UPDATE: Jade Bonacolta has been fired from The Spectator for plagiarism.
Earlier today, we reported on a Columbia Spectator article that had a suspiciously similar lede to a certain other paper’s coverage of the same topic: the university’s acquisition of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s archives. Since then, The Spectator has removed the article in question and replaced it with an Editor’s note confirming that at least three paragraphs in the story “were largely identical” to ones in The New York Times aka the Grey Lady aka the national newspaper of record. (The full text of the now removed Spectator article can be found at the end of this post.)
To make matters worse, the Columbia student — Jade Bonacolta, a Spectator associate arts and entertainment editor — stole the material from New York Times writer Robin Pogrebin: a Yalie. This is just like Jonah Lehrer ripping off Fareed Zakaria, amiright?
Presented below are the three plagiarized Spectator paragraphs alongside their original New York Times source material:
“Frank Lloyd Wright was notorious for saving everything, from his personal correspondence to scribbles on Plaza Hotel napkins. Since Wright’s death in 1959, these relics have been locked in storage.”
New York Times:
“The Modernist architect Frank Lloyd Wright wasn’t a hoarder. But he did save just about everything — whether a doodle on a Plaza Hotel cocktail napkin of an imagined city on Ellis Island, his earliest pencil sketch of the spiraling Guggenheim Museum or a model of Broadacre City, his utopian metropolis. Since Wright’s death in 1959 those relics have been locked in storage at his former headquarters —Taliesin, in Spring Green, Wis., and Taliesin West, in Scottsdale, Ariz.”
“Among the University’s future collection are the famous original drawings for Wright’s Fallingwater, a home designed amid a rushing stream in Pennsylvania, and the Robie House, a Prairie-style building on the campus of the University of Chicago.”
New York Times:
“Among the gems in that material are drawings for Wright’s Fallingwater, a home cantilevered over a stream in Mill Run, Pa.; the Robie House, a Prairie-style building on the University of Chicago campus; Unity Temple, a Unitarian Universalist church in Oak Park, Ill.; and Taliesin West.”
“‘While Wright is typically thought of as a lonely genius, you move him into the Museum of Modern Art, and he’s dialoguing with Le Corbusier in the company of Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, and Louis Kahn,’ said Barry Bergdoll, chief curator of architecture and design at the MoMA.”
New York Times:
“While Wright is typically thought of as ‘a lonely genius,’ Mr. Bergdoll said, ‘you move him into the Museum of Modern Art, and he’s dialoguing with Le Corbusier in the company of Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto and Louis Kahn.’”
There you have it. And not only did Bonacolta lift basically full sentences from The New York Times, she went a step further and took a full direct quote from someone she most likely never even spoke to and changed it. Fact: if it’s not in quotation marks, they probably didn’t say those words.
Click through for the full text of the original Spectator story.
Frank Lloyd Wright archives arrive at CU
A vast collection of Wright’s architectural drawings and documents will be showcased in Avery and the MoMA.
By Jade Bonacolta
Spectator Senior Staff Writer
Published September 5, 2012
Frank Lloyd Wright was notorious for saving everything, from his personal correspondence to scribbles on Plaza Hotel napkins. Since Wright’s death in 1959, these relics have been locked in storage. But on Tuesday, the University announced that Columbia’s Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library will officially house some of the vast archives of the 20th-century American modernist’s documents.
The University has partnered with the Museum of Modern Art and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in a joint acquisition and stewardship agreement. The foundation will retail all copyright of the work, but the documents will become a part of Avery and the MoMA’s permanent collections.
“Given the individual strengths, resources, and abilities of the Foundation, MoMA, and Columbia, it became clear that this collaborative stewardship is far and away the best way to guarantee the deepest impact, the highest level of conservation, and the best public access,” said Sean Malone, CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
Wright is considered one of the most influential American architects in defining modernism, with more than a third of his buildings still listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “Wright is renowned as one of the best architects ever, not only for his creative genius but also for his visionary genius,” said Carole Ann Fabian, director of the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library. “He had a keen sensitivity to the natural environment, the human scale, and how people inhabit a built work. We are still, in the 20th century, trying to accomplish what he envisioned all those decades ago.”
Among the University’s future collection are the famous original drawings for Wright’s Fallingwater, a home designed amid a rushing stream in Pennsylvania, and the Robie House, a Prairie-style building on the campus of the University of Chicago.
“Some other immeasurable treasures that will be part of the collection are records of his buildings that are no longer standing, such as the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo and the Larkin Administration Building in Buffalo, NY,” said Fabian.
The work itself will be moved here within the next six months. “Because of the vast scale of the collection [including over 23,000 architectural drawings, 44,000 historical photographs, manuscripts, and other correspondence], bringing the body of work to Avery and making it accessible to the public will be an incremental process over the next few years,” Fabian said.
This display at both Avery and the MoMA will maximize access to Wright’s work for students, scholars, and the public. It will also provide new impetus for publications and programs in the context of other 20th-century modernists.
“I expect that the scholars here will integrate these archives into the curriculum at every level, and it will generate a whole new chapter in Wright’s studies. It’s difficult to imagine how many new lenses and purposes all of the divisions will have for the work,” Fabian said.
The MoMA will be the repository for all three-dimensional architectural models and design prototypes. “While Wright is typically thought of as a lonely genius, you move him into the Museum of Modern Art, and he’s dialoguing with Le Corbusier in the company of Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, and Louis Kahn,” said Barry Bergdoll, chief curator of architecture and design at the MoMA.
The work will reap the same benefits in Avery. “You bring Wright into one of the world’s leading research centers for art and architecture and, not only his singular greatness is recognized, but he is also put into context and lively conversation with so many other masters,” Fabian said.
Avery’s collection will include all paper-based archival content such as Wright’s personal and professional correspondence, thousands of architectural drawings and photography, interview tapes, transcripts, and films. These will accompany the more than 50 rare books of Wright’s own published work and the countless signature copies written about him that are already housed in the library.
“It is incredible to bring Wright’s work here to New York, and to be partnered with MoMA on this adventure,” Fabian said. “We’re perfectly complementary, and to have ready access to vast works of this nature is just astounding.”