Thursday, 26 August 2010

The world’s best man-caves.

These “fourteen famous man rooms” were selected by the Art of Manliness blog to show where great men went to collect their thoughts, to do their work --“a study where they would retreat to think, read, and write … a garage or workshop where they would tinker and experiment …  places a man could call his own.”

From Ernest Hemingway to Thomas Edison to Frederick Douglass to Thomas Jefferson to Charles Darwin, the blog showcases some great work and withdrawing spaces in which some great men have found inspiration. These are my favourite two, the Oak Park Drafting Room of Frank Lloyd Wright—with the upper mezzanine storey hung on chains above the workroom below—and Mark Twain’s Writing Hut, in which he completed Life on the Mississippi, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finntwain2 Describing his eyrie to a friend he talked of it “perched in complete isolation on the top of an elevation that commands leagues of valley and city and retreating ranges of distant blue hills.

_Quote It is a cozy nest and just room in it for a sofa, table, and three or four chairs, and when the storms sweep down the remote valley and the lightning flashes behind the hills beyond and the rain beats upon the roof over my head—imagine the luxury of it.

twain1 Wright’s aim was inspiration. And experiment. And production. This was the workspace he created when he set up on his own , and in which over the next twenty years he and his assistants produced 125 structures the like of which the world had never before seen.frank1 Visit the Art of Manliness blog to read about the importance of man spaces, and to see the other dozen places in which world-beating work was done. They might inspire you to do your own. [Hat tip Gus Van Horn]

PS: I couldn’t resist adding this picture of Wright, below, at work (many  years after leaving Oak Park) in his writing office in Taliesin, Wisconsin.  It’s one of my favourites. FLW-TaliesinStudy


  1. That Art Of Manliness blog is an excellent find! Many coffee-breaks worth of reading!


  2. Jeez, Art of Manliness?

    Man Cave is a term I absolutely hate, too.

    at best the only use for such a site is shaving tips.

  3. " best the only use for such a site is shaving tips."

    Well, with a name like Mo, I hope you've found then useful!

    But seriously, it does have a use. That post about The Decline of Male Spaces, for example, is worth thinking about.

  4. Richard McGrath28 Aug 2010, 17:43:00

    I love Mark Twain's octagonal manspace, looks like it has twin chimneys at either side of the fireplace so that there is still a view through a window between them.

    Wright's manspace looks a bit cold, it's in Wisconsin so I assume there was underfloor heating!


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