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Returning to the Philip Johnson Glass House

An easy day trip from NYC to explore ever-evolving art and architecture

by David Graver
on 11 June 2018

It's been one year since the sculpture gallery reopened on the grounds of New Canaan, Connecticut's Philip Johnson Glass House. It's a reminder that despite what the name might imply, the destination is more than one iconic building. In fact, it's 14 structures across 49 acres. Beyond the wildly diverse architecture, there is landscaping outdoors sculpted (or left wild) for decades to accent it all. Inside, there are the sculptures, of course, and a library filled with books and a gallery of revolving artworks, including Warhol's sketch of Johnson. From now through August, the Painting Gallery will play host to Personal Effect: Works from the Collections of Philip Johnson and David Whitney, an exhibition featuring the aforementioned piece and many more.

There's something definitively appropriate about an exhibition of a collector's art in a gallery that was devised to showcase it. But this space and the work within form only one part of the amorphous Glass House experience. With each season, the atmosphere changes substantially. The annual Summer Party ushered guests into the start of one of the most lush periods on the compound. But for an organization in need of support to maintain all of its assets (like the Brick House, presently under renovation), there are always activities on the grounds. That said, regardless of the season, there's nothing better than wandering along the paths, taking in the destination as it was intended by its creator.

Images by Neil Landino

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