Article/book: Philip Johnson and Nazism

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DavidC
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Article/book: Philip Johnson and Nazism

Post by DavidC »


RA
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Post by RA »

What a creep.

Mod mom
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Post by Mod mom »

Unfortunately Philip Johnson was not alone in his support of the Nazi fascism. The BBC produced a radio documentary years ago chronicling a little known historical account against a business plot that included an attempt to remove FDR: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/doc ... 0723.shtml

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

Add to the list Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh.

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »


SDR
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Post by SDR »

We should always, of course, take Hoover's FBI at its word . . . on any subject (pun intended).

SDR

Matt
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Post by Matt »

This touches on the larger and interesting issue of the politics of architects. I have a sense that some architects' desire for total design control (thus requiring total control over the land) makes them sympathetic to the central planning of dictatorial, socialist, or communist regimes.

pharding
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Post by pharding »

Matt wrote:This touches on the larger and interesting issue of the politics of architects. I have a sense that some architects' desire for total design control (thus requiring total control over the land) makes them sympathetic to the central planning of dictatorial, socialist, or communist regimes.
That is the absurd post that I have ever seen here.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Our national pastime of playing the righteous victim in a world of baddies is getting old. We have a history no better in some important ways than that of nations we enjoy reviling. Our current president has the courage to play it straight about our failings, some of them quite recent, and for his trouble is treated like some kind of traitor by his political enemies.

Hypocrisy is not an attractive national posture. "American exceptionalism," indeed; did we really learn nothing from the McCarthy debacle ? Is someone who flirted when young with a discredited political position to be damned for all eternity ? Do we really have to fight the second world war again, now, and every year unto eternity, to make ourselves feel better about something ?

Franz Schulze dealt with this issue at length in his 1994 biography of Mr Johnson. Now that the architect is dead, did some publisher feel it was time to give it another go, this time pulling out all the stops ? For what purpose, other than to gratify a prurient interest in the failings of a former fellow sufferer ?

SDR

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

I disagree with you, SDR. All subjects from every angle should be up for debate by everyone, all the time, without end. True understanding of history only comes with distance; too soon after, and emotion gets in the way.

It is the lack of debate that causes strife. However, leave it to sites that deal with politics. I'm in agreement with Paul on this. Trying to connect architecture as a practice to political upheaval is a fool's game. Take it elsewhere.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Heh. Doesn't your second paragraph contradict the first ? You argue for open dialog on any point, always and everywhere -- but are apparently uncomfortable with Tom's suggestion, and ask that it be "taken elsewhere."

We should all have noticed by now, I think, that our friend Tom has an open and inquisitive mind, which sometimes leads him to make unexpected connections. It is interesting to see how alarming his innocent question is, to some.

Isn't the subject of this thread inherently "political" ?

SDR

Roderick Grant
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...to spoon feed...

Post by Roderick Grant »

No, there is no contradiction. I said discourse should be encouraged, but I did not say "everywhere." We are drawn to this site because of the architecture, not politics. There are sites where one can fulminate about all sorts of things, but here, getting into political arguments is nothing more than a distraction.

Matt
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Post by Matt »

Don't you think Speer was thrilled at the possibility of rebuilding a city? Isn't that was Corbu advocated…a total design of cities that would require extensive appropriation of land? I don't think that concept is absurd. I think even Wright had a soft spot for the Soviet. And he was more than willing to work with whoever was running Iraq for the Baghdad project. I bet an interesting book could be written about the odd bedfellows some architects have cozied up to…all to realize a grand vision.

Reidy
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Post by Reidy »

I think the main point of all these examples is that what the cited architects had to say about politics had no interesting connection to what they built. The important ones, anyway; don't know about Speer.

Tom Wolfe observed in From Bauhaus to Our House that, while the International Style / European modernism grew up in a more-or-less collectivist zeitgeist, its best customers turned out to be corporations and wealthy homeowners, while the proletariat ignored it.

A case in point is Park La Brea in Los Angeles. It's an implementation of Corbu's city-planning ideal, high-density towers surrounded by parkland, developed as income property by an insurance company.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

It is true of artists I've known, and those I read about, that it is rare to see in their work an exhibition of their personal or political biases. Certainly at no time did Philip Johnson create "fascist" architecture -- unless one sees his work as "radical authoritarian nationalist" building. Wright's claim to a "democratic" residential solution comes closer to such ideology than do Johnson's Bauhaus/GSD urban or pastoral houses, it seems.

I'm afraid I can't take an entertainer like Tom Wolfe too seriously as an architecture critic; like any writer, however, he is capable of authenticity, at least upon occasion.

When I Google "Park La Brea" I am struck dumb. I had to look twice to grasp the date of construction. Poor Corbu don't get no respect no-how, do he ?

SDR

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