Monday, July 2, 2012

A Little House of your Own

Ellen Janson at her house during construction, designed by RM Schindler. 1948, Courtesy of R.M. Schindler Archive, University of California Santa Barbara.

An english actor and director Maurice Browne, founder of the "Chicago Little Theatre" was the husband of Ellen Margaret Janson, an american poet whose work has appeared in such magazines as the London Mercury, Carmelite, Harper’s, Vogue, Poetry, Diane Forum and for the most part of her life she was living in the west coast. Maurice Browne also known for his bittersweet autobiography "Too Late to Lament", describes his first impressions with Ellen Janson - Margaret Ellen as he called her.

"Margaret- Ellen..had an excellent thing in women, a soft and low voice . Stillness accompanied her, outer and inner stillness; and when she stood or walked she seemed to rest so lightly on the earth that, though she was tall like her Norwegian forbears, one expected her to float skyward" .

Very soon Ellen gave birth to their son Praxy but Maurice had decided to stay in England. In 1948 -1949 R.M.Schindler has built Ellen Janson's house in Hollywood hills. Between his last period of hospitalization (he was diagnosed with cancer) Schindler was staying at his girlfriend's house . In 1953 R.M.Schindler died "in the Sky ", in a place "made of cobwebs" and 'skyhooks" at Janson's residence site.

A Little House of your Own, 2012
Slide projection with Diascop.