"IN THE CAUSE OF ARCHITECTURE":
COMMENTARIES IN MEMORIAM
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A brief autobiographical introduction by John Geiger to his origins, education, and life experience.
Geiger explains his purposes in creating this website about Frank Lloyd Wright, the Taliesin Fellowship, and the ideals of organic architectural design.
Geiger examines the origins of his vocation as an architect, from the buildings of his youth in southern Minnesota to his encounter with the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, as an evolving awareness of architectural design in the broader context of American values.
Note: These writings were composed by John Geiger with twofold purpose. First, he wanted to explore his understanding of the design principles demonstrated in the architectural work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Second, he desired to express a personal perspective in memory, analysis, and critique of his life in the Taliesin Fellowship. The drafts evolved through a series of versions during the 1990s and 2000s. His goal was to present three essays with different themes grouped together as what he termed a single episode. His intended episodic segments were: 1) the Taliesin Fellowship, 2) geometric principles underlying the architectural designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, and 3) a special focus on a specific aspect of organic design at Taliesin. Episodes 1 and 2 were completed and published on this website prior to his death in 2011. At his instruction, other manuscripts found in various stages of preparation but not fully completed are presented here with minimal editing. These posthumously published texts attempt to reconcile multiple versions found as manuscripts in the Geiger archival collection. With the exception of Episode 3, which was largely completed before Geiger passed away, the remaining essays cannot be grouped into the original episode structure for lack of sufficient development. They are presented below the Episodes as additional writings.
Taliesin Apprentice and architect Robert Beharka was a friend of John Geiger for many years. Born August 22, 1926, Bob Beharka joined the Taliesin Fellowship in 1954 and remained for eight years. Bob passed away in his long time home of Los Banos, California, on January 12, 2010. Geiger wanted to pay respect to Beharka at the time of his death by presenting an essay that first appeared in the Summer, 1997 (Issue 22) of the Journal of the Taliesin Fellows.
John Geiger was interested in the financial aspects of Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural practice. His studies led him to conclude that, in great measure, Wright paid the expenses of his studio for several decades through the sale of Asian art, particularly Japanese prints. To explore this thesis and relate financial condition with personal and professional events, Geiger compiled a timeline. This study-in-progress not was not considered by Geiger to be definitive or conclusive, but an accumulation of dates and facts that he thought worth further deliberation by researchers.
In 2009, Geiger indicated his desire to make available on his website the many color photographs he had taken during the 1940s and 1950s while in the Taliesin Fellowship. As he wished, this gallery offers a selection of these important historical images, and the remainder are available in his archival collection.
Geiger expresses his personal appreciation to those helpful to his creation of the "Commentaries in Memoriam" website during his lifetime.