Icons at Risk

Registration and Program IH Conference 15-18 May

Terence Riley -KEYNOTE SPEAKER- on Philip Johnson

New era for Villa E-1027 and Cap Moderne

Jorge Liernur -KEYNOTE SPEAKER- on Latin American Modernism(s)

Restoring the past: The Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Home Studio

Behind the Scenes: Hendrick de Keyser Association

Latin America Special – Focus on Mexico

De Stijl in Drachten

Preserving the Nancarrow House-Studio

Meet the Friends - Nanne de Ru

Latin America Special – Focus on Brazil

Iconic Houses Lecture Tour - The Weizmann House

Jan de Jong’s House is Latest Hendrick de Keyser Acquisition

Stay in a Belgian Modernist Masterpiece

In Berlin’s Modernist Network

Rietveld-Schröder House Celebrates De Stijl Anniversary

Meet Our New Foundation Board Members

Virtual Tour of a Papaverhof Home in 3D

Getty Grant for Villa E-1027

Iconic Dacha

11 Le Corbusier Homes now on Unesco World Heritage List

At home with Le Corbusier

Our Badge of Honour

Wright Plus 2016 Walk

Follow us!

Casa Batlló's innovative Video Guide

Documentary La Ricarda

Richard Hutten at the Sonneveld House

Rent a house designed by Gerrit Rietveld

Barragán House on Screen

Gesamtkunstwerk – An Icon on the Move

Maurice Drue Parrish named Executive Director of Farnsworth House

Triennale der Moderne 27 September - 13 October 2013

Prestigious Art Nouveau mansions in Brussels open

September 14 + 15: Heritage Days in Paris

June's New Arrivals: Museum Apartments

Iconic Houses is now on Twitter and Facebook

Corbu’s Cabanon: Reconstruction and Lecture

Projekt Mies In Krefeld: Life-sized model of the Krefeld Clubhouse

New arrivals: Spain special

MAMO: Le Corbu’s ‘Park in the Sky’ open 12 June

Annual Wright Architectural Housewalk: 18 May

Frank Lloyd Wright Homes on Screen

Message from the Editor

Neutra’s House on Screen

Melnikov House on Screen

Iconic Houses in the media

Message from the Editor

Eileen Gray House on Screen

Copy Culture

Hilary Lewis on Philip Johnson and his Glass House

Hilary Lewis, our conference co-chair, is Chief Curator and Creative Director of the Glass House. A renowned Philip Johnson scholar, she met the architect in 1992 and worked with him closely on books and publications, including his memoirs. She took up her current post in January 2017. Hilary will moderate a panel discussion at our upcoming Fifth International Iconic Houses Conference in New Canaan 15-18 May.

You probably knew the Glass House inside out before you ever became its chief curator and creative director.
True – my relationship with the house goes back 25 years, to the days when Philip Johnson lived here, and I would visit him just about every week. Then after his death in 2005, and before the house opened to the public in 2007, the National Trust brought me in as an advisor. Having been so close to the house for such a long time, I find my present position a great responsibility and a great honor.

What’s new for you regarding your current role?
The curatorial element. Philip Johnson was an avid art collector – in fact, he was MoMA’s second-largest donor. In addition to the Glass House, there are 13 other structures on site. We use the site to host exhibitions and performances, reflecting his times and his interest in the avant-garde. I see the art events as very much a part of his legacy and it’s an important aspect of my role to consider which ones best represent that.

Is there a key message you want the house to convey?
Philip Johnson thought it was important for architecture and art to evolve continuously. He believed in preservation, but also in change. He wanted to facilitate exciting new developments – which is why, for example, we have young choreographers presenting experimental work at our location.

What do you think Philip Johnson means to your younger visitors?
Today his work is being discovered by a whole new generation — from the more traditional Modern buildings to his Postmodern efforts. He was always willing to change and to embrace the future. He was ahead of his time not only architecturally, but also in other ways – his openness about his homosexuality, for example.

What’s the biggest challenge facing the Glass House?
To maintain the same interest and vibrancy that we had when the house was first opened. Another huge challenge is, of course, preservation – for us that means not only the house itself, but also a 49-acre landscape and all 14 structures.

As someone who knew him well, what do you hope the house conveys about Philip Johnson’s personality?
His wit and sense of humor – he was funny, charming and playful. He was truly larger than life and I wish we could recreate him in the house in some way. We’re working on presenting more of his ideas and writings to try to bring that to our audience. In our visitors center we have a video wall that shows the richness of his life and experience.
You see his humor most readily perhaps in other structures he built on the site – including the tower with oversized steps, the Kirstein Tower and also in the gatehouse, Da Monsta, the name of which pokes fun at his own patrician accent.

Based on your experience at the Glass House, what tips do you have for other house museums?
It’s important to find different ways for people to experience your house, and events and exhibitions are a great way of doing this. Partnering with other institutions can help bring art and activities to your house museum, so you always have something new to show.

Hilary recommends watching these interviews about Philip Johnson’s influence with Norman Foster, Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, Richard Meier, Jaquelin T. Robertson, Richard Rogers, Vincent Scully, and Robert A.M. Stern.
Architecture & Influence. The Philip Johnson Glass House Oral History Project (12:14)

Jane Szita
Publication date 15 February 2018