Heloise Crista Sculpted Rich History into Bronze Art
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Jun 20, 2019
If you’ve ever visited Taliesin West, you’ve likely noticed the bronze sculptures placed throughout the site. The unique sculptures hold a rich history, and were created by Heloise Crista, a member of the Fellowship.
Heloise Crista joined the Taliesin Fellowship in 1949, not to become an architect, but rather to be in “the atmosphere of such ideas and such people as Mr. and Mrs. Wright and the community of apprentices.” While at Taliesin, Heloise studied dance under the Wrights’ daughter, Iovanna, and was a respected and extremely talented performer. She did the dance notations for all of Iovanna’s dances, using stick figures to show the positions of the dancers and detailed descriptions of each move.
In addition to dance, Heloise specialized in making highly-decorated and intricate costumes for the performances. Her performances and creations were influenced by her study of the philosophy of Russian mystic George Gurdjieff, which she continued throughout her life.
Over time, Heloise became known for her sculpture work, an interest first sparked at Taliesin. Her first major work was a bronze bust of Wright, in 1956, which remains on display in the Garden Room at Taliesin West today.
She continued to make busts of other Fellowship members and her son, and in 1978 she decided to make sculpture her career. In the ’70s and ’80s she even taught a sculpture class at Taliesin. Her sculptures have been incorporated throughout the campus at Taliesin West—where they continue to inspire visitors—and structures designed by the Taliesin Associated Architects, the architecture firm created by apprentices of Wright, following his passing.
Heloise passed away on March 11, 2018, at her home at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Take home an Heloise Crista sculpture, available in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles exclusively in the Frank Lloyd Wright Store. Not all sculptures pictured above are available for purchase.
Visit the Store to purchase or call 480.627.5398 to place your order.