For the first time since Philip Johnson lived in his iconic Glass House, fresh flowers will be on display there, bringing new life to the building’s interiors. The Glass House has launched a program, announced by Director Henry Urbach, to reintroduce fresh flower arrangements, which have not been seen in the house since Philip Johnson’s and his partner, David Whitney’s, passing in 2005. Local designer Dana Worlock will reinterpret Whitney’s original plant selection, adding and adapting to suit the specific environmental conditions and seasonal changes of the Glass House.
The flowers, mostly gathered from the site and chosen based on archival photographs, will be integrated back into the Glass House as a symbol of new life to come: this program is the first of several initiatives being launched to rededicate the site as a lively, creative cultural center in keeping with the spirit and values of its former occupants-Johnson, the renowned architect, and Whitney, who was an editor and independent curator.
Says Urbach, “It’s about providing our visitors with an even richer experience and celebrating renewal as the Glass House transforms from a house museum to a living intellectual and cultural center. Even this modest element reflects a way to explore new opportunities for creative engagement. During Philip’s and David’s lifetime, the Glass House nearly always had fresh flowers, and we wanted to honor this legacy. We’ve consulted historical photographs; as much as possible, we remain close to their sensibility and use flowers gathered from the site.”
An avid gardener since childhood, David Whitney cultivated a wide range of seasonal plants throughout the site’s 49 acres of lawns, meadows, woods, wetlands, and gardens. Whitney and Johnson enjoyed cuttings throughout the year when they were in residence in New Canaan.
This new program is generously supported by Architectural Digest magazine.
The Glass House
The Glass House, a National Trust Historic Site, offers its 49-acre campus as a catalyst for the preservation and interpretation of modern architecture, landscape, and art, and as a canvas for inspiration and experimentation honoring the legacy of Philip Johnson (1906-2005) and David Whitney (1939-2005).
The Glass House was completed in 1949. Inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House (Plano, IL, 1951), its exterior walls are made of glass, a radical departure from houses of the time. The Glass House was the start of Johnson’s 50-year odyssey of architectural experimentation in forms, materials, and ideas, through the addition of other structures – the Brick House/Guest House, Pond Pavilion, Painting Gallery, Sculpture Gallery, Ghost House, Library/Study, and Da Monsta – and the methodical sculpting of the surrounding landscape.
Architectural Digest is the international authority on design and architecture and provides exclusive access to the world’s most beautiful homes and the fascinating people who live in them, bringing its audience a wealth of information on architecture and interior design, art and antiques, travel destinations and extraordinary products; its AD100 list of top architects and designers is one of the industry’s most relied-upon indexes of talent. Every day, Architectural Digest inspires millions of affluent readers through a multi-platform presence that includes print and digital editions and a newly relaunched website,
The National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a nonprofit membership organization bringing people together to protect, enhance, and enjoy the places that matter to them. By saving the places where great moments from history-and important moments of everyday life-took place, the National Trust for Historic Preservation helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development, and promote environmental sustainability. With headquarters in Washington, DC, nine regional and field offices, 29 historic sites, and partner organizations in all 50 states, the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy, and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places, connecting us to our history, and collectively shaping the future of America’s stories.