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What do you do? | 5 Question Series

On a regular basis, we ask members of our team to answer five questions about their positions at Marin Center, their favorite program or event, and other personal tidbits.

Featuring: Ilene Taekman, Frank Lloyd Wright Docent

What is your title and what do you do at Marin Center?

I am one of a group of enthusiastic docents who lead tours of the Marin County Civic Center for locals and people from around the world.

What’s your favorite Frank Lloyd Wright factoid about the Marin Civic Center?

You might say that Mr. Wright’s mother set the stage for her son’s career and subsequent design of our Civic Center. It seems that Frank Lloyd Wright’s mother wanted her first child to be a son and an architect. To that end she looked at pictures of beautiful buildings while she was pregnant and later hung etchings of cathedrals in her baby’s room. When he was a little older, she encouraged him to play with geometrically shaped building blocks. Seems to have worked, doesn’t it?

How long have you been involved with the docent program?

I’ve been a Civic Center docent for almost three years. I do have lots of experience leading tours since I have also been a docent at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco for 26 years.

What projects are you working on at the moment to encourage the scholarship about the building and engage our community?

I have recently researched a sculpture installed in the Administration Building. The sculpture had no plaque, and although I interviewed several knowledgeable people affiliated with the Civic Center, no one had pertinent information about the piece. At my daughter’s suggestion we posted a photo of the sculpture on Facebook. That yielded ideas leading me to the artist. I contacted him and he was kind enough to send me an email confirming the history of the artwork. The piece is by Bruce Beasley, titled “Inarus.”

Tell us a little-known fact about yourself.

In 1989 I worked at the Marin Center as Volunteer Coordinator for the Exhibition, “Frank Lloyd Wright: In the Realm of Ideas.” Now, having returned to the Civic Center almost 30 years later as a docent, I feel as though I have “come full circle.” And by the way, the circle or sphere is a motif Mr. Wright used at our Civic Center. Come along on one of my tours and I’ll tell you more....

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