Perdro E. Guerrero, "local" MCM photographer

While trying to find positive things to think about the redesign of Dwell Magazine (the only mag. I read pretty much cover-to-cover and still feel the need to save stacks of) I almost overlooked a story about Pedro E. Guerrero.

Guerrero became a photographer through of string of serendipitous events beginning slightly before 1939, when he showed up to register for art classes at Art Center School in L.A. only to find all the painting and drawing classes filled. All they could offer him were photography classes, which he took because he "would have taken embroidery classes rather than go beck to Mesa" (AZ, where he grew up and whose bigotry he wanted to escape).

At the age of 22, Guerrero brazenly drove out and presented himself to Frank Lloyd Wright who hired him as Taliesen West's resident photographer.

What was a complete surprise to me is that Guerrero, for a time, lived in New Canaan, CT, among so many of the Modern architects and designers who were active at the time. The ones he mentions in the story as being friendly with were Breuer, Stone, Noyes, Salerno, Gores, Christ-Janer, Risom.

His web site has collections of fabulous photos of houses by these architects as well as of Louise Nevelson and Alexander Calder, both of whom he photographed pretty intensively over years.

Although he is now 90 years old, it would be so great to have him as a speaker back in New Canaan at the next Modern House Day Tour and Symposium. The story in Dwell, which is really an interview, shows him to be a clever guy with a lot of fascinating anecdotes who lived through an amazing time, knew amazing people and has a lot to impart through his work and stories. Hang in there, Pedro, we'd welcome you back to New Canaan for the next MHD! – GF

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