Join filmmaker Rob Barros as we screen his new documentary John H. Howe, Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Master of Perspective, on December 7 at 1:00 p.m. in the library’s meeting room. I remember letting Rob into the library at 5:30 a.m. on a June morning in 2012 so he could capture the building in the morning light. Rob called it “chasing the light.” If you don’t know about John Howe, he had an interesting life. For nearly thirty years he was Frank Lloyd Wright’s chief draftsman. Wright called him “the pencil in my hand.” Many of the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright drawings were done by Howe.
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 groundbreaking works like 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. – Rob Barros
Bob and Jan Willow are featured in the hour-long film along with their Menomonie home which Howe designed. The library also makes it into the film as part of the catalog of Howe’s extensive work and career.
Upon completing high school in 1932, John left to join Frank Lloyd Wright’s forming Taliesin Fellowship, the apprentice program started at the famous architect’s home in Spring Green, Wisconsin. By 1937, Howe became chief draftsman amidst the Fallingwater project. He supervised the drafting room for Wright for 27 years until the Master passed away. “My drafting table was his drafting table, always, John comments in interviews.” Many of the perspective drawings attributed to Wright were actually penciled by Howe. – Rob Barros
We hope to bring Rob Barros to the library for a special showing of the film in the very near future. A copy of the film will be available for circulation soon.