Remembering Susan Jacobs Lockhart (1934-2022)
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Sep 2, 2022
Susan Jacobs Lockhart died peacefully on August 22, 2022 in her home in Cambridge, MA, from complications from COVID-19. She lived a long life involved in art and architecture, both as a member of the Taliesin Fellowship and with her husband, Harvard Professor Neil Levine, who cared for her in her final weeks and days.
Effi Casey, Susan’s longtime friend and member of the Fellowship, and Fred Prozzillo, Nord McClintock Vice President of Preservation at the Foundation and Susan’s mentee, share some thoughts in remembrance of Susan:
Growing up in two significant Frank Lloyd Wright houses—the first Usonian house, Jacobs I, and the first solar hemicycle, Jacobs II, clearly contributed to Susan’s desire to become part of Wright’s community of architects, artists, and apprentices residing at Taliesin and Taliesin West. But it was within the life of the community that Susan’s many talents and qualities found fulfillment: as a gifted pianist for solo performances and as accompanist for the Taliesin Chorus and Ensemble; as a graphic artist, a creator of abstract stained glass windows and glass sculptures, wood plate art, and stoneware and porcelain dinnerware; as a dancer in the Taliesin Dance Festivals; and as a chef of innumerable daily and festive culinary delights. To be a member of the Taliesin Fellowship was to contribute all of one’s talents to a larger cause, and no one represented that ideal better than our Susan.
Effi remembers Susan for her joyful, positive outlook on life and as an inspirational force to young people, colleagues and friends, last but not least as a thoughtful, forward-thinking Trustee of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. She brought her enthusiasm for creativity to numerous programs at Taliesin and Taliesin West, and in separate pursuits like the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, a first-class annual music festival in Madison.
“Rarely did a person as modest about her own talents and accomplishments as Susan radiate such joy in the accomplishments of others. Her life-affirming spirit and wisdom have impacted many, especially young people.” Susan also mentored many apprentices, including Fred, who “will remember Susan for the positive force she was. I rarely heard a negative word from her, and I believe that is a testament to her outlook on life. She taught me to look forward, embrace and explore ideas that may challenge my understanding of the world, and use that exploration to better myself and grow. When my parents were reluctant to support an internship that I wished to pursue in Nepal, Susan persuaded them, explaining what a valuable educational experience this would be, that I would never have an opportunity like this again, and I simply needed this experience to grow as a person. By the end of the night, my parents were in full support. What more could you ask from a mentor and a friend?”
Our memory of Susan does not turn to the past; instead, it gives vibrancy to the way we live today and into the future. Many of us will remember her smile—always sincere, and with a bit of mischief—and that she never had an unkind word for anyone. She will continue to inspire us.
If you’d like to learn more about Susan’s life and work, please see the OA+D Archives Journal dedicated to her work.