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Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 10:00 AM CDT

Art & Design

Sale 129 Lot 181

After Alfonso Iannelli / Frank Lloyd Wright
recast head from interior fountain at Midway Gardens
Chicago, Illinois
concrete, oak
overall: 8"w x 8"d x 14 1/2"

Catalog Note:
The original design for these heads was by Alfonso Iannelli and Frank Lloyd Wright for Midway Gardens. After the destruction of the property, Edgar Tafel visited the site where he found one of the heads remaining, partially buried in the ground. The face had been uncovered and exposed to the elements with some erosion. However, the back of the head, being partially buried and protected, still retained sharp details. The head was part of Iannelli's interior fountain.

Tafel brought the head back to the Lloyd Lewis House work site where he was supervising the construction. He fabricated a wood base of his own design in the shape of interlocked cubes. The Lewises were mesmerized by the artifact and, with much reluctance and resistance, convinced Tafel to leave it with them, a decision he regretted greatly.

Several decades later, Bill Hasbrouck visited the Lewis House and, upon seeing the head, asked Katherine Lewis if he could borrow the fragment to cast and create replicas from it. He made the mold and castings, as well as included a reproduction of the wood base that was created by Tafel. These were sold at Bill and Marilyn Hasbrouck's Prairie Avenue Bookshop in the Prairie Avenue Historic District in the Near South Side of Chicago in the 1970s and again in 1998 when the mold and castings were done by John Nolan of Nolan Plastering.

This particular recast head is believed to be from the original casting executed by Bill Hasbrouck with the reproduction of Tafel's wooden base. The wear to the face is from the original head being partially exposed to the elements before being cast and reproduced.

Estimate $600-800

Sold for $1,950