So, if you had to choose between a pencil, a knife, or a hammer as the only tool you could ever own, which would you choose and why? – John Maeda, the President of the Rhode Island School of Design, and this week’s guest moderator for the Glass House Conversations, asks us. These conversations have a rich history rooted in Johnson’s New Canaan creation. Not only did the Glass House offer an elegant example of Modern Architecture, the residence also played hostess to some of the greatest creative thinkers of the twentieth century. Described as “the longest running salon in America,” the Glass House witnessed dozens of intense conversations about art, architecture and society between Philip Johnson and David Whitney and their invited guests, including Andy Warhol, Frank Stella and Robert A.M. Stern. The conversations, not doubt, spurred debate, yet the meetings were the perfect opportunity to share ideas and philosophies that ultimately impacted our culture.
When Johnson passed away in 2005, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the School of Visual Arts decided to continue the conversation, so to speak, by expanding the guest list. With an up-to-date system, people across the world can log on and share their thoughts about the week’s topic. The conversations will be reaching a broader audience and pooling more ideas together than ever before.
The conversations are set up in this way: Every Monday, a different host posts a question and people have only five days to respond. After Friday, a selected comment is chosen as the “Final Word”.
Continuing these conversations is the National Trust’s way to not only physically preserve Johnson’s work, but to keep the spirit of the residence alive, as well. We invite you to join the conversation and become part of this new legacy.