Friday, September 4, 2009

Designer of the Month: Philip Johnson

I was inspired to write about an architect for September's Designer of the Month because of the New York Times article "As Heroes Disappear, the City Needs More," about the recent death of the architect Charles Gwathmey, one of the New York Five, and the days when New York was the center of innovative architecture. So while I was planning to focus on a contemporary designer for this month's column, this article about nostalgia for the New York architectural world ended up reminding me of an architect whose work I know well - a man who was a major influence of the Five, the founding Director of the Department of Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art and one of the major proponents of Modernism in the United States - Philip Johnson.

Philip Johnson. Courtesy Arnold Newman/Getty Images and The Glass House.

So for the next 3 Fridays, it's all Philip Johnson all the time. I'll talk about his work at the MoMA next week, week 3 will be a discussion of some of his architectural projects, and I'll end the month with my favorite of Johnson's endeavors, his private residence, the Glass House.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah,

    Since you are profiling Philip Johnson this month, I thought you might be interested in the latest news from the Philip Johnson Glass House.


    Claire Hunter

    In response to public tour ticket demand, the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is offering Modern Friends donor tours. The program provides the opportunity to support preservation efforts throughout the 47-acre site while experiencing a behind-the-scenes tour in the company of other modern enthusiasts.

    Modern Friends tours begin at 2:30pm daily and can be booked online at with a donation of $100 per person. These two-hour tours are donor group tours that allow photography and include special access to site locations and structures such as Philip Johnson's Library Study which is not included on the public tour.

    Every $100 donation is partially tax-deductible and includes: a set of Visitor Cards; a one- year membership to the National Trust for Historic Preservation; a subscription to Preservation Magazine; a 20% Glass House Shop discount and donor recognition on the Glass House website as well as in the Glass House Visitor Center.

    Please join us and help support the preservation of our 14 buildings and structures, art collection and 47-acre landscape by becoming a Modern Friend or sharing this message with someone who would be inspired by a visit to the Glass House this year.

    Christy MacLear
    Philip Johnson Glass House Executive Director


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