June 7, 2007

"The remark that angered Philip the most was when people said, 'Well, I wouldn’t live here.'"

"He’d say: 'I don’t understand. Who asked them?' He was very annoyed by that."

People who don't live in the Glass House should STFU -- according to the architect, Philip Johnson who liked it just fine.

Great long article -- with pictures -- at the link, with lots of tales told by various folk, like Fran Liebowitz for that one. And this one, by the artist David Salle:
I remember coming with a friend for lunch, and David took her coat but didn’t do anything with her handbag, which she set down on the kitchen counter. And Philip said, “You can’t put that there!” She was taken aback. Someone came and put it in the closet.


MadisonMan said...

Fascinating article. It would be so cool to be there in a rip-roarin' blizzard.

I could never live in a minimalist house, however. I used to read Dwell Magazine, and the lack of clutter and things in the houses always astonished me. Yet the houses look very alluring. But utterly impractical

jane said...

I grew up with those Barcelona and Bertoia chairs and all sorts of designer Modern (and antique) furniture and art. But we lived in traditional brick homes that we could mess up inside and, better, we were allowed to pencil drawings and notes directly on the Herman Miller formica tables. I think we used Ajax to erase old scribblings before doing more.

There’s a difference between being aesthetically perfect and perfectly aesthetic-- the latter allows for the act of living as part of the look and experience of a place. The former doesn’t allow for children. Bet there aren’t many pick up ball games around the Glass House (and, yes, I realize Johnson’s orientation and, no, there’s no double meaning here, kids!)

Internet Ronin said...

In the late '90's, at about the same time, PBS featured Johnson in its American Masters series and I.M. Pei in a series called First Person Singular. I could not help but feel that Johnson's work invariably ended up being all about Johnson, while Pei's was a lifelong exuberant adventure into the unknown.

tjl said...

"Pei's was a lifelong exuberant adventure into the unknown"

One of Pei's adventures in the unknown was Boston's John Hancock Building. Preservationists voiced concern about its planned location in Copley Square, next to 2 beloved 19th century icons, H.H. Richardson's Trinity Church and Mead McKim & White's Boston Public Library. Pei announced that the new building would "reflect the character of the area."

Pei reflected the area by producing a 60-story monolith sheathed in mirror glass. Immediately after completion, the mirror glass panels began popping out and plummeting to the sidewalk. This soon led to a 60-story monolith sheathed in black plywood, eerily resembling the one in Stanley Kubrick's "2001.".

price said...

Wow, I did not expect that article to be so moving. What a great version of fame he had.

TMink said...

Johnson was certainly a genius. And an asshole to boot!


downtownlad said...

Definitely one of the greatest works of the last century.

Not one of the greatest architects though.