Home » Blog » Clare Booth Luce and the Healing Work of Mosaic

Clare Booth Luce and the Healing Work of Mosaic

Mosaic gift for Frank Lloyd Wright from Clare Booth Luce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s something about mosaics that draws people.  I came across these photos of mosaics made by the playwright(among other things, including Congresswoman) Clare Booth Luce, which she gave to Frank Lloyd Wright at his Arizona home Taliesin West.

I know Luce’s name because of a play she wrote, The Women, which was also made into a movie.  Intrigued , I discovered that Luce was introduced to mosaic by Louisa Jenkins, a mosaic artist from Big Sur California.  Luce’s daughter Ann, a student at Stanford, died in a car accident at 19.  In her grief, Luce converted to Catholicism and commissioned artists to design a chapel in Ann’s memory at Stanford.  Louisa Jenkins created the mosaic altar at St. Ann’s chapel, a Madonna with rosary.  Jenkins was drawn to sacred art, and did many works for churches.  I was sad that photos of Jenkins work on the web are almost non-existent

Through the wonders of interlibrary loan, I checked out Jenkin’s book on The Art of Making Mosaics from 1957.  Her daughter Barbara Mills was a co-author, and together they have many observations that rang true.Mosaic at Taliesin West by Clare Booth Luce

“Any artist who has watched adults as well as children enter a studio where tables are spread with multi-colored trays of stone and glass can testify to the attraction of these materials.  Baubles of glass, clinking stones, and bits of bright crystal seem to fill a hunger in people.  To handle them is happiness.”

Perhaps handling these stones and glass gave Clare Booth Luce some happiness after the death of her daughter.

2 comments

  1. Dianne says:

    I visited Taliesin West today and was delighted to discover Clare Booth Luce’s mosaics. I was especially struck by the artistry and sophisticated andamento, For someone who clearly is not a mosaicist by trade, her works were impressive. I’m happy to learn from your blog that her mosaic work might have provided comfort to her during a difficult time.

    • Dianne–how cool to hear from someone who just saw Clare Booth Luce’s mosaics! I too was amazed at the sophistication of her work, knowing of her as an author, not an artist. It seems creativity comes out in many forms, even in one person.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *