Greatness rarely works in a vacuum, free from the efforts and support of those around them. Frank Lloyd Wright was no different. Wright said many times of his chief-draftsman, John “Jack” Howe, that he is “the pencil in my hand.” More than that, Howe was one of several "pillars" relied upon to bring Wright’s ethereal concepts into reality on paper.
Little is publicly known about Mr. Howe and his contribution to Wright’s works. Howe was a charter member of the Taliesin Fellowship, the architecture school and firm run by Mr. Wright. They produced such ground breaking works as the Guggenheim Museum, Fallingwater, Unitarian Church, Johnson Wax Headquarters, Marin County Civic Center, and more. All of the structures were new pinnacles for the Fellowship, whose members worked to envision architecture as more than decorative protection from the elements. Instead, architecture was viewed as an extension of the soul, as important to humanity as literature and art.
I have already interviewed and video taped Mr. Howe’s wife, many of his apprentices, several of his clients, and some of the Taliesin Fellows. Though quiet-mannered and the consumate apprentice, the many hours of video reveal a picture of Howe's contribution to American architecture as greater - that few outside of the Taliesin Fellowship circle understand. Howe's story, his successful 60-year career arc, both with Wright to his own architecture firm, is one that needs to be told.
Funds donated to this documentary project will be used to pay directly for remaining production and post-production costs. Those expenses include: professional narration, archival use fees for Howe's drawings, travel costs to Arizona and remote locations within five states in the upper-Midwest (photographing Howe buildings and Wright buildings that Howe had extensive input towards), and a New Age music soundtrack, to support the tone and creativity of the work, provided by Rick Wakeman of rock group "Yes" fame. In addition several prominent architecture historians still need to be interviewed.
Two big announcements are now prepared and will be announced upon successful completion of our funding goal.
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