Wright Chat

 
FAQ FAQ Register Register
Search Search Profile Profile
Memberlist Memberlist Log in to check your private messages Log in to check your private messages
Usergroups Usergroups Log in Log in

>> Return to SaveWright Home Page

Wright discussed in Lamster's new Philip Johnson book
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Wright Chat Forum Index -> Click Here for General Discussion Posts
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Modmom1



Joined: 03 Dec 2017
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:06 pm    Post subject: Wright discussed in Lamster's new Philip Johnson book Reply with quote

Not being a fan of Philip Johnson, I thought I would skip reading Mark Lamster's"The Man in the Glass House: Philip Johnson Architect of the Modern Century, thinking it would glorify the man. I came across this review of the book by Kate Wagner (McMansion Hell) in The Nation and it changed my mind:

https://www.thenation.com/article/philip-johnson-man-in-the-glass-house-mark-lamster-review/

Just started it, but it has a good discussion of the tension between Wright and Johnson as well as Schindler (after Neutra's inclusion in the 1932 MOMA show while Schindler was left off as a "stylist". ) Interesting book that I look forward to finishing. Not the glorification I expected.

BTW MOMA has the 1932 Modern architecture : international exhibition, New York, Feb. 10 to March 23, 1932, Museum of Modern Art
catalogue online for those interested:

https://www.moma.org/documents/moma_catalogue_2044_300061855.pdf
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3694
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A glaring error in the otherwise good article:

Quote:
and the glass turrets of the Pittsburgh Power and Gas Tower—literally a corporate castle built for the rule of a new, neoliberal generation of the business elite.


PPG = Pittsburgh Plate Glass.....hence the emphasis on the use of glass at the site known as PPG Place.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8993

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's quite a blooper.

What did Johnson do for Trump? Trump Tower was designed by Donald "Der" Scutt, Trump's go-to architect.

The Palazzo della Civilta Italiana looks like Edward Durrell Stone's Perpetual Savings & Loan tower on Wilshire Blvd. and McCarthy Dr. Just add flower boxes with dangling philodendrons to all the windows (nowadays deleted) and you have it.

John Burgee was Johnson's best collaborator. Without a collaborator, Johnson was at sea. The IDS Building in Minneapolis is their outstanding accomplishment.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3694
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul Goldberger's review of the book goes into a little detail, but names no names/addresses:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/20/books/review/mark-lamster-philip-johnson-man-in-the-glass-house.html

Quote:
...But he was also a shameless publicity hound, which is why it is telling that toward the end of his career, when his longstanding professional partnership with John Burgee had ended and he was continuing to practice on his own, he took on as a client a certain developer by the name of Donald Trump. He and Trump needed each other: Trump wanted a famous name, and Johnson was desperate to stay in the game. Johnson produced a few lousy buildings for Trump, who probably didn’t know the difference; all he cared about was being able to claim that they were designed by Philip Johnson. And Johnson got to stay in the public eye.

The Trump chapter of Johnson’s long career seemed just a bizarre footnote when it happened in the 1990s. Now, it is a little harder to dismiss. Outwardly, the two men could not have been more different: Johnson could talk circles around anyone, and Trump is verbally inept. Johnson had contempt for Trump’s vulgarity and lack of intellectual curiosity, and Trump had no understanding of Johnson’s cultivation. The beautiful little study at the Glass House would have been a prison to Trump. But now that we know Trump as more than a real-estate developer, it is hard not to think back to Johnson’s infatuation with dictators, his snobbery, his obsession with being noticed, and wonder if they did not have a little more in common than it seemed back then.

Lamster’s timing is excellent: He has written the story of Philip Johnson for the age of Donald Trump, and it makes us see a side of Johnson that is, at the very least, sobering. Johnson, like Trump, made himself impossible to ignore. Lamster’s most important contribution may be to show us that, however electrifying the ability to command the spotlight may be, it does not confer the lasting qualities of greatness.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Modmom1



Joined: 03 Dec 2017
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trump is one small part of this biography and was not in office when Lamster began research for his book.

Here is an interview with Mark Lamster (author & arch critic):

-snip

"When you embarked on this years-long research project, did you ever think it would have such contemporary pertinence? From the resurgence of the alt-right, to Johnson’s Trump connection?

Well Trump as president was not something that I had envisioned. And in all seriousness, the relevance of the politics was really important to me. I started writing this in the Obama presidency and it seemed to me the rise of populist proto-fascist right wing political parties in the 1930s was quite analogous to the rise of the sort of alt Tea Party movement in the beginning of the Obama years. And to me, that was very, very similar."

-snip

https://www.metropolismag.com/architecture/philip-johnson-biography-mark-lamster-interview/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8993

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would still be interested in specific structures that Johnson did for Trump. A lot of Trump's efforts did not meet with fruition.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 6031
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He’s right, the Tea Party’s white “populism” was the beginning of a proto alt right fascist tendency, and primarily existed as a reactionary response to the election of the first black president. We now are living with the devolved consequences.

People who endorse the current criminal administration are not dissimilar to Johnson in the 30s.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Modmom1



Joined: 03 Dec 2017
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was Schindler's exclusion in the 1932 MOMA exhibition due to the fact he was Jewish?

It was noted in the book that at the time of the exhibit not only was Philip Johnson not a paid employee but he funded the exhibit. Money buys access.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 6031
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably more to do with his Socialism and refusal to embrace the one size fits all modernism coming out of Europe. Mainly, I think Johnson simply couldn’t understand Schindler. He was too advanced.

Neutra was Jewish, but Schindler wasn’t (his mother wasn’t Jewish).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 17200
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Johnson biography of the previous generation, Franz Schulze's "PJ: life and work" of 1994, omits Schindler altogether, interestingly . . .

S
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Reidy



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 1488
Location: Fremont CA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to people I've heard who knew Schindler (his physician and Esther McCoy), he was indifferent to politics. McCoy allowed that he complained about Roosevelt because he thought the New Deal had made plasterers too expensive (though he planned to vote for him anyway).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 17200
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It wouldn't surprise me that Johnson would find Schindler -- in the 'thirties -- uninteresting, even irrelevant, as his head was in a very different place. I would want to
know, however, if his assessment changed at all as the century wore on. Schindler didn't receive serious attention, as I get it, until Gebhard's book appeared, in 1980 ?

Whether Schindler was "too advanced" for Johnson is a question whose answer would depend on their respective points of view -- and on semantics ?

S
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 6031
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reidy- I should have been more precise. The entire scene was radical, artistic, bohemian and leftist, but undoubtedly driven as much by Schindler’s Socialist wife as Schindler himself. At the same time, I have read nothing which gives the indication that RMS was in disagreement with her:

“In the 1920s and early 1930s especially the house was the focus of constant social gatherings; there are reports of people drifting in at all hours. Maurice Browne, a founder of the Chicago Little Theatre, recalled in his autobiography that Pauline, “…brilliant, warmhearted, bitter-tongued…was trying to create a salon amid Hollywood’s cultural slagheap….” Frank Lloyd Wright and his son Lloyd, Edward Weston, John Cage, the progressive dancer John Bovingdon, the poet Sadakichi Hartmann, and Galka Scheyer were among those who passed through. Later, it was largely Mrs. Schindler’s initiative that established the house as a mecca for left-wing political activity in Los Angeles.”
https://makcenter.org/sites/schindler-house/

SDR- Johnson later changed his tune, though arguably it was too little and far too late:

“Years later Mr. Johnson revised his views on Schindler's work, saying that ''the omission was a mistake'' and that Schindler was a more enduring and interesting architect than many of those who once overshadowed him.”

Breezy Modernist Gets His Due; Honor at Last for an Architect Who Made California His Muse NY Times 2001
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8993

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to Schindler's son, neither of his parents was Jewish. A Jewish docent in the 80s at the Schindler/Chase House asked the son about his Jewish heritage. He said his family was not Jewish, and seemed a bit shocked that she had asked the question.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 6031
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Wikipedia entry now states unequivocally that Schindler was Jewish, which was news to me. I wonder where that came from? I’ve read nearly every monograph on the architect and had never seen that before. It also says that the family name was Schlesinger, and it was later changed. Again, news to me.

Conflicting histories:

https://books.google.com/books/about/Silver_Lake_Bohemia_A_History.html?id=QQQZDQAAQBAJ

https://books.google.com/books/about/Design_Dialogue_Jews_Culture_and_Viennes.html?id=qPdwDwAAQBAJ


Last edited by peterm on Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:49 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Wright Chat Forum Index -> Click Here for General Discussion Posts All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
Protected by Anti-Spam ACP