Arthur Erickson Tour

We had an extraordinary opportunity to visit the home Arthur Erickson designed for art collectors and philanthropists Bagley and Virginia Wright. [I consider this to be one of the most important houses of the 20th-century and will be publishing an extended essay on the house soon.] The house is in The Seattle Highlands – Washington’s most exclusive gated community. On the drive through the community visitors had an opportunity to view the 1909 Clark House designed by designed by Andrew Willatsen (Andrew worked for FL Wright in the Oak Park Studio early in the 20th century). It is a fine example of a local version of the prairie style made famous by Wright. It is on a large and beautifully landscaped site. I hope we will have an opportunity to visit this property soon.

Clark House 1909

Un-restored interior courtyard

Deterioration of walls and structural elements west of the swimming pool

During the Erickson house tour a Ukio-e (Japanese woodblock print) given to Willatsen by Wright when he worked in Oak Park was on display. It is a sweet item that I have had the pleasure of owning for about 20 years.

The Erickson House has been sold twice since the Wright’s moved into the city. The first owner left the property untouched (and, unfortunately not well maintained). Part of the display at the house was an array of photos showing the condition the house was in when the new owner undertook the heroic task of bring this gem back to life. Visitors came away with a heightened appreciation for the vision and courage required to take on such a task.

The new owner has reinterpreted parts of the house and we had an opportunity to explore in detail this work in process. Tours were by appointment. This limited the number of total tours that could be arranged. The opportunity came up with short notice and I was pleased we could accommodate a number of those who were available and do so with appropriate Covid cautions (masks, social distancing, etc.). Hopefully, there will be an additional opportunity in-the-near-future to offer another tour. An email will be sent when the next opportunity arises.

It is well worth the time to look closely at the original design themes and intents and to follow the goals and processes developed by the new owners. We are grateful they were willing to extend this generous invitation.

I have recently had the opportunity to host several artists and musicians to explore future possibilities for holding creative events and exhibitions at the property. Yesterday we had an artist and dancer explore dance in the space with digital manipulations to expand the vision. I look forward to sharing more about this work! For now – here are two views of the beginning of the film tests – note the drone in the 2nd photo. I am looking forward to seeing drone footage of the flight through the entire length of the house as-well-as video footage of the artist executing dance movements within the structure. It was a fascinating group of exceptionally talented people. I look forward to working with them to develop the ideas we explored in greater detail.

Entry sequence...

It is very gratifying that the owners are open to exploring new possibilities that emulate and expand on the ways the Wrights utilized the home as a venue for experiencing the arts. I anticipate being able to extend future invitations to a variety of exceptional event. I look forward to sharing the house with you as it returns to serving a role in hosting quality art and special events that celebrate life and art.,\

If you have friends and associates who share you interest in architecture, art, music and fine design,

please refer them to the website where they can sign up to receive emails about events and articles directly.

Living room when the original owners occupied the house

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