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News and updates from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

David Dodge in the Sonoran desert standing next to his the triangular tent.

Remembering David Dodge

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Dec 31, 2021

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is saddened to announce the passing of Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice and Taliesin Architect David Dodge. Dodge passed away on December 30, 2021 at the age of 91. Please join us in celebrating his life and accomplishments. 

David Elgin Dodge was born on April 1, 1930 in London, England to Muriel Dorothy Dodge and Horace Elgin Dodge, Jr. His grandfather was the automobile industry icon Horace Elgin Dodge, Sr.

David and his sister, Diana, alternated living in New York City with their mother and in England with their father until 1939, when the threat of war in England was too great.

David attended Oberlin College in 1949, majoring in music, but was told that his sense of the visual was better than his sense of the acoustic. It was his mother who originally suggested that he join the Fellowship, though when he told his grandmother that Frank Lloyd Wright had designed the Imperial Hotel that she stayed in and so enjoyed, she also became enthusiastic about her grandson studying with Wright. On April 21, 1951 David sent his application join the Taliesin Fellowship, and after some time of not receiving an answer, David’s grandmother suggested he simply give Wright a call. It was Gene Masselink who answered the phone and set up David’s visit to Taliesin that August, where Wright reviewed his drawings and accepted him into the Fellowship.

Over the years David had many experiences at both Taliesin and Taliesin West, including working on the Taliesin Birdwalk and living for 17 years in a triangular, Wright-designed tent. In 1966 while the Fellowship was in Switzerland he met his wife-to-be, Anneliese. They married and lived in Switzerland for ten years, where their son Alexander was born. During that time David worked with former Taliesin apprentice and Swiss architect Ernst Anderegg. In 1977 they returned to the U.S., though he and his family still spent summers in Switzerland.

In Arizona, David and Anneliese were hosts to the Fellowship for a myriad of events: carol singing around a candlelit Christmas tree, Valentine’s and Halloween parties, and invitations to musical events around town (including a Stravinsky opera with Igor Stravinsky in the audience), to only name a few. David also composed numerous symphonies and other musical works, which were performed in the home he designed for himself north of Taliesin West. He worked with the Taliesin Architects on many projects, including Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium and, one of his favorites, a house and stables for his sister Diana, in North Carolina.

He is survived by his sister Diana Dodge, his son Alexander and son-in-law Charlie, and grandchildren Nicholas and George; and he will be missed by the entire Taliesin community.

Frank Lloyd Wright with apprentices of the Taliesin Fellowship in 1955 at the Hillside studio at Taliesin.Seated from left: Frank Lloyd Wright, Eric Lloyd Wright. Standing from left: John Amarantides, Joe Fabris, David Dodge, Kenn Lockhart, Tom Casey, Donald Brown.

Frank Lloyd Wright with apprentices of the Taliesin Fellowship in 1955 at the Hillside studio at Taliesin. David Dodge, standing, is third from the left.

David Dodge with Olgivanna Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West

David Dodge with Olgivanna Lloyd Wright.

News and updates from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation