Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Letter by Gene Masselink

Leelanau County, Michigan, near Northport. —Photograph © 2010 David Versluis

Eugene Masselink, known as Gene to people affiliated with Taliesin, was Frank Lloyd Wright’s secretary as well as a very fine painter and designer. He came to Taliesin in 1933 and worked there until his death in 1962.

We’ve attached the video featuring Effi Casey, of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, as she reads one of Gene’s letters to an audience at the Taliesin Fellowship Apprentice reunion in 1992.

On a recent trip to northern Michigan we tried to find the specific view that Gene Masselink was referring to when writing the letter in c.1937. We could not locate the exact site that inspired Masselink, however, we did find a view that seems to come close and it’s pictured above. By now most of the farms are gone having been subdivided into smaller acreages for residential and water front properties. Orchards, vineyards, excellent wineries and small dairies, making great Raclette cheese, still exist and are actually making a small comeback.

Ms. Casey’s introduction:
Gene Masselink wrote this column upon his return from vacationing at the bluffs on Garthrie’s farm near Northport, Michigan.

Masselink’s letter begins with:
I stood upon the hill where four years before I had first stood and saw far beyond me and below me. The endless blue depth of water made patterns upon the undulating strips of land. In perspective, I saw clearer then I had ever seen before how the parts of my thinking and working and dreaming were at that time as separated from the whole of my life as the buildings of that small farm below are separated from each other.

Masselink’s letter ends with:
I stood upon the hill with all the blue of the world in my eyes and longed to immediately rejoin the endless work for organic creative life at Taliesin.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the editor has approved them.