The Glass House presents programs, exhibitions, projects and commissions that engage with the site’s legacy as a place for ongoing innovation and promote the highest level of education about the preservation of modern architecture, art and landscape.
CONVERSATIONS IN CONTEXT
Since the 1940s, the Glass House has served as a place of inspiration, education, and conversation
across creative disciplines. Its 49-acre landscape, 14 architectural structures, and world-class art collection continue to draw members of an international creative community to engage with its rich legacy. Conversations in Context invites leaders from creative fields to reflect on the site’s past, present, and future, and to contribute their perspectives on the Glass House and its significance to contemporary debates. The 2013 series, supported by Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, features Murray Moss + Francois de Menil, Elizabeth Diller + Ricardo Scofidio, Peter Eisenman + Cynthia Davidson, Bjarke Ingels + Douglas Coupland, James Welling, Annabelle Selldorf, and Peter Brant. The 2012 series welcomed Robert A.M. Stern, Michael Graves, Gary Hilderbrand, Michael Maharam + Paul Makovsky, Pedro Gadanho, Kenneth Frampton + Mark Wigley, and Beatriz Colomina + Felicity Scott. Hosts of the inaugural 2011 series, supported by Design Within Reach and BMW, included Hilary Lewis, Donald Kaufman + Taffy Dahl, Theodore H.M. Prudon + Shashi Caan, Todd Eberle, Paul Goldberger, Tod Williams + Billie Tsien, Gregg Pasquarelli + Philip Nobel, David Salle, Charles Renfro, and Barry Bergdoll.
The exhibitions program is part of a strategic initiative introduced by the new director of the Glass House, Henry Urbach, who is leading efforts to rededicate the site as a lively, creative cultural center consistent with the spirit and values of its former occupants, renowned architect Philip Johnson and independent curator and editor David Whitney.
E.V. DAY: SNAP!
On view May 2 - November 30, 2013
The Glass House is pleased to announce its first site-specific exhibition: SNAP! by E.V. Day. Conceived for the building known as Da Monsta - designed by Philip Johnson in 1995 as a visitor center and now a gallery - SNAP! interprets the pavilion's peculiar geometry and atmosphere both inside and out. Day has roped the exterior of Da Monsta with massive climbing webs and populated the interior with an ensemble of recent sculpture that tease out the noir qualities of Johnson's late work.
Night (1947 - 2015), A Sculpture-in-Residence Program
Jason Dodge, A tourmaline and a ruby inside of an owl
On view: August 29 - November 30, 2013
Night, (1947) by sculptor Alberto Giacometti, was one of a handful of artworks that Philip Johnson displayed in the Glass House while he lived there. The plaster sculpture was granted a place of honor atop the central glass coffee table that Mies van der Rohe designed for Johnson. In the 1960s, Night began to shed its outer layer and was eventually sent to the artist's studio for repair. Giacometti died before the work was conserved, and the sculpture was never returned. Neither repaired nor replaced, Night's absence from the Glass House still lingers.
The Glass House presents Night Sounds, a new performance series that parallels the Night (1947 – 2015) on-site sculpture-in-residence program. A new artist whose work engages with the current sculpture will be selected to perform with each of the seven iterations of the Night (1947 – 2015) exhibition. Night Sounds will feature Liz Harris + Jefre Cantu on October 4, 2013. Previous programs have featured Julianna Barwick and ARP.
GLASS HOUSE CONVERSATIONS
The Glass House has been described as "the longest running salon in America," as great minds in architecture, art and design gathered there at the invitation of Philip Johnson and David Whitney. These meetings are influential as we recognize their enormous effect on American culture in the second half of the twentieth-century. This program has developed from a series of twelve invitational dialogues sponsored by OldCastle BuildingEnvelope, to an online forum with discussions led by leaders from across creative disciplines exploring. contemporary issues and new ideas.
NEW CANAAN MODERN HOME SURVEY
The New Canaan Modern Home Survey is a comprehensive survey of over ninety architect-designed mid-twentieth century Modern homes located in New Canaan, Connecticut. This project was the fundamental first step towards scholarly evaluation of Modernist resources with research, fieldwork and photography. The survey led to a state-wide historic context statement and a National Register Multiple Property Documentation Form. The survey will be promoted as a model for use by other states and communities with dense concentrations of modern resources. The Modern Home Survey was supported by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation and the New Canaan Historical Society.
ON-SITE PRESERVATION PROJECTS
Each year the Glass House embarks on projects to preserve and protect the structures, artwork, and landscape at the Glass House. In 2012, the Glass House focused on the cleaning and painting of the Lincoln Kirstein Tower and the cleaning of the Pond Pavilion. 2011 saw progress on the preservation of the Brick House and the restoration of the sculpture Untitled (1971) by Donald Judd. Past projects also include the conservation of artwork in the collection by Nicolas Poussin and Frank Stella, the replacement of the Glass House roof, and the installation of pathways to adhere to ADA standards.
ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
The Glass House Oral History Project records the reflections of architects, artists and scholars about one of the twentieth-century's most influential architects, Philip Johnson. The Glass House offers a unique context for eliciting memories from Johnson's friends, students, associates and collaborators. These memories constitute an important aspect of the Glass House "collections" and offer a rich resource for understanding art, architecture and design during the twentieth-century. This project was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts with matching support provided by Nathaniel and Lucy Day and the Taylor Deupree Family Foundation.
Modern Views: A Project to Benefit Farnsworth House and the Glass House invited top creative minds to continue one of the twentieth century’s great cultural dialogues: the historic exchange reflected in Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House (1945–51) and Philip Johnson’s Glass House (1949). One hundred contemporary artists, architects, and designers created and donated works of art and written statements, capturing their inspiration about these iconic buildings and the architects who created them. These contemporary works are presented alongside original construction drawings of both houses, an introduction by New Yorker Architecture critic Paul Goldberger, a candid interview with Phyllis Lambert, and an essay by Sylvia Lavin in Modern Views, the illustrated book.
The Glass House became a campus for examining education through the lens of culture, business, and design at the Design Literacy Retreat. Through dialogue in small groups facilitated by prominent designers, participants experienced the design process as they discussed education issues. Applying creative design strategies, participants developed new ideas for transforming education challenges into opportunities. This program was supported in part by AIANY President's Fund and the Catalan Center at NYU and was curated with the National Endowment for the Arts.
GLASS HOUSE EDITIONS
Over the course of several decades beginning in the 1940s, the Glass House of Philip Johnson and David Whitney became a gathering place for creative and influential minds in architecture, art, and design. Johnson and Whitney used the Glass House campus as a place to experiment with new forms in architecture and landscape as well as house a significant collection of contemporary art. The Glass House continues its relationship with contemporary art through a series of editions made by established and emerging artists who take the iconic property as their point of departure. The sale of Glass House editions help to raise much needed funds that maintain the site as an important cultural center, contributing to preservation initiatives, exhibitions, and programs.