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Pop Culture Illustrator Max Dalton Takes on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin Estate

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Aug 9, 2018

Max Dalton is the artist behind some of the most well-known and widely celebrated pop culture illustrations over the past 20 years that have drawn international attention with iconic Wes Anderson films, Game of Thrones, The Beatles and Breaking Bad inspiring his sketches. Today, Dalton has taken on a new muse – Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Buenos Aires-based illustrator has joined forces with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to create a limited-edition illustrated map of the famous architect’s personal estate in Wisconsin, Taliesin, and the home’s surrounding landmarks that span 800 acres. The illustration will appear in the Summer 2018 edition of the Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly, a hard-copy magazine exclusively available to the Foundation’s members. With membership pricing starting from $50, members who join by Oct. 15 will receive the collectible issue featuring Dalton’s work.

“I’m a big fan of modern design and early 20th century architecture and, of course, Frank Lloyd Wright is one of my favorites,” said Dalton. “Just having the opportunity to work on something related to his work and being involved is such a great honor to me. I’m proud to be contributing – in a very tiny way – with the preservation of Wright’s legacy.”

Regarded as one of Wright’s most personal creations, Taliesin is the home, studio, school and agricultural estate of Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright built Taliesin on his favorite boyhood hill in the Wisconsin River Valley homesteaded by his Welsh grandparents and named it Taliesin in honor of the Welsh bard whose name means “shining brow.” Begun in 1911, Taliesin was rebuilt by Wright twice, following significant fire damage in 1914 and 1925.

Dalton was approached earlier this year by longtime fan and Vice President of Communication & Partnerships for the Foundation, Jeff Goodman.

“I’ve long admired Max Dalton’s ability to take visuals created by other artists and display them in a way that respects the original intent while adding his own signature style to how the work is presented,” said Goodman. “Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs and ideas are more relevant today than in his own lifetime, so we wanted an illustrator who could display the genius of Wright’s work with a contemporary approach. Our collaboration with Max is another way we can introduce Frank Lloyd Wright to new audiences, and help preserve his legacy to inspire future generations to think differently about how we build and live.”

Among his most well-known work is Dalton’s “Greatest Moments in Film” series that features character sketches from E.T., The Big Lebowski, Jaws and Pulp Fiction. Previous prints cataloging entire casts of Star Wars or locations in Wes Anderson films like The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Life Aquatic and The Royal Tenenbaums, top the fan-favorites list. Dalton also illustrated the children’s book “The Lonely Phone Booth” which was selected for the Smithsonian’s 2010 Notable Books for Children. He also designed illustrations and cover art for the New York Times bestseller, “The Wes Anderson Collection.”

“The process of drawing every building in detail made me realize the brilliance of what it means to obtain all that beauty and all that simplicity in the forms of such complex structures. I’ve also learned a few things about Wright’s work that only reinforce for me what a genius he was. For instance, to know that he drew Fallingwater in about two hours just blew my mind.”

For fans looking to add to their collection, Dalton explains, “I researched the plans that Wright drew for Taliesin and selected a few of them to imitate his style, especially his handwriting and the way he made the trees and landforms that surrounded the buildings. On top of that, I planted all the buildings drawn in my own style. That’s something I’ve never done before. I hope that everyone likes the result as much as I do!”

Goodman hopes this is just the beginning of the partnership with Dalton. “I have Max Dalton’s artwork framed and hung on the walls of my own home, so I was thrilled he agreed to create this incredible illustration for us,” he says. “Max is truly inspired by Wright’s designs, so I don’t know which one of us is more excited about working together, and I look forward to more opportunities to collaborate in the future.”

The map of the Taliesin Estate includes Romeo & Juliet Windmill, Midway Barn, Hillside School, the Tan-y-Deri residence and surrounding cottages, and – of course – Taliesin itself.

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Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation members, at Subscription level and above, receive the Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly magazine as part of their membership benefits. The Quarterly offers readers an innovative look into the past, present, and future of Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy through thoughtful graphic and written explorations of the legendary architect’s work and the community it has created.

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