Pedro E. Guerrero

written by:
photos by:
March 16, 2010
Originally published in Around the World

In 1939, Frank Lloyd Wright hired 22-year-old Pedro Guerrero to be Taliesin West’s resident photographer, the start of a collaborative bond that would last until Wright’s death in 1959. Though Guerrero’s 60-plus-year career as a photographer is underscored by his work with Wright, he enjoyed later success shooting interiors for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and House & Garden, in addition to forming close friendships with artists like Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson.

At 90, Guerrero is experiencing a renaissance of sorts, with the recent release of both a documentary film and a memoir. Dwell traveled to Florence, Arizona, to spend some time with the photographer, who proves to be a sublime storyteller—–with or without the camera.

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  “When I set up this shot of Wright in his studio at Taliesin, he hadn’t shaved that morning and told me he wasn’t about to. So I had to move the camera back to conceal the stubble, which actually improved the shot.” Behind Wright is a model of the San Francisco Call building, a favorite of his that was never built.
    “When I set up this shot of Wright in his studio at Taliesin, he hadn’t shaved that morning and told me he wasn’t about to. So I had to move the camera back to conceal the stubble, which actually improved the shot.” Behind Wright is a model of the San Francisco Call building, a favorite of his that was never built.
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  Taliesin West, 1939.
    Taliesin West, 1939.
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  A full-scale model of a Usonian house, installed on the site of the future Guggenheim Museum, 1953.
    A full-scale model of a Usonian house, installed on the site of the future Guggenheim Museum, 1953.
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  Frank Lloyd Wright at the Reisley House in Usonia, a cooperative housing development in Pleasantville, New York, 1952.
    Frank Lloyd Wright at the Reisley House in Usonia, a cooperative housing development in Pleasantville, New York, 1952.
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  Alfie Bush was one of the many young apprentices who helped build “the Camp,” as Taliesin West was then called. Here he’s shown working on the dining hall.
    Alfie Bush was one of the many young apprentices who helped build “the Camp,” as Taliesin West was then called. Here he’s shown working on the dining hall.
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  Architect John Black Lee’s Day House, in New Canaan, Connecticut, 1966. “After Calder built a new studio and home near Sache, France, he sent me a postcard that read: ‘We have a new shack. We’ll be seeing you.’I took it as an invitation and went to visit in 1964."
    Architect John Black Lee’s Day House, in New Canaan, Connecticut, 1966. “After Calder built a new studio and home near Sache, France, he sent me a postcard that read: ‘We have a new shack. We’ll be seeing you.’I took it as an invitation and went to visit in 1964."
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  Guerrero captured Alexander Calder in front his studio in Sache, France.
    Guerrero captured Alexander Calder in front his studio in Sache, France.
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