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LottaLiving.com • Manitoga, the Russel Wright Design Center
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Manitoga, the Russel Wright Design Center

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:11 am
by rockland
Visited Manatoga last week.
A skin-tingling experience. Limited to a ten person tour of the land, studio, and home. Recently in the midst of studing and propogating mosses and
ferns this was pure joy. Put it on your list when visiting NY.

http://www.russelwrightcenter.org/index.html

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"Courtesy of Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center" photo Tara Wing


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"In the 1930s, 40s and 50s, the signature on a set of dinnerware or piece of furniture elicited instant response. At that time, Wright was one of the best known designers in the U.S. At the apex of his career, Wright left New York City and moved his base of operations to Garrison. It was here that he created a unique home and designed landscape. He named it Manitoga, meaning Place of the Great Spirit in Algonquin. Wright shared the Native Americans’ respect for the earth.
When Wright first found this property in 1942, it had been damaged by a century of quarrying and lumbering. Over the next three decades, until his death in 1976, he carefully redesigned and re-sculpted Manitoga’s 75 acres using native plants, his training as a theater designer and sculptor, and his innovative design ideas. Though the landscape appears natural, it is actually a careful design of native trees, rocks, ferns, mosses, and wild flowers.
Wright created over four miles of paths that wind over creeks, into woods, among boulders, and through ferns and mountain laurel.
Manitoga is the only 20th century modern homesite open to the public in New York, and one of few on the east coast. Wright considered it his most important creative effort. In 1996 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Manitoga’s mission is to preserve the legacy of pioneer designer Russel Wright-his home, landscape, products, archives and philosophy, and share them with professionals and the public.

Manitoga is a National Historic Landmark."

via
http://materialicio.us/tag/new-york/

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:16 am
by rockland

Manitoga

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:11 am
by Josquin
Rockland,
Thanks for bring the marvelous Wright house and landscape to lottaliving. There are so few examples of a houses so integrated to the site that are open to the public. And the setting is so beautiful, really worth a visit.

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:07 pm
by rockland
And anyone caught up in perfection....
The pale white in the rafters is raw styrofoam sheets.
Just purely about life and enjoying it. Hardware from the old
quary, the living room built into the rocks. His studio windows open and
lower into the casing making the landscape at level with his desk.
Inventing daily life as he sees it.
I can relax about some personal undone projects. I would anyway...

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Manitoga 2

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:59 pm
by Josquin
"The house must express the idea of the combination of comfortable living that is necessary to the New Yorker as well as his emotional need for the country and for nature." - Russel Wright

Ah, warms my transcendentalist heart.

The house was designed by David Leavitt, an architect, who had worked with Antonin Raymond in Japan.

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Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:43 am
by ch
Wow. The house is looking so great. I was there years ago and it was more than a bit tattered. At that time, Annie Wright (Wright's daughter) still owned the studio building and used it as a weekend home while the main house belonged to the foundation. It couldn't have been comfortable for her to have all these tours passing by her windows. The foundation ultimately took control of the studio (photo 4 with the Nelson chair).

It's clearly time for another visit. Thanks for reminding me.

always a treat!

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:03 am
by Slim and Gabby
The more I hear about R Wright, the more I love him!

So, we're looking at the original restoration gardener, as well??

I'm always fascinated at where RW is perceived as a "name" and where not. I was just saying the other day that the reason why we love our RW dining set so much is because it is subtly organic design, and not as overtly "design-y" as many iconic MCM pieces. I know about Wright's bent as far as integrating indoor and outdoor spaces, special garden projects with daughter, etc., but the site restoration really all puts in context.

Sheesh, was this guy a great thinker and way before his time, or what.
I LOVE to hear confirmation of genius versus being disillusioned by false heroics.

What a great picker-upper!