Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1906-07-08
Death 2005-01-25
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Prominent New York architect. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and designed the State Theater at Lincoln Center in N.Y.

From the description of Papers, 1927-1944. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 18376257

Architect, author, critic. Affiliated with the Museum of Modern Art, New York as the founder and director of the Dept. of Architecture (1932-34, 1952-1954), Trustee (1957- ), and donor.

From the description of Philip Johnson papers, 1930-1992. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122484118

New York architect Philip Johnson (1906-2005) was among the most influential American architects of the twentieth century. He studied architecture at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design and took his first professional position in 1930 as the founding curator of the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. He also practiced professionally for more than sixty years, designing residential, corporate, and institutional buildings in the United States and internationally. He may be best-known for the design of his own home, the Glass House, in New Canaan, CT. His architectural and critical influence on the field of modern architecture was significant and far-reaching. Johnson was awarded the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects and the first Pritzker Architecture Prize.

From the description of Philip Johnson architectural drawings, 1943-1994 (bulk 1943-1970). (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 312370258

American architect.

From the description of Philip Johnson papers, ca. 1908-2002 (bulk 1925-1998). (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 123458387

Originally built as Asia House, 112 East 64th Street, now houses the Russell Sage Foundation and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.

From the description of Asia House facade, scheme[s] A [and] B [graphic] : [perspective renderings] / Philip Johnson, architect ; Helmut Jacoby, delineator. 1958-1960. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 81948850

Project was unbuilt. Philip Johnson was awarded third prize in the competition announced in early 1967.

From the description of Central Park Stables, New York, N.Y. [graphic] : [competition drawings] / Philip Johnson, architect ; [Helmut Jacoby, delineator]. [ca. 1967] (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 81393277

Architect.

From the description of Reminiscences of Philip Cortelyou Johnson : oral history, 1964. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122527625

The Museum of Modern Art: Director, Department of Architecture, 1932-34, 1946-54; Trustee, 1957- .

From the description of Oral history, 1990-1991. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 86133023

Biographical / Historical Note

Born in 1906, Philip Johnson was one of the most prominent and outspoken architects of the post-World War II era. During his long career from the 1930s until his death in 2005, Johnson has been a major participant in the architectural debate of his time and has contributed to all major architectural movements during those years.

In 1930 Johnson founded the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 1934 Johnson enrolled in architecture school at Harvard.

He started as a follower of Mies van der Rohe's most austere modernism (ref his Glass House, New Caanan, CT, 949), broke with early modernism to design in what he called a more “humane” modernistic vocabulary, and was one of the leaders of postmodernism (ref the AT&T corporate headquarters, NYC, 1978) during the 1980s.

Johnson was in partnership with John Burgee from 1967-1991. When in his 90s Johnson designed and built structures that showed his interest in the deconstructivist idiom.

From the guide to the Philip Johnson architectural projects, 1984-1995, (Getty Research Institute)

Biographical/Historical Note

Philip Johnson is one of the most prominent and outspoken architects of the post-World War II era. During his long career from the 1940s until the present, Johnson has been a major participant in the architectural debate of his time and has contributed to all major architectural movements during those years. He started as a follower of Mies van der Rohe's most austere modernism, broke with this trend to design in a more "humane" modernistic vocabulary, and was one of the leaders of postmodernism during the 1980s. In his 90s Johnson has designed and built structures that show his interest in the deconstructivist idiom.

Born in 1906 in Cleveland, Ohio, Johnson became interested in the critical study of architecture through frequent trips to Europe. In 1930, after receiving a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Harvard University, he went to work for the newly established Museum of Modern Art in New York, where he founded and directed its Department of Architecture, the first museum-affiliated program in the United States devoted to the study of architecture as art. Before returning to Harvard in 1940 to earn an architecture degree, Johnson spent six years as a political radical working for the right-wing publication Social Justice and co-founding the Young Nationalists movement.

As an architect, Johnson played a pivotal role in three international movements: modernism, postmodernism, and deconstructivism. Indeed, the Museum of Modern Art's 1932 landmark exhibition "The International Style", a collaborative effort between Johnson and architectural historian Henry-Russell Hitchcock, was the first official American forum to recognize and codify the modernist movement in architecture. Stressing function over form, this then-revolutionary style made famous by such European masters as Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier became the new paradigm for American architecture under Johnson's tutelage. Many of Johnson's early works have become exemplars of modernist architecture, particularly Johnson's own Glass House (1949) and the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York (1959).

In 1967, Johnson began a partnership with John Burgee that culminated in the construction of Johnson's most publicly celebrated building after the Glass House: the AT&T Corporate Headquarters in New York (1978). Adorned with nonfunctional design elements, the AT&T building embraced the post-modernist movement in architecture centered around the revival of historic styles.

At the age of 82, Johnson once again changed the dialogue of contemporary architecture with the Museum of Modern Art's 1988 exhibition "Deconstructivist Architecture" (with Mark Wigley). Linking the works of such architects as Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, and Peter Eisenman to the style of Russian constructivist painters, the exhibition fostered much critical acclaim and critical debate. Johnson continued to further the cause of deconstructivist architecture through the adoption of a new, anti-geometric style of design - a style best exemplified by his Visitors Center in New Canaan, Connecticut.

The first recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, Johnson has been recognized not only as one of the most influential architects of his generation but also as one of the most influential teachers of the next generation of architects. He died in 2005.

From the guide to the Philip Johnson papers, 1908-2002 (bulk 1925-1998), (The Getty Research Institute Special Collections Research Library 1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100 Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688 (310) 440-7390)

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