Today Rod, Mary and I played hooky and took a day trip to New Canaan CT to tour Philip Johnson's Glass House.
What a treat!
We jumped in the Zip Car at 830 am and just made it to the visitors center by 945 (who knew there was traffic in Larchmont?).
Our guide was a dotty old bat who was giving us a Comme de Garcon's looking skirt with a Laura Ashley bonnet. Just what we were hoping for in Connecticut! She was a great guide and brought the house to life with her own quirky stories.
The house has only been open to the public for two years. Mr. Johnson died in 2005 (the same year his partner, David Whitney died) and it took two years to get the house ready for tours. The groups are very small, only 10 people, and it is closed in the winter.
I have to admit, I’m not a fan of mid-century modern
1. Because the term is way overused
2. I like my houses and my interiors vivid, Victorian and fun!
But I totally fell in love with Glass House. I love the idea of two people living in this box, sharing the world with their home. I love that Andy Warhol used to spend loads of time out there and that Merce Cunningham had a performance out near the heart shaped pond and afterwards all the guests watoosied on the patio. I love the Venetian looking folly where Philip would pile silk pillows on the floor and have friends come down and lounge. I love the spiral staircase sculpture in the woods that, if you climb it, there is a quote from Philip on the top that you have to swear not to repeat! I love the tiny circle pool that reminds me of jumping into a martini and I love the leather squares Johnson used as ceiling tiles in his bathroom that have aged to perfection.
It is more than just a home but a world, which he created and lived in with his partner for 60 years.
The art gallery was quite fun too. Our guide explained it as a rolodex turned on its side. She also described it like a carpet store when rugs are hung on huge panels and you push them left or right to see the next piece of art. His sculptural gallery was a bit too 70's for me- glass ceilings, brown brick floors and white painted brick walls. But it was interesting to see how he evolved as a designer.
Sorry my pictures aren’t up to par but the tour didn't let us take photos so when Batty Brook turned her head I snapped what I could.
ADDED BONUS- Annie Liebowitz was at the house during our tour shooting Phoebe Philo for Vogue. The Executive Director of Glass House enthusiastically told us that Annie was shooting the designer of C-Line. We couldn't figure out what she meant until we realized she meant Celine.
Well, you can't be schooled in everything I guess.