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Item 490 - Frank Lloyd Wright Catalog 560 (Jul 2019)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $300.00
Sold Price: $5,002.50 (includes buyer's premium)


ALS signed “Frank,” six pages on four sheets, 8 x 10, The Imperial Hotel letterhead, no date but circa 1919. Long letter to his wife Miriam, written from his iconic Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, concerning a dramatic episode with one Madam Olga Krynska. In part: "I promised to let M. Krynska know, (after I got her into a cab that awful night), whether you would see her or not the next day…I have not seen her since nor have I ever seen her alone…I have opened your letter and have read it as my right. I have a right to take a pistol away from someone who might harm herself and others with it—especially if that woman is my wife—why not as harmful as a letter addressed to my care, as I knew this one to be. Not harmful to me—but to you. Madam Krynska has never had anything from me, not even a glance, that could reflect upon the integrity of my feeling for you—and so, to her, your letter would damn you only—and make a sad, bad matter worse. Oh Miriam—it is this shooting-wild this war-cry on the warpath, in all circumstances that caused me to misjudge you as I did. Do not believe that others would be more lenient in judging you than I have been—for things like that letter to Madame Krynska.

You do her and yourself a great wrong—never mind about me, I don't count any more. And I shall not send this poisoned shaft to her, and I shall not send it—not because I care for her, but because I care for you. In this I can protect you—and I will. The contents of the letter would go far to vindicate me in my position—with her—she knows it to be so false an accusation of me and of herself—if I wished any more to 'save my face' I would send it—but I do not—any more.

My face must take its place among faces on its own merits with no words on its behalf from me any more. You will find this so and the field clear except when you ask me to hold the gun you level at another while you pull the trigger—and I see it really directed at yourself. Can you not see this trait of fury in yourself, destroying you? Did anyone ever do anything but harm to themselves and others when moved by this undue sense of right and justice and revenge? See my life and your own!

Oh my dear—I know your suffering—I have suffered so myself for suspicions as ill founded—and the suffering is real—if the suspicions are untrue. There must be some spiritual force that can pierce this thick wall of certitude you raise around yourself, by which you barricade yourself against the daylight—the pharisaical satisfaction of this 'holy wrath' that rejoices beforehand at the destruction of all who are inimical to you—who don't see as you see. Resist this contagion of hatred whatever its nature and virulence may be.

We fight against the plague and even try to repair disaster caused by an earthquake—then why bow before the manifestation of a deep animosity toward myself—and anything suspected of being mine on your part? Why should you bow—or if you do‚ why should I bow before it? If 'love' can only flourish through hatred like this—if love of country can only flourish through hatred of other countries—then I am through with 'love.' All the forces of the spirit, of reason of faith and of art and science are ignored and outraged in this war waged with demoniacal fury against me by you. You say you are 'justified' by 'what I am' and 'what I have done to you.' Well—think a little.

There was not one country among all those at each others throats to cut than if they could in this late war that didn't proclaim the cause—his cause or its cause to be the cause of God, the cause of liberty and of human progress. And this is a strange and unseemly ungodly combat between two lonely, foolish human souls—each one bringing his faggot to the bonfire and stirring it up with all his strength. I shall beware of any 'judgement' pronounced by either you or me in the circumstances.

Now I am watchfully waiting,—(the strife in perspective)—to see what is real—what is true. I am willing to make as I have already made concessions that seemed cowardly enough to me although I now see how cowardice of another kind has cut me down—or it is the same kind? I wonder! But it has seemed to me latterly that I have been invented like 'fate' that you may make me responsible for all your own ills and disorders besides my own and those of the universe as well!

I mean those disorders which it is strictly your own duty to regulate and my duty not to aggravate. Disorders that you can not escape by attributing blame for them to me. The only fatality is what we desire. In our case it is—I think what we do not desire enough—if we did we would have it. I am saying 'mea culpa' and I leave yours to you as I should have done long ago—ah yes! how long ago! A splendid thing it is to fight with clear hands and a pure heart and to dispense 'divine justice' even with one's life. But this fool conflict is like ascending one's own funeral pyre, and, like Hercules, destroying oneself with one's own hands!…

N.B. Sometime later. I asked P.F.P.M. last night—what the symptoms of 'change of life' were as he observed them in Mrs. Mueller. He said that she became utterly demoralized—attacked him with a knife once upon a time—was suspicious and hysterical and jealous—slapped him frequently—professed her undying hatred of him and declared she would not live with him another day every few weeks and talked of divorce before the children who frequently had to interfere to preserve the place from disreputable dissolution. He said she seemed to have a supernatural premonition regarding him and to know things without being told that he tried to keep from her. She refused intercourse with him and declared she loathed it etc. etc. But now everything was all right again and she is her old sweet equable self.

Oh Miriam if this dreadful thing is really what has let this 'bad' side of me uppermost with you—how cruel I have been to hold you to account for all you have done to me! And how shameful what I have done to you looks to me! But you have so strenuously denied it—and so plausibly laid the whole case at my door willy, nilly, that I came to believe you—and to accept your contempt and hatred as the fruit of a rational thinking process on your part. But even if what you see of evil is true,—and of course it is—, what you will not now see of good should hold it in equilibrium, in normal case, would have done so, and now disappears.

I wrote a letter to you in answer to yours that Krynska brought me and I laid out your case as (incontestably) cheap and wrong as could be—in the same style you use. I realized all the time I was writing it, however that I could have made out just as strong or stronger a case for your beautiful self, your beautiful children, your noble old father, the benefits you had conferred on those you had come close to—I read it with a sort of savage satisfaction—I could have proved every statement in it true and yet it was false as hell because it was the evil not the good.

I tore it up—and I see how easy it is to do the thing you are doing now. There is enough of bad in us to default in assaults of this kind if cleverly made with insight into weaknesses any time, any where, any body. In this campaign of yours to show me up to myself you have proceeded with the animus of the angry parent who brutalizes the child he would save by punishment. And the animus has discredited the effort in my eyes and made me slow to see what otherwise I must have acknowledged with gratitude and have shielded you from every exposure.

I have turned on you with the savage instincts of the wild animal at bay—and you meet me in the same way—a wild animal at bay—with the pretense of culture, your superior mind and nature on your lips as a sneer at what I was and had—a superiority on your part I have delighted to acknowledge to others again and again—but not to you who so meanly made it yourself as a boast in a fury to humiliate me. Oh I must be blind! If men like Paul Mueller have to go through such things—how much more should I be generous! Or just—I who have so little and so much!" Includes the original mailing envelope, addressed in Wright's hand to "Mrs. Frank Lloyd Wright" at the Ikao Hotel in Japan, displayed in the backing frame. The letter is suede-matted and framed in a dual-paned display so that both sides can be read, and hinged against a large 44 x 36 frame, opening to reveal engraved plaques that transcribe the text. In fine condition, with some damage to the mat behind the pivoting letter.

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