Taliesin Fellowship

Frank Lloyd Wright was supported in his studio and estate operations by a residential community called the Taliesin Fellowship. The Taliesin Fellowship began formally in 1932 and continued after the death of Wright in 1959, and members of this group were referred to as Apprentices. In addition, there were other individuals that came and went over time. These included spouses, progeny, transient residents such as musicians,  artists, or craftspeople, Wright family members, and later on Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation staff.



John Geiger devised a series of query procedures to report the names of individuals considered to be Apprentices who were resident in the Taliesin Fellowship on an annual basis. If an Apprentice was married, the presence of the spouse is usually implied as a community participant. To refine the results, these searches often excluded Wright family members, progeny of Apprentices, transient contributors such as musicians, artists, or craftspeople, and other individuals probably not considered to be Apprentices, but whose presence was also recorded in the database. The searches shown here replicate this conservative approach to list the Taliesin Fellowship population in a given year; the names returned for these lists were perhaps meant by Geiger to be seen as the elective membership, those who had joined purposefully. Note that not all, indeed relatively few, Apprentices were chosen to contribute to architectural work in the Wright studio, and may have served principally instead in other roles supportive of general Fellowship life.

In addition to those individuals deemed to be Apprentices, others were present in the wider community experience of Taliesin life. These included Wright family members, progeny of Apprentices, transient participants such as musicians, artists, or craftspeople, adherents of Georgi Ivanovich Gurdjieff associated with Oligivanna Lloyd Wright, and others who had some relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright that involved a period of residency at one or both of his estates. These searches return the most inclusive view of those who were present in the life of the Taliesin Fellowship in a given year.

There are 1,394 individuals recorded in the database as associated with the Taliesin Fellowship. This count includes some people working for Frank Lloyd Wright prior to the founding of the Fellowship and those who joined in the decades after his death in 1959 until the year 2000. Participation in Frank Lloyd Wright commissions and authorship of drawings is listed, if known. However, the names returned in this search approach reflect a variety of involvements that may not be related to architectural work. Additional biographical notes, reference citations, or comments by John Geiger may be present.

John Geiger created a system of 40 identifying abbreviations, often joined together to reflect several functions or relationships, to classify the roles performed by individuals who were Apprentices or otherwise involved in the extended Taliesin community and activities of the Taliesin Fellows organization. Of these, approximately 20 categories apply directly to the Taliesin Fellowship or to earlier periods of association with Frank Lloyd Wright. Some of these searches are based on groupings of abbreviations that were used frequently or explained by Geiger as having special significance, while others access the individual categories without concatenation with other terms.

In the structure of the data tables for recording biographical information and relationships with architectural work, John Geiger assigned a unique 4-digit numerical identifier for each individual name. These record numbers then became a means of shorthand reference in his bibliographic notes and comments. This search lists record numbers with their associated names. Only numerical identifiers associated with individuals with relationship to the Taliesin community are shown in this search.