Taliesin Next—The Stones of Taliesin West: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Petroglyphs of Paradise Valley

April 4, 2018
Taliesin West

As Frank Lloyd Wright’s enduring legacy continues to influence innovators to create a more beautiful and sustainable world, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation presents Taliesin Next, a new speaker series that explores how Wright’s legacy can inform the future. The speakers of Taliesin Next present their ideas through a variety of perspectives as diverse as the great architect’s multifaceted legacy.

In early 1939, in the course of constructing Taliesin West atop the rim of Paradise Valley, Frank Lloyd Wright and his apprentices discovered nearly 100 petroglyphs at the base of the adjacent McDowell Mountains. The ancient carvings were on boulders near where Wright quarried the stones for his winter home. Inspired by the enigmatic glyphs, Wright integrated several of the glyph-adorned boulders into the organic layout of Taliesin West. Following a review of Wright’s use and placement of the boulders, this presentation explores the archaeological context of the petroglyphs at Taliesin West in order to understand when they were made, by whom, and for what purpose.

Kathryn Leonard,  the Arizona State Historic Preservation Officer, will speak to the role that archaeology plays in the broader mission of historic preservation including new development on unimproved lands, trailblazing in the wilderness, and work at modern sites.

Aaron M. Wright is a Preservation Archaeologist with the non-profit Archaeology Southwest in Tucson. He holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Washington State University and is the author of the award-winning book Religion on the Rocks: Hohokam Rock Art, Ritual Practice, and Social Transformation (University of Utah Press, 2014). This presentation is based on his forthcoming article by the same name.


Taliesin West Music Pavilion


6:30 p.m.


$25; Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation member or student ticket price: $15.

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