PaperCity Magazine

January 2019- Houston

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44 T he late architect Philip Johnson lived for years in the fa- mous glass house he designed in New Canaan, Connecti- cut. A sublime glass rectangle, it was Johnson's best work — the epitome of the modern architec- ture he introduced to America during the 20th century. As MoMA's founding architecture curator and the first recip- ient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, he had immense professional prestige. He was also a debonair socialite who welcomed Jackie O, Andy Warhol, Jas- per Johns, Frank Gehry, and John and Dominique de Menil into his exclusive enclave. Johnson's cachet made him highly sought after, and his work exists in almost every major American city. He carried out multiple commissions in Dallas including Thanksgiving Square, the Kennedy Memorial, the Beck House, and The Crescent complex. In Houston, he designed Pennzoil Place, the Menil House, and Republic Bank Center, now the Bank of America Center. But Johnson also had a dark side, according to University of Texas at Arlington architecture professor and The Dallas Morning News architecture critic Mark Lamster. The author spent nine years researching Johnson for his startling new biography, The Man in the Glass House: Philip Johnson, Archi- tect of the Modern Century ($35, Lit- tle, Brown and Company). As Lamster writes, Johnson was a troubling par- adox: "He was a fascist Nazi sympa- thizer who also built synagogues and supported Israel, a genius without origi- nality, an opportunist and a romantic, a populist and a snob. His last great client was Donald Trump." In his book, Lamster not only ex- plores Johnson's remarkable career, but BY REBECCA SHERMAN THROWING STONES A NEW PHILIP JOHNSON BIOGRAPHY CRACKS THE ARCHITECT'S GLEAMING FAÇADE, REVEALING A FASCIST PAST.

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