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Quiz about Incident at Taliesin
Quiz about Incident at Taliesin

Incident at Taliesin Trivia Quiz

This quiz is about the incident at Taliesin on August 15, 1914. The quiz includes background information and related events. Please take time to read the "interesting information".

A multiple-choice quiz by Rehaberpro. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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4 mins
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
7 / 10
Last 3 plays: PHILVV (10/10), Guest 68 (2/10), Guest 216 (6/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. What was Frank Lloyd Wright middle name at birth? Hint

Question 2 of 10
2. What was Catherine Tobin Wright's relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright?

Question 3 of 10
3. How did Martha Mamah Borthwick meet Frank Lloyd Wright? Hint

Question 4 of 10
4. Wright's home was called Taliesin. What does Taliesin mean? Hint

Question 5 of 10
5. Besides being a residence, for what other purpose did Wright use Taliesin? Hint

Question 6 of 10
6. Who were Julian and Gertrude Carlton? Hint

Question 7 of 10
7. How was Julian Carlton captured? Hint

Question 8 of 10
8. What was the result of Julian Carlton trial? Hint

Question 9 of 10
9. What did Frank Lloyd Wright do with Taliesin after the 1914 fire? Hint

Question 10 of 10
10. How did Wright's marriage to Miriam Noel end? Hint

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Most Recent Scores
Jun 08 2024 : PHILVV: 10/10
May 05 2024 : Guest 68: 2/10
May 03 2024 : Guest 216: 6/10
Apr 26 2024 : jibberer: 9/10

Score Distribution

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. What was Frank Lloyd Wright middle name at birth?

Answer: Lincoln

Wright was born Frank Lincoln Wright in 1867 in Richland Center, Wisconsin. His mother was a teacher and his father a preacher/musician. The family moved a lot during his formative years but settled in Madison, Wisconsin where he graduated from high school and subsequently enrolled in the University of Wisconsin to study engineering. He dropped out of college to pursue an apprenticeship in architecture, eventually setting up his own firm in Chicago.

The middle name change was prompted by a desire to honor his mother's side of the family - Lloyd. Many years later Wright's son created a building toy and called it Lincoln Logs, using some of the principles of the 'prairie' style of architecture and from some of his father's building techniques.
2. What was Catherine Tobin Wright's relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright?

Answer: His first wife

Catherine "Kitty" Tobin Wright was Wright's first wife. They were married in 1891. Wright was 21 and Kitty was 17. She came from a moneyed family and Wright immediately secured a loan from her father to build a house in Chicago as he pursued his architectural career.

She bore him six children, Frank, John, Catherine, David, Frances, and Robert. The early years of their marriage were in some respects typical of the times. When Wright began to stray from his marital commitment, Kitty refused to give him a divorce.

She had been brought up in the Victorian tradition, and a wife was expected to remain true, believing that dallying husbands always returned to the nest.
3. How did Martha Mamah Borthwick meet Frank Lloyd Wright?

Answer: He did architectural work for her husband

Martha Mamah Borthwick is reported to have been an acquaintance of Catherine Wright. Through this connection Wright was able to secure architectural contracts from her husband, Edwin Cheney. (Martha did not use her husband's name). She was intelligent, independent, and an advocate for women's rights and freedom and tried to base her life on her own personal beliefs and principles. She was also a believer in women's sexual freedom and wrote extensively on that subject, a highly controversial issue at the time.

In 1909 she and Wright left their legal spouses and began a tour together in Europe. The relationship was exploited by the tabloids of the times from the the local Spring Green, Wisconsin paper to the national press. His flamboyant behavior was fodder for the conservative moralists of the time.
4. Wright's home was called Taliesin. What does Taliesin mean?

Answer: Shining Brow

Taliesin means "shining brow" and is a monument to Wright's genius. Taliesin was a Welsh poet whose name translates to "Shining Brow". Wright chose it because he built his masterpiece atop a hill (brow) near Spring Green, Wisconsin, his boyhood home of Richland Center and Madison, Wisconsin.

He told his wife, Kitty, that he was building it as a residence for his mother and sister. But it became increasingly obvious that the building was for his amour, Mamah Borthwick, which further enraged his wife, the press, and the general public. In fact, because of the scandal, it was not until 1916 that he secured another meaningful architectural contract.

Taliesin was built in 1911 and Mamah moved in. She lived there until the 'incident', spending much of the time with her children.

Fire was an issue at Taliesin. It was burned by arson in 1914 and by faulty wiring in 1925. Later, a winter residence was built, called Taliesen West near Scottsdale, Arizona in 1937.
5. Besides being a residence, for what other purpose did Wright use Taliesin?

Answer: As a training program for young architects

Taliesin, although a advanced concept, was not without its faults. It needed constant repair and maintenance. Frank Lloyd Wright devised a plan to deal with the expensive and time consuming maintenance. He created a workshop where fledgling architects could come an study with the master. Not only did one have to show talent in the field but had to pay in advance the rather high tuition for the time.

Some came naively, not realizing that half their day would be spent doing the endless chores that Taliesin required. A number were surprised when they were handed a shovel or a hammer, or found themselves clearing muck from barns.

But the time of the day of toil was offset by learning and guidance from Wright. Many evenings were spent in cultural entertainment often by the students themselves. Occasionally the students were attracted to a near-by tavern, although that behavior was frowned upon by Wright.

The nearest village, Spring Green, was considered off limits also. First of all the villagers were suspicious of the students which came from all over the world, perhaps spoke another language, and could be anarchists or communists. Wright had a reputation for not paying his bills in the village for basic supplies. Wright was, however, a devoted art collector, which left him chronically short on funds.
6. Who were Julian and Gertrude Carlton?

Answer: Butler and cook at Taliesin

The Carltons were from Barbados and were hired on the basis of a recommendation from friends. Julian became disappointed as the job was not as described. Rather than traditional butler duties, he was also ordered to carry out a number of handyman tasks. Also, since they were the only two people of color at Taliesin at that time, Julian endured racial slurs from residents and students. Mamah Borthwick, who had an imperious attitude toward servants, found him abrasive and allegedly asked for his resignation, giving two weeks notice. Meanwhile Gertrude began to see personality shifts in her husband. For instance, he began sleeping with an axe in his hand.

Wright had been called away on a consulting trip. Belatedly, he received a telegram that there might be problems at Taliesin. Mamah was sitting at an outside enclosure just outside the main dining room with her two children who were visiting Taliesin. Julian decorously served them soup. Then he left, seized a container of gasoline, doused Taliesen with it and set it on fire. He then returned to Mamah and smashed her head with an axe. The children tried to escape but were also killed. He then waited for the other diners to flee the house and met them with his bloody axe. Two died on the spot and two later of wounds inflicted.
7. How was Julian Carlton captured?

Answer: Found in the basement furnace room

Several local farmers and some villagers came to fight the fire. The sheriff organized a posse and they began a meticulous search for Carlton. Finally they found him hiding in the the furnace basement. Before he was in full custody, he attempted suicide by ingesting muriatic acid but his attempt was unsuccessful. The posse was deeply shocked at the horror of the crime. Most wanted to hang him right on the spot but cooler heads prevailed and he was taken to the Iowa County Jail in nearby Dodgeville.

Wright was stunned and shocked by the events. Some said it was God's will as punishment for the immoral life that he and Mamah had been living. Wright buried her at Taliesin in an unmarked grave as he not wanted to be reminded each day of his loss and grief, but he later relented with a small marker.
8. What was the result of Julian Carlton trial?

Answer: He was never tried

Carlton was held at the Dodgeville Jail for seven weeks. He refused to say anything about the seven murders. Also, he refused food. He was held for seven weeks and medical visits were frequent. However, he died of starvation while in custody.

In spite of aggressive questioning, the authorities were unable to ascertain his motive for the slaughter. Biographers, historians, and other researchers have not found a definite motivation, although there have been a number of suggestions. He wife, Gertrude, also had no explanation, other than reporting the personality change prior to the incident.
9. What did Frank Lloyd Wright do with Taliesin after the 1914 fire?

Answer: Rebuilt it

It took a few years, but Wright dealt with his grief by rebuilding Taliesin. Again, it was burned in 1925. This time it was poorly installed wiring, perhaps of the telephone system. He continued to accept many prestigious commissions both in the United States and abroad.

After the slaughter of the seven people at Taliesin, Wright began to receive letters from Maude "Miriam" Noel. She was a sculptress of some renown and had a gift for the sculpture of hands. Her letters were so gentle and appealing that Wright sought her out. He moved her into Taliesin and introduced her as 'the new housekeeper'. Miriam resented this immensely but went along with the charade. Finally, in 1922 Kitty Wright granted the divorce Wright had long sought and he and Miriam were married 1923 after the required year's interval.
10. How did Wright's marriage to Miriam Noel end?

Answer: By divorce

Miriam was not the person Wright thought she was. Taliesin echoed with shouts of contention. Finally, she left and began a career of aimless travel. Wright again sought divorce but Miriam was not one to be easily persuaded. Another secret that Wright did not know was that Miriam was addicted to morphine, which may help to explain her erratic behavior.

The divorce between Miriam and Wright dragged on over several years. Miriam would call press conferences and berate Wright for things that had never happened. People knew of the open love affair with Mamah, the murders at Taliesin, and now this contentious divorce made more salacious headlines for the tabloids. Miriam left Wright in 1924 and were divorced in 1928. Miriam got a cash settlement of $36,000 and a guaranteed $250 dollars for life. Probably much more was spent by Wright on lawyers and certainly on lost commissions.

In 1924 Wright met Olgivanna Ivanovna Lazovich, of Montenegro, at an opera. With the difficulties with Miriam, Wright found Olgivanna fascinating. She was a professional dancer and an intellectual. He took her in, also as the new 'housekeeper', at Taliesin in 1925. When his divorce from Miriam became final, he married her and they had two children. One was Olgivanna's daughter by adoption and one they conceived together.

So Wright's women spanned a period of time that included a typical late Victorian life with Kitty; an open relationship with Mamuh; a quarrelsome and demoralizing relations with Miriam; and, at last, someone who shared his dreams and was his soul-mate until his death in 1959. Olgivanna carried on his work and philosophy until her death in 1985.
Source: Author Rehaberpro

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
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