Philip Cortelyou Johnson
July 8, 1906 – January 25, 2005
Philip Johnson was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1906. Following his graduation from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design in 1943, Johnson designed some of America’s greatest modern architectural landmarks. Most notable is his private residence, the Glass House, a 49-acre property in New Canaan, Connecticut. Other works include: the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Modern Art, numerous homes, New York AT&T Building, Houston’s Transco Tower, Pennzoil Place, the Fort Worth Water Garden, and the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. An associate of Mies van der Rohe in the 1950s, Johnson worked with the modern master on the design of the Seagram Building and its famed Four Seasons Restaurant.
Before practicing architecture, Johnson was the founding Director of the Department of Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His landmark 1932 exhibition, The International Style, introduced modern architecture to the American public. Johnson continued a relationship with MoMA throughout his life as a curator, architect, trustee, and patron. He donated more than 2,000 works of art to the Museum, including works by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, among many others.
Johnson was also a singular tastemaker, influencing architecture, art and design during the second-half of the twentieth century. He referred to the Glass House as his “fifty-year diary.”