Schindler and his dog Prince, in front of the Kings Road House. A friend left Prince with Schindler to dogsit and then never came back to retrieve him.
If you are a long-time reader of this blog, you know of my unhealthy man-crush on R.M. Schindler ("It's kinda funny that you are in love with a dead architect," observes the bride from time to time.). I have the house to thank for that.
Before we built, and between the architectural episodes required to design our house, I decided to try to understand architects and Modern architecture better. There were the early infatuations with Le Corbusier (a good rebound relationship), Frank Lloyd Wright (impeccably behaved during the first date; chewing with his mouth open and spitting on the second), and Richard Neutra (a sloppy and unsatisfying one-night stand), but then there was Schindler. Schindler was the real take-him-home-to-show-mama deal.
There's much to like and admire about Schindler. He was truly brilliant and truly ahead of his time. He was also a truly likable guy. Unlike his cohorts, particularly Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra who sought to destroy Schindler for influencing them (and largely succeeded during their lifetimes), Schindler realized architecture was an ongoing dialog and there was no shame in acknowledging the dialog. You didn't reduce your stature by acknowledging your past and contemporary influences; you simply acknowledged reality and continued on with your work. Although Schindler had every right to hate Wright (and to a certain degree did), Schindler continued to acknowledge Wright's brilliance and goals for America throughout his career. It's how an adult behaves.
And then there's his architecture. Daring, sculptural, Modern, and decades ahead of its time. During the 1920s onward, Schindler was a true innovator that provided an undercurrent of influence to Modernism that went unacknowledged until recently. Schindler was disappointed at his general lack of recognition during his lifetime, but at the same time he knew that history would catch up to his work. And so it has.
I've read a great deal about Schindler and noticed a number of discrepancies that have drifted into the literature. Because of my limited memory (and my predilection for taking notes on damn near everything), I decided to create a new "blog" (a list of facts, really) dedicated to Schindler. The R.M. Schindler List will be a living site intended to act as a reference more than anything, although after I reach a research critical mass, I may blog about what I find (I have a few ideas already...). My intent is to read (and reread) everything I can get my hands on related to Schindler (turns out there's more than I thought) and pull out the relevant bits (by my eyes) to acknowledge on the site.
The site still has a long way to go (so much to still read...), but it's reached a sharable point.