November 29, 2010

Philip Johnson’s Glass House

Today I finally made my way to New Canaan and Philip Johnson's Glass House. I've been wanting to go for the past two years, but tickets kept selling out (visits to the house are by guided tour only and are limited to 13 people per tour). It was well worth the wait.

Left to the National Trust for Historic Perservation after the passing of Johnson (who died in the house in 2005) and his partner David Whitney (who died a few months later), the house opened to the public in 2007. The site is actually home to a number of buildings designed by Johnson (and one by Frank Stella, though built by Johnson) and the tour includes most of them. The Trust actually considers the entire grounds to be the Glass House. Of the buildings, the Brick House, conceived of as a guest house and built at the same time as the Glass House, is closed for renovation after severe water damage. The Brick House also houses the support system for both houses.

The sculpted setting of the house is tranquil and serene; the house itself is beautiful, a jewel box surrounded by nature "on Johnson's terms." I'd love to be able to spend the night in it. Or watch the snowfall from within. Or a lightning storm. Or just the seasons change.

Amazingly, another house he designed in New Canaan is currently for sale! Christmas is coming up . . . ;-)

I've posted some photos of the interior after the jump. Once I get my film developed, I may update these.

A day bed comissioned by Johnson to match the Mies van der Rohe chairs in the living room. The painting, Nicolas Poussin's Burial of Phocion, was purchased by Johnson in 1945 on the recommendation of Alfred H. Barr. He placed the painting in 1949, after construction on the Glass House had been completed.

The dining room.

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