Thursday, November 20, 2008


Part of an ongoing series of postings on missing artifacts from Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House complex [as opposed to the hapless passengers of Oceanic Flight 815].

This week: a Martin House martin house.Of the four limestone birdhouses that originally crowned the conservatory of the Martin House complex, two originals have returned to the reconstructed building, thanks to the outstanding, collegial generosity of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Two exacting reproductions were made to complete the set of four. Only then did we hear, on good authority, that there may be another original birdhouse on the estate of Virginia and Donald Lovness - a late Usonian house (1955) in Stillwater, Minnesota - that's up for sale through Sotheby's International Realty.

Sotheby's International Realty photo

Numerous calls and emails to Sotheby's have not yielded the desired substantiation that a Martin birdhouse is on the grounds of this estate. Images in the property listing show three "Sprite" figures from Wright's Midway Gardens (possibly reproductions), but no sign of a birdhouse. The property is still on the market, and we're striving to at least substantiate this artifact lead before it changes hands again.

If you have any additional information about this wayward birdhouse, or if you know anyone in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area who might visit the property to confirm (or deny) this lead, please let us know!

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