The Glass House Blog

Remembering Merce Cunningham

Merce Cunningham at the Glass House’s official public opening, the Inaugural Gala Picnic, 2007.

Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) at the Glass House’s official public opening, the Inaugural Gala Picnic, 2007. (Photograph courtesy of Steve Brosnahan/RBH Multimedia, 2007)

The Philip Johnson Glass House bids farewell to the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, following the close of The Legacy Tour at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City on December 31, 2011.

Philip Johnson and his partner David Whitney were long time supporters of the company.

On June 3, 1967, Johnson hosted a benefit for the Cunningham Dance Foundation.  Museum Event #5 was performed at the Glass House, with music by John Cage and costumes by Robert Rauschenburg.  The evening concluded with a performance by the Velvet Underground.

Image courtesy of the Philip Johnson Glass House Archives, Press Clippings.

Image courtesy of the Philip Johnson Glass House Archives. Press Clipping from the 1967 benefit for the Cunningham Dance Foundation held at the Glass House.

Event Program, Image courtesey of the Philip Johnson Glass House Archives.

Event Program, Image courtesey of the Philip Johnson Glass House Archives.

On June 23, 2007, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company restaged this 1967 performance for the Glass House’s official public opening, the Inaugural Gala Picnic.  A custom designed stage was designed and erected, as per Cunningham’s specifications.  Cunningham returned to the site to oversee rehearsal and event.

Merce Cunningham and members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at the Glass House’s official public opening, the Inaugural Gala Picnic, 2007.

Merce Cunningham and members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at the Glass House’s official public opening, the Inaugural Gala Picnic, 2007. (Photograph courtesy of Steve Brosnahan/RBH Multimedia, 2007)

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company at the Glass House’s official public opening, the Inaugural Gala Picnic, 2007.

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company at the Glass House’s official public opening, the Inaugural Gala Picnic, 2007. (Photograph courtesy of Steve Brosnahan/RBH Multimedia, 2007)

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company at the Glass House’s official public opening, the Inaugural Gala Picnic, 2007.

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company at the Glass House’s official public opening, the Inaugural Gala Picnic, 2007. (Photograph courtesy of Steve Brosnahan/RBH Multimedia, 2007)

The Glass House expresses its support of Cunningham Dance Foundation as it transfers to the Merce Cunningham Trust.  Established in 2000 by the Artist, the Merce Cunningham Trust will continue his incredible dance legacy.

Visit our Flickr pages for more historic images from the 1967 and 2007 events.

Filed under: Tours + Programs, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response

  1. […] to benefit the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Described as a “Country Happening” in Vogue Magazine, August 1967, Merce Cunningham dancers performed to music by John Cage, and later the Velvet Underground took […]

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