Photography exhibit celebrates Philip Johnson’s Glass House
With the aftermath of California’s Prop-8 debate still lingering in the GLBT community, there is an old adage that’s quite fitting for our time: "People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones."
Those words come to mind when considering one of 20th century America’s most famous buildings, the Glass House, by the iconic gay American architect, Philip Johnson.
Influential and controversial
Johnson, who died in 2005 at the age of 98, was both influential and controversial over his long career. He cut a memorable profile - a slight, bald man whose face was framed by thick, black round-rimmed glasses; and he stayed on the cutting-edge of architecture right to the end of his life.
From the 1930s on he embraced the International Style (the boxy towers best exemplified by Manhattan’s Seagram’s Building , a project with which Johnson was an associate architect), only to reject it during his latter part of his career when Post Modernism came into vogue. It was during this phase that glass became an integral element to his often-monumental designs, such as Pittsburgh’s PPG Tower, a mock Gothic skyscraper, and the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, the temple of Robert Schuller’s evangelical ministry in Southern California.