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
The 2012 series welcomed luminaries including Robert A.M. Stern, Michael Graves, Gary Hilderbrand, Michael Maharam + Paul Makovsky, Pedro Gadanho, Kenneth Frampton + Mark Wigley, and Beatriz Colomina + Felicity Scott to the Glass House site for the Conversations in Context series. The Glass House introduced this new opportunity in 2011 to support the site's legacy of inspiration by engaging top influencers across the fields of art, architecture, design, landscape and preservation to explore a narrative of new ideas, on-site with the public. Visitors join a leading mind and experience the Glass House campus by listening to a personal narrative, interpretation, or inspiration by the guest host while walking the site with an intimate group of visitors. The dialogue continues during a reception at the Glass House following the tour. 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.
Two inaugural shows launch the Glass House exhibition program in the fall of 2012: Frank Stella: Scarlatti Kirkpatrick and Night (1947–2015). 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.
Frank Stella: Scarlatti Kirkpatrick (2006 to present)
On view September 22 - November 30, 2012
Scarlatti Kirkpatrick (2006-present) is a series of recent works by the renowned American abstract artist Frank Stella. The series represents Stella's current and latest body of work. Visitors to the exhibition will find a rich context in which they can see the trajectory of the artist's career, as earlier Stella works from Johnson's personal collection now hang in the Glass House's Painting Gallery. Scarlatti Kirkpatrick will be presented in Da Monsta on the Glass House property and will be included on Site and Extended tours between September 22 and November 30, 2012.
Night (1947 -2015), A Sculpture-in-Residence Program
Featuring the debut of Ken Price’s Doola (2011)
On view September 22 - November 30, 2012
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.
In homage, the Glass House presents Night (1947-2015), an innovative sculpture-in-residence exhibition. The ongoing exhibition will feature contemporary artists whose works contend with the legacy of Night. On display for three to six months at a time over the next three years, the sculptures in Night (1947-2015) will be regularly rotated making room for new work and ongoing dialogue. Night (1947-2015) will be included on all tours of the Glass House through 2015.
The first artwork in the series is Doola (2011), a sculpture by Ken Price (1935-2012), who was known for transforming traditional ceramics into extraordinary, polychromatic forms. Doola will debut for the first time at the Glass House. Johnson's partner, David Whitney, was an avid collector and patron of Ken Price; Whitney mounted Price's first solo New York exhibition at his gallery in 1971. In 1992, he organized a retrospective of Price's work at the Menil Collection in Houston.
For the first time since Philip Johnson lived in his iconic Glass House, fresh flowers are on display, bringing new life to the building's interior. The flowers, mostly gathered from the site and chosen based on archival photographs, will be integrated back into the Glass House as a symbol of new life to come: this program is the first of several initiatives being launched to rededicate the site as a lively cultural center. Local floral designer, Dana Worlock, will reinterpret historical plant selections, adding and adapting to suit the specific environmental conditions and seasonal changes of the Glass House. This program is generously supported by Architectural Digest magazine.
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 COMMISSIONS
Glass House Commissions features a line of limited edition objects produced exclusively for and available in the Glass House Design Store. Each year will launch a new selection of artists and designers. Designers include Julius Shulman, Jessica Kagan Cushman, Frances Palmer, Josh Jakus, Jens Risom, Denyse Schmidt, and Jackie Shapiro for French Bull.