Philip Cortelyou Johnson (July 8, 1906 – January 25, 2005) was an American architect best known for his works of modern and postmodern architecture. Among his best-known designs are his modernist Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut; the postmodern 550 Madison Avenue in New York, designed for AT&T; 190 South La Salle Street in Chicago; the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Modern Art; and the Pre-Columbian Pavilion at Dumbarton Oaks. In his obituary in 2005, the "New York Times" wrote that his works "were widely considered among the architectural masterpieces of the 20th century."
Philip Cortelyou Johnson
July 8, 1906
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||January 25, 2005 98) (aged|
New Canaan, Connecticut, U.S.
|Alma mater||Harvard Graduate School of Design|
|Awards||Pritzker Prize (1979)|
AIA Gold Medal (1978)
|Buildings||Glass House, Seagram Building, 550 Madison Avenue, IDS Tower, PPG Place, Crystal Cathedral|
In 1930, Johnson became the first director of the architecture department of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. There he arranged for visits by Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier and negotiated the first American commission for Mies van der Rohe, when he fled Nazi Germany. In 1932, he organized the first exhibition on modern architecture at the Museum of Modern Art.
In 1934 Johnson resigned his position at the museum, and began a career in far-right and fascist politics and journalism. He allied with American populist and anti-Semitic figures such as Charles Coughlin and the American fascist economist Lawrence Dennis, and reported favourably about the Nazis as a correspondent in Germany for Father Coughlin's newspaper "Social Justice". In 1941, as the war approached, Johnson abruptly quit Coughlin's newspaper and journalism. He was investigated by the FBI, and was eventually cleared for military service. Years later he would refer to these activities as "the stupidest thing I ever did ... [which] I never can atone for".
1978, he was awarded an American Institute of Architects Gold Medal and in 1979 the first Pritzker Architecture Prize. Today his skyscrapers are prominent features in the skylines of New York, Houston, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Madrid, and other cities.