Don was an artist. . .
Don was an architect. . .
Don was well-versed in structural design and engineering. . .
As Richard Erickson, his chief draftsperson tells it, Don’s designs “scared” the builders. It took a special team of engineers, carpenters, masons and bricklayers to build a Don Erickson home or commercial building because Don’s designs were out of the ordinary. . .they tested building concepts…they were architectural feats. This is probably why, when I was a child, my father would take me on Saturdays to the job sites, and why he would spend an hour, or so, with the construction workers going over the plans and explaining how to do things. . .
|Don's Drawing of the award-winning Round House|
But, back to the works of Don Erickson. . .having myself returned “home” to the prairie state, I had the pleasure of cataloging my father’s works in their entirety. And, the pleasure of negotiating with an international institution who has expressed interest in receiving these works in their entirety as well as preparing an exhibition of the best of these works. My father’s works would be shoulder-to-shoulder with those of the Master, FLW, and of Louis Sullivan, and of Bruce Goff. And, I would receive the benefit of knowing that I had worked to preserve these works for the future. . .thin pieces of paper housed in the right conditions. . .but no monetary benefits would ensue to me. . .
An artist’s works are embodied in their representations. . .and it is through these representations that one can feel the spirit and the soul of the artist who made these works. . .
An artist, like a writer, needs to express him or herself. . .we need an audience. . .for through our expressions we tell the world how we feel. . .and what we’ve learned. . .
It is not easy letting my father’s works go to an institution. . .I have so little of him. . .my story is not unlike that of Wright’s own children…
We children own the works of Don Erickson. . .with half of us wanting to share our most treasured belongings and preserve them for the future. . .and the other half unable to let them go.
Don died on October 24, 2006. . .it is time to honor our father’s memory . . .it is time to unclutch what we hold dear. . .and to let our father express himself through his architectural designs to our own and to future generations. . .
To that end, I have shared a Don Erickson original. . .a sketch. . .oh, so sensitively drawn. . .because, for now, this is all that I can provide. . .