|Birth Day:||July 8, 1906|
|Death Date:||Jan 25, 2005 (age 98)|
|Birth Place:||Cleveland, United States|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Philip Johnson died on Jan 25, 2005 (age 98).
He enrolled at Harvard University as a student of history and philosophy, then switched to architecture. He traveled to Europe several times during his college years; he considered these trips to be influential in developing his passion for architecture.
Johnson was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 8, 1906, the son of a lawyer, Homer Hosea Johnson (1862–1960), and the former Louisa Osborn Pope (1869–1957), a niece of Alfred Atmore Pope and a first cousin of Theodate Pope Riddle. He had an older sister, Jeannette, and a younger sister, Theodate. He was descended from the Jansen family of New Amsterdam, and included among his ancestors the Huguenot Jacques Cortelyou, who laid out the first town plan of New Amsterdam for Peter Stuyvesant. He grew up in New London, Ohio and attended the Hackley School, in Tarrytown, New York, and then studied as an undergraduate at Harvard University where he focused on learning Greek, philology, history and philosophy, particularly the work of the Pre-Socratic philosophers. Upon completing his studies in 1927, he made a series of trips to Europe, visiting the landmarks of classical and Gothic architecture, and joined Henry-Russell Hitchcock, a prominent architectural historian, who was introducing Americans to the work of Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and other modernists. In 1928 he met German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who was at the time designing the German Pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. The meeting formed the basis for a lifelong relationship of both collaboration and competition
In 1930, Johnson joined the architecture department of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. There he arranged for American visits by Gropius and Le Corbusier, and negotiated the first American commission for Mies van der Rohe. In 1932, working with Hitchcock and Alfred H. Barr, Jr., he organized the first exhibition on Modern architecture at the Museum of Modern Art. The show and their simultaneously published book International Style: Modern Architecture Since 1922 played an important part in introducing modern architecture to the American public. His flirtation with fascism and the Nazi party was documented in Marc Wortman's 2016 book 1941: Fighting the Shadow War. It was excerpted by Vanity Fair magazine. When the rise of the Nazis in Germany forced the modernists Marcel Breuer and Mies van der Rohe to leave Germany, Johnson helped arrange for them to come to work in the United States.
Between 1932 and 1940, Johnson was an "antisemite, fascist sympathizer, and active propagandist for the Nazi government." He attempted to start a fascist party in the United States. As a correspondent for the newspaper Social Justice, which was edited by the antisemitic cleric Father Charles Coughlin, he made several trips to Germany, sympathetically covering the huge Nazi rally at Nuremberg and the German invasion of Poland in 1939. The American correspondent William Shirer who also covered the German invasion of Poland, noted his enthusiasm for the Germans and called him "The American fascist."
In 1934, Philip Johnson began his first serious relationship with Jimmie Daniels, a cabaret singer. The relationship lasted only one year.
In 1936, in the depths of the Great Depression, he left the Museum of Modern Art for a brief venture into journalism and politics. He was a Nazi sympathizer and supported the populist Governor of Louisiana Huey Long and Father Charles Coughlin. Johnson traveled to Germany and Poland as a correspondent for Coughlin's radically populist and often anti-Semitic newspaper Social Justice. In the newspaper, Johnson expressed, as the New York Times later reported, "more than passing admiration for Hitler". Johnson observed the Nuremberg Rallies in Germany and, sponsored by the German government, covered the invasion of Poland in 1939. Many years later he told his biographer, Franz Schulze, "You simply could not fail to be caught up in the excitement of it, by the marching songs, by the crescendo and climax of the whole thing, as Hitler came on at last to harangue the crowd," and told of being thrilled at the sight of "all those blond boys in black leather" marching past the Führer. Schulze dismissed these early political activities as inconsequential, concluding they merited "little more substantial attention than they have gained" and his politics "were driven as much by an unconquerable esthetic impulse as by fascist philosophy or playboy adventurism".
A September 1940 article in Harper's listed Johnson as among leading American Nazis. An FBI investigation found that "Johnson had developed extensive contacts with the German Propaganda and Foreign Ministries while in Germany and then returned to propagandize on the Nazis' behalf in the United States." He was not prosecuted. However, when he was considered for a possible government position, an FBI agent sent a memo to J. Edgar Hoover saying, "I can think of no more dangerous man to have working in an agency which possesses so many military secrets."
In 1941, at the age of 35, Johnson abandoned politics and journalism and enrolled in the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he studied with Marcel Breuer and Walter Gropius. In 1941, Johnson designed and actually built his first building, a house that still exists at 9 Ash Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The house, strongly influenced by Mies van der Rohe, has a wall around the lot which merges with the structure. It was used by Johnson to host social events and was eventually submitted as his graduate thesis; he sold the house after the War, and it was eventually purchased by Harvard in 2010 and restored by 2016.
After the United States entered World War II in December 1941, Johnson enlisted in the Army. He was investigated by the FBI for his contacts with the German government and his support for Coughlin, who opposed American intervention in the war, but he was cleared for service and entered the army. He spent his army service during the war in the United States.
In 1946, after he completed his military service, Johnson returned to the Museum of Modern Art as a curator and writer. At the same time, he began working to establish his architectural practice. He built a small house, in the style of Mies, in Saaponack, Long Island in 1946. This was followed by one of his most famous buildings, which he built for himself; the Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, completed in 1949, which has become a landmark of modern architecture.
The Glass House (1949) that he designed as his own residence in New Canaan was influenced by the Farnsworth House, built shortly before it by Mies van der Rohe, an influence which Johnson never denied. Johnson had curated an exhibit of Mies van der Rohe's at the Museum of Modern Art in 1947, featuring a model of the glass Farnsworth House.
After completing the Glass House, he completed two more houses in New Canaan in a style similar to that of Mies; the Hodgson House (1951) and the Wiley House (1953). In 1953 he also created an architectural sculpture garden for the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
In 1956, he donated a design for Congregation Kneses Tifereth Israel in Port Chester, New York. Architecture professor Anat Geva observed in a paper that "all critics agree that his design of the Port Chester Synagogue can be considered as his attempt to ask for forgiveness," although Johnson never discussed the matter with the congregation. His biographer Schulze says the design was done "out of practicality not so much by shame following an investigation of his political activities."
Following the Seagram Building, Johnson built several smaller projects in a more personal, expressive style, with ornament touches and features far from the sobriety of the modernist style; the Synagogue of Port Chester New York, with a plaster vaulted ceiling and narrow colored windows (1954–56); the Art Gallery of the University of Nebraska with an array of symmetrical arcs (1963); (the Roofless Church in New Harmony, Indiana with a mushroom-shaped roof covered with wood shingles (1960). In 1960 he also built a severely modernist monastery building for in the expansion of St. Anselm's Abbey in Washington, D.C.
Johnson continued to add to the Glass House estate during each period of his career. He added a small pavilion with columns by the lake in 1963, an art gallery set into a hillside in 1965, a postmodern sculpture gallery with a glass roof in 1970; a castle-like library with a rounded tower in 1980; a concrete block tower dedicated to his friend Lincoln Kirstein, the founder of the New York City Ballet; a chain-link "ghost house" dedicated to Frank Gehry.
Johnson was among the public figures at the core of the effort to save Olana, the home of Frederic Edwin Church, before it was dedicated a National Historic Landmark in 1965 and subsequently became a New York State Historic Site.
In 1967 Johnson entered a new phase of his career, founding a partnership with architect John Burgee. Johnson and Burgee won commissions for a series of new skyscrapers. including the IDS Center in Minneapolis (1973), and the two matching towers, facing each other like bookends, of Pennzoil Place in Houston, Texas. The two towers of Pennzoil Place have sloping roofs covering the top seven floors and are trapezoidal in form, created to leave two large triangual areas on the site, which are occupied with glass-covered lobbies designed like greenhouses. This idea was widely copied in skyscrapers in other cities.
In the late 1970s Johnson applied landscape architecture to two significant projects in Texas. The Fort Worth Water Gardens opened in 1974, creating an urban landscape where visitors experience water in distinct ways. And in 1977 Johnson completed the spiraling white chapel and meditation garden at Thanks-Giving Square in Dallas.
In 1978, Johnson was awarded an American Institute of Architects Gold Medal. In 1979 he became the first recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize the most prestigious international architectural award.
In 1980, Johnson completed a new building in a startling new style: the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, a soaring glass neo-Gothic megachurch for the Reverend Robert H. Schuller. It became a Southern California landmark. In 2012 it was purchased by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange to become the cathedral for Orange County.
In 1986 Johnson and Burgee had moved their offices into one of their new buildings, the Lipstick Building, the popular name of the skyscraper they built at 885 Third Avenue in New York, and given its nickname because of its resemblance to the color and shape of a stick of lipstick. Burgee, who wanted to play a larger role in the firm negotiated a smaller part for Johnson, and in 1988 the firm's name was changed to John Burgee Architects with Philip as the design consultant. By 1991 Johnson had split with Burgee and opened up his own practice.
In 1991, Johnson received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.
Johnson was gay. He came out publicly in 1993, and was regarded as "the best-known openly gay architect in America."
Johnson sought to distance himself from his views on Nazis after the outbreak of World War II. In 1993 he told Vanity Fair, "I have no excuse (for) such unbelievable stupidity. ... I don't know how you expiate guilt."
After four years as a solo practitioner, Johnson invited Alan Ritchie to join him as a partner. Ritchie had been a partner for many years in the Johnson-Burgee office and was the partner-in-charge of the AT&T building and the 190 South Lasalle Street office building. In 1994 they formed the new practice of Philip Johnson>Alan Ritchie Architects. During the next ten years they worked closely together and yet again explored new directions in architecture, designing buildings as sculptural objects. Some of the buildings that expressed this were the Chapel of St. Basil at the university of St. Thomas, the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, the Habitable Sculpture (a 26-story apartment tower in lower Manhattan), The Children Museum in Guadalajara, Mexico, The Chrysler Center and DDC Showroom in NY. One of his last designs with Alan Ritchie, completed after his death, was the Urban Glass House, a condominium building in lower Manhattan which was an urban expression from his own earlier work, his famous Glass House residence. The final building he designed with Richie was the Pennsylvania Academy of Music building in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, which was completed in 2008. Alan Ritchie now continues the Johnson legacy and design excellence and continues to explore the many ideas they developed together.
The house is a 56 foot by 32 foot glass rectangle, sited at the edge of a crest on Johnson's estate overlooking a pond. The building's sides are glass and charcoal-painted steel; the floor, of brick, is not flush with the ground but sits 10 inches above. The interior is an open space divided by low walnut cabinets; a brick cylinder contains the bathroom and is the only object to reach floor to ceiling. The New York Times described it in 2005 as "one of the 20th century's greatest residential structures. "Like all of Johnson's early work, it was inspired by Mies, but its pure symmetry, dark colors and closeness to the earth marked it as a personal statement; calm and ordered rather than sleek and brittle."
Johnson died in his sleep at his Glass House retreat on January 25, 2005, at the age of ninety-eight. His partner of 45 years, David Whitney, died later that year at age 66.
A 2018 New Yorker article notes that "in 1964, well after he had been forced to abjure his Nazi past, he insisted in letters that Hitler was 'better than Roosevelt.'"
Philip grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, a descendant of the earliest planners of the town of New Amsterdam, including Jacques Cortelyou and Peter Stuyvesant. Philip was called "the best-known openly gay architect in America" and was with his partner, David Whitney, for 45 years.
Currently, Philip Johnson is 116 years, 2 months and 29 days old. Philip Johnson will celebrate 117th birthday on a Saturday 8th of July 2023. Below we countdown to Philip Johnson upcoming birthday.
Happy 107th birthday Philip Johnson! – arquitectura.estudioquagliata.com