) attended the Washington University School
of Art at the same time as Russell Kraus. His works include sculptures
in wood, stone, clay, welded metal and soap. He was the son of artist
E. Oscar Thalinger who was associated with the Saint Louis Art Museum
for nearly 40 years.
One of six FLWHEP postcards photographed by Peter Tuteur
The Trio Foundation of St. Louis Helps Match
Road Grant from Whitaker Foundation
The FLWHEP has been granted a gift of $30,000 over a two year period
from The Trio Foundation of St. Louis to apply to the required $200,000
match from the Whitaker Foundation for road improvements.
A gift from the Garvey Fund of $9,000 reported earlier also applies.
An additional $60,000 has been raised from corporate, individual
and benefit donations. We are now halfway toward fulfilling
the Whitaker grant match requirement.
The total goal for the road, two parking areas and landscaping is
$375,000. We are moving ahead to achieve this goal and putting
in place a plan to fulfill the project.
Planning for the road started with a presentation in the fall by
Tom Oslund, Minneapolis landscape architect.
A road committee, headed by board vice-chairman Bob Hall, was formed
to evaluate the Oslund plan.
George Stock of Stock & Associates, Consulting Engineers, Inc.,
is now doing a topographical survey of the property and will design
the road to manage drainage and suggest a surface that will blend
with the natural surroundings. The surface will correct the
problem of small rocks washing away with every rainfall. Landscaping
will enhance the construction of the road and parking areas.
Financial help is still needed. Contributions to the road fund may
be sent to: FLWHEP, c/o 40 Upper Ladue Rd., St. Louis, MO 63124.
Monona Terrace Convention Center designed by FLW.
Going to the Source
The FLWHEP will sponsor its fourth trip September 16-18 with a flight
leaving St Louis Friday morning. Three days will be spent
in Wisconsin where Frank Lloyd Wright was born, raised with his
mother's Lloyd-Jones family, built his residence Taliesin (1911)
in Spring Green (which developed into a farm and architectural school),
and designed his first Usonian house and his famous Unitarian Meeting
We will stay in Madison at the Hilton Monona Terrace Hotel next
to the Monona Terrace Convention Center which was designed by Wright
and built with some modifications more than 35 years after his death
and opened in 1997.
The tentative itinerary includes Wrights designed Lamp House
(1903), Jacobs I (1936, the first Usonian house built) and Jacobs
II House (1948), the Gilmore House (1908, a Prairie style house
also known as the airplane house), and the Van Tamelen House (1956).
Also in Madison we will see the Bradley House designed by Wrights
mentor Louis Sullivan.
In the Lake Delavan area we will visit the Wright-designed Ross
House (1902), Jones House (1900), Gate Lodge and Barn both
1901, and the Johnson House (1903) and have lunch at the Lake Lawn
Lodge. The return flight to St. Louis will be Sunday afternoon.
A special guide will give us access to the inside of these houses.
If you are interested in joining the trip, please call Ellen Post,
travel chairman, at 314-862-6699.
Living room of the Rosenbaum House in Florence, Alabama.
House Visiting Another FLW Usonian Home
Agnes Garino and Karen Halla, FLWHEP Docents
On separate occasions within the past year, we each had the opportunity
to visit another Wright-designed Usonian home recently opened to
the public: the Rosenbaum House in Florence, Alabama. The city of
Florence purchased the original 1940 home with its large 1948 addition
on two beautiful acres and FLW-designed furnishings in 1999.
The Rosenbaum house is the only FLW structure in Alabama. John Sargeant,
author of Frank Lloyd Wrights Usonian Houses describes the
Rosenbaum house as the purest example of the Usonian.
The House is exquisite in so many ways. It is based on a two-by-four
foot grid, with full-length windows and doors (similar to the Kraus
House wall of doors) with copper screens. Like the Kraus House,
the materials are cypress (in this case Southern, instead of tidewater),
glass and brick.
The house built on several levels has many similar features to the
Kraus House such as mitered windows, skylights, recessed lighting,
radiant heating (which has not worked for years), and fireplaces
(in this house four).
The second Usonian home designed by Wright after the Jacobs I in
Madison, WI (see fall 2004 Wright Focus), it was built for
the Rosenbaums, the only owners. Like Mr. Kraus, Stanley Rosenbaum
wrote to Wright and asked him to design their house. Mr. Rosenbaum,
a college professor, who also worked for his family movie theater,
died in the 1980s. Mrs. Rosenbaum continued to live in the home
until the late 1990s when Florence purchased the home. The restoration
work funded by local taxpayers included repair of brick, wood, roof
Furniture was designed by Wright and others. When the Rosenbaums
first moved into their house Mrs. Rosenbaum, so disliked the Wright
designed dining chairs she gave them to her maid and bought eight
Eames chairs to use in their place. Furnishings, including pottery,
books, glasses, Mrs. Rosenbaumss kitchen cookware, numerous
cookbooks, and even family games and puzzles, are throughout the
Like the Kraus house, there is no basement, no attic, no garage,
but a carport with a storage closet or tool house. The original
1940 L-shaped 1540 square foot house cost $12,000. The 1948 addition
resulted in a T-shaped house. In the addition, there is a dormitory
for the Rosenbaums four sons containing bunk beds, a playroom
and a fireplace.
In the original house there is a living room with a long wall of
shelves (similar to the Kraus house) which line the entry way. The
opposite wall is lined with floor to ceiling window/doors. There
is a 100 square foot study off the living room. The front of the
house faces the Tennessee River now hidden by trees.
Alvin, one of the Rosenbaums sons and former architecture
student at Taliesin, authored Usonia: Frank Lloyd Wright's Design
for America, 1993, published by The Preservation Press. The younger
Rosenbaum said in his Introduction to the book that
the sensation of living in a Usonian house was that of living
in the country without being part of it, of living close to the
ground, but in comfort, not in the rough.
By the time the city purchased the home, it had deteriorated significantly,
requiring restoration costing $700,000; major work included brick,
cypress, and roof repair. The exterior included a Japanese garden
which also required significant renovation.
Furniture was reupholstered, carpeting taken up, and substantial
cleaning of the wood was required. The house also suffered from
termite and water damage. The house was not centrally air conditioned
until purchased by the city. The restoration took two years from
the time the city took control.
Located in the Muscle Shoals area of Alabama which claims the home
of Helen Keller and other historic homes and museums, Florence is
slightly off-the-beaten path. You can find Florence, in the northwest
corner of the state just south of the Tennessee border, between
I-55 and I-65. There are a number of beautiful routes to this small
city of 36,000 population.
The house, at 601 Riverview Drive, is open Mon.-Sat. from 10-4 for
guided tours, admission charged. For more information: www.flo-tour.org,
or 256-740-8899. Reservations are not required, except for groups.
FLWHEP gift shop
THE SHOP Reopens
THE SHOP at the Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park reopened
Sunday, March 13. In addition to various products such as note cards,
puzzles and books bearing Frank Lloyd Wright designs, a new line
of Kraus House postcards has been added. There are six different
postcards ($.75 each or six for $4.00), all featuring an assortment
of interior and exterior views of the House.
Coming soon: Kraus House T-shirts, which are designed by Peter Shank,
St. Louis artist and FLWHEP Board member. In the near future, the
FLWHEP Web site (www.ebsworthpark.org) will make available on-line
ordering from THE SHOP.
If you are interested in purchasing any of the shop items at this
time, please call the Kraus House (314-822-8359) and leave a message.
Your call will be returned and a shopping time will be arranged
or items will be shipped directly to you.
Postcards and Prints Now Available
THE SHOP at The Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park is pleased
to offer photographic prints of the Kraus House. Peter Tuteur, a
St. Louis physician and photographer, who took photographs for the
new postcards, is also offering 16 by 20 unframed prints
of these four interior and two exterior views of the House.
The photographs were created with print negatives from Fuji professional
color film images which were then digitized and printed on watercolor
paper using a Giclee process.
The printing of each of the six images is limited to 10 signed prints.
A print sells for $650 or a boxed set (one each of six images) for
$3,500. One of the interior photos is framed and on display in the
Tool House/THE SHOP.
Besides serving as the Director of Pulmonary Function at Washington
University School of Medicine, Dr. Tuteur is a professional photographer
whose work has been shown in St. Louis, Chicago and Breckenridge,
Colorado. His photographs of the Kraus House have been printed in
Saint Louis Homes and Lifestyles and Missouri
If you are interested in viewing or purchasing these beautiful photographs,
please call the FLWHEP at 822-8359 to leave a message. A time to
view the photographs will be arranged.
to assist our docents sell products following tours. Training provided.
Limited time commitment.
Want more information:
Karen Halla at 822-8359.
A fun way to volunteer
at the FLWHEP!
Theodore Pappas, owner of the only other Frank Lloyd Wright designed
house in the St. Louis area, located on Masonridge Rd. in Town &
Country, died in December. He was 83. Mr. Pappas and his wife Bette
had a Usonian Automatic house (1955) designed by Wright.
In four years, Mr. and Mrs. Pappas built the house together with
the help of day laborers. The house including the roof is constructed
with concrete blocks or as described by Wright stones.
The wood in the house is Philippine mahogany. The Pappas have
lived in the house since it was completed in 1964 where Mrs. Pappas
continues to reside.