William Spratling and the Taxco School

William Spratling, a 20th-century Renaissance man, was many things—architect, teacher, artist, author, collector, and pilot—but most importantly he was the man who single-handedly revived a dormant industry: silversmithing in the Mexican town of Taxco. Spratling, a faculty member at Tulane's School of Architecture, lived in a New Orleans artist's community, where he also taught sketching, illustrated books, and even collaborated with his friend William Faulkner on a book, Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles. He was attracted to Mexico as a result of some articles he wrote for Architectural Forum magazine and in 1926 began to divide his time between New Orleans and Mexico City, where he spent three summers writing and teaching. He left Tulane in 1928, returning to Mexico with an advance to write a book—Little Mexico, published in 1932—on the country's transitional state
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