Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Darwin Martin House Pergola

pergola painted by Kath Schifano

Darwin Martin chose Buffalo for his business selling soap. He became the first paid employee of the Larkin Company, worked his way up, innovated record keeping, and was instrumental in getting Frank Lloyd Wright to design the famous Larkin Company office building, open, airy and worker friendly space. The Larkin Company provided household items like soap which came with points or certificates. Households would exchange the certificates from the laundry soap and other purchases for various items. It expanded and rivaled Sears and Roebuck. I have a faux pearl necklace my Mom ordered with coupons from there.

Martin supported Wright during Wright's lean times and had him build his home on Jewett Parkway in Buffalo, as well as Greycliff in on a bluff overlooking Lake Erie in Derby, NY.  

I have painted the front facade of the Darwin Martin House before; this is the side and back view, just part of the long pergola that extends to the back of the property and attaches to the neighboring Barton home of his sister.

Since 2002 the entire complex, including the demolished gardeners cottage and the conservatory and pergola have been under restoration, now completed. The gardens are recently restored, sculptures have been placed in the lawn but the whole complex is now closed due to Covid 19. I'm hoping to see crowds return here soon. I did enjoy the quiet on the morning I painted this from the side street.

The Pergola at Darwin Martin House, pastel 12x16

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