NYT - Behind the Glass Wall

To control SPAM, you must now be a registered user to post to this Message Board.

EFFECTIVE 14 Nov. 2012 PRIVATE MESSAGING HAS BEEN RE-ENABLED. IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS AND PLEASE REPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

This is the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Message Board. Wright enthusiasts can post questions and comments, and other people visiting the site can respond.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, *-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time they see fit.
Post Reply
RJH
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:33 pm
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Contact:

NYT - Behind the Glass Wall

Post by RJH »

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/07/garde ... ref=slogin


WHEN Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Conn., officially opens to the public on June 21, paying visitors will have a chance to explore one of the world’s most celebrated works of Modernism for the first time since its completion in 1949. The diminutive glass-and-steel building and its uncluttered interior, which have barely changed in 58 years, are so spare that it is hard to imagine that anyone ever lived there. But for nearly all that time, it was the constantly used country retreat of its round-spectacled creator, who shared it after 1960 with David Whitney.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10133
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

What many people don't know is that Johnson considered his own house unlivable, and spent most of his time in a 19th century gothic revival gate house on the property. When he had parties, he would open the house, but on a day to day basis, he did not use it. It is about as real as that fantasmagorical house in "North By Northwest."

SDR
Posts: 19311
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

I think you would get a different impression after reading all of the NYT piece(s). I did, anyway. Johnson seemed to truly love the house -- and the later habit of using it as the property's "living room" doesn't negate that, to me.

It was David Whitney who eventually lived in one of the older houses. . .

I knew David casually at RISD (we did a little theater work together) but didn't learn until after graduation (he in '63, I in '64) that he had befriended Johnson.

Wright would certainly consider the house "unlivable." He enjoyed telling the story of surprising the occupants in bed upon an early arrival.

SDR

Deke
Posts: 692
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:18 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Post by Deke »

Didn't FLW attend a party at the glass house, and upon entering ask Johnson "Philip, do I keep my coat on or take it off?" Or is this story just a myth?

Deke

SDR
Posts: 19311
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Ha ! I hadn't heard that, but it's certainly believable. That could have been accompanied by a wink. . .

My favorite FLlW-to-Johnson is quoted (again) in Franz Schulze's 1994 biography (p 224):

Wright's pique sometimes coupled with pique, begetting fury. One evening in 1955, having been invited to lecture at Yale, he arrived in New Haven, to find no one waiting for him at the railroad station. Interpreting as an affront what had been a student oversight, he worked up a full head of rage that had dissipated only a little by the time he was finally picked up and spirited to the Taft Hotel. It was the ill luck of Philip to encounter him a little later in the middle of a knot of students and faculty. Wright made the most of the moment. "Why, little Phil," he roared, his voice equal parts unguent and acid, "I thought you were dead! Are you still putting up all those little houses and leaving them out in the rain?"

Image
The Old Man and the wunderkind, c 1953

Image
Schulze's cover photo -- the silly Old Man himself ! And what is that in the background -- cracked glass ?

Post Reply