Philip Johnson Biography
|Born as||Philip Cortelyou Johnson|
|Born||July 8, 1906|
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||January 25, 2005|
New Canaan, Connecticut, USA
Philip Cortelyou Johnson was born on July 8, 1906, in Cleveland, Ohio, to a wealthy family with a passion for art and architecture. This early exposure, combined with his innate artistic talent, set the stage for what would result in an illustrious, five-decade-long career that came to define American architecture.
Johnson studied at Harvard University, where he majored in classics and philosophy, graduating in 1927. After a period of European travel, he returned to Harvard in 1928 to study architecture, a move that would define his life's work. Johnson paused his studies in 1930, however, when he accepted an offer to direct the newly established Architecture and Design Department at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, a pioneering institution in the modern art world.
In 1932, Johnson, along with Henry-Russell Hitchcock, curated the now-legendary exhibition "Modern Architecture: International Exhibition", which introduced the United States to cutting-edge European architecture, most notably the Bauhaus school of Germany. Through the publication of the accompanying book, "The International Style: Architecture Since 1922", Johnson and Hitchcock helped to establish the foundations of modernism in America.
However, Johnson's career took a controversial turn in the late 1930s when he openly supported fascist movements in Germany and Italy. This decision led to a brief period of isolation, but after the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the United States Army, serving until 1945.
Upon his return to civilian life, Johnson enrolled in Harvard's Graduate School of Design, where he finally earned his Master of Architecture degree in 1947. He then embarked on his career as an independent architect. One of his first notable projects was his own Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut (1949), which cemented his reputation as an American architect unafraid to experiment with transparency and minimalism.
In 1955, Philip Johnson
teamed up with another architect, Mies van der Rohe. Together they designed arguably the epitome of modern architecture: the Seagram Building on Park Avenue in New York City (1958). This collaboration marked the beginning of Johnson's prolific output in the realms of corporate buildings and cultural institutions throughout the United States.
Some of his most famous projects included the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center (1964), the iconic AT&T Building (now the Sony Tower) in Manhattan (1984), which redefined Postmodernism in architecture, and the elaborate Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California (1980).
Throughout his career, Johnson was honored with numerous awards, including the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 1979. His personal and professional relationships with fellow architects, artists, critics, and patrons were also a testament to his significant influence on the architectural world.
After battling melanoma, Philip Johnson
passed away on January 25, 2005, at his Glass House residence at the age of 98. His legacy remains vast and varied, with his innovative buildings standing as monuments to his passion and dedication to the study and practice of architecture.
Our collection contains 6 quotes who is written / told by Philip, under the main topics: Death
Related authors: Philo (Philosopher), Norman Foster (Architect)
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