The Glass House: A Home for Two Gentlemen and the Arts

An LGBTQ virtual Zoom tour of Philip Johnson’s home in New Canaan, Connecticut. Kindly register here.

Please join us for a special LGBTQ virtual Zoom visit to the former home of architect Philip Johnson, who was central to architectural practice in America for much of the 20th century. Known for his work at the Glass House, the AT&T Building and New York’s Lincoln Center, Johnson was also an essential figure at The Museum of Modern Art, serving as its first director of architecture and design beginning in 1930. He was also one of the museum’s greatest patrons, donating over 2000 works.

His Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut is a seminal work of modern architecture and for decades served as one of the great ongoing salons for architecture, art and culture. This was also the home to one of the most well-connected gay couples in the art world. Philip Johnson and David Whitney lived together from 1960 until both men died in 2005. Whitney would become a significant curator, gallerist and art advisor. Together, they created an exquisite landscape with over a dozen structures and a world-class art collection. The art, landscape and architecture of the site is a direct result of this powerful and long-lasting relationship as a couple.

Their friendships, patronage and professional activities in art and architecture led to an extraordinary roster of visitors at the property. Many prominent practitioners in creative fields came to the property and exhibited work on site. A significant number of these world-class figures were men associated with the LGBTQ community, from Merce Cunningham to Andy Warhol. The presentation will look at the buildings, landscape and art collection through the lens of this extraordinary heritage.

The Glass House’s Chief Curator and Creative Director, Hilary Lewis will lead the tour; she worked directly with Johnson and Whitney and is co-author of two books on the architect: Philip Johnson: The Architect in His Own Words and The Architecture of Philip Johnson. Her colleague Cole Akers, Curator and Special Projects Manager, will address how the site has presented artwork and programming connected to LGBTQ culture.