The Glass House Blog

Don’t miss the peony gardens in full bloom at the Glass House–book your tickets for May landscape tours now!


Special Landscape Focus Tours

Focus tours delve into specifics of the tour topic, including special access and alternate paths. Focus Tours are intended for guests interested in learning more about a key element of the site or for those looking to see the Glass House through a new perspective.

Landscape + Gardens | This tour changes seasonally to take advantage of the best viewing of David Whitney’s peony garden and New England’s gorgeous fall foliage. Explore expanded access to the Glass House campus, as you walk up and down the steep slope for close-up views of the Pond Pavilion (1962) and Kirstein Tower (1985) and discuss the history, design, flora and fauna of Johnson’s 47-acre curated landscape. Learn to identify the English and French landscape influences, Johnson’s Midwestern farming roots and his relationship with the historic New England countryside and stonewalls. View the trees the National Trust has deemed landmark-worthy and learn about David Whitney’s inventive succulent and peony gardens.

Learn more about landscape, art, and architecture focus tours, and reserve your tickets at

Photos from past seasons at the Glass House.

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To view more images of the peony garden at the Glass House, visit:

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Rebecca Allan, painter and Head of Education at the Bard Graduate Center for Decorative Arts, Design, and Material Culture Hosts a Glass House Conversation

Succulent Garden at The Glass House

Rebecca Allan

Rebecca Allan

Join us for an online Glass House Conversation hosted by Rebecca Allan and inspired by The Glass House landscape. Allan is a painter and Head of Education at the Bard Graduate Center for Decorative Arts, Design, and Material Culture in New York City, and she also participated in the Education Think Tank held at The Glass House on July 18, 2012, her visit inspiring the question:

The impulse to shape, to restrain, or to allow nature to remain “unsupervised” is often present in the working practices of creators across various disciplines. The Glass House occupies a richly varied landscape whose features encompass natural woodlands, a small lake, and lush fields of grass as well as unique plantings and gardens that provide a counterpoint to and container for its 14 architectural structures.

Johnson’s life partner David Whitney, an innovative gardener, designed a remarkable Succulent Garden, enclosed by a pink granite cube inspired by a small pencil drawing by Kasimir Malevich. The chain link walls of Johnson’s Ghost House contained a stand of Oriental lilies. Parts of the property’s second-growth forest were cleared to create views that featured follies, pavilions, and architectural elements.

How does your practice reflect, contain, or examine aspects of wildness?

Share your thoughts–join the discussion, going on now through Sunday, September 23, at!

Filed under: Glass House Conversations, , , , ,

Charles A. Birnbaum, Founder and President of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, Hosts a Glass House Conversation on Landscape Preservation

Peavey Plaza
Charles A. Birnbaum  FASLA, FAAR

Charles A. Birnbaum

Join our online Glass House Conversation hosted by Charles A. Birnbaum, Founder and President of The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

What can and should be done to nurture an informed public debate about the legacy of modernist landscapes and reverse the trend of demolition?

There are dozens of modern buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places and as National Historic Landmarks – In fact, to date, there are more than 1,000 structures that have been designated that are less than 50 years old and only a small number of works of landscape architecture. Although properties such as the Glass House, the Gropius House and Russell Wright’s Manitoga have been designated as National Historic Landmarks including significance in landscape architecture, there are countless others from the Eames House (which is very much about landscape, and yet possesses no landscape significance) to significant projects by Lawrence Halprin, Dan Kiley, and M. Paul Friedberg that have not been recognized. Even worse, Friedberg’s seminal masterwork, Peavey Plaza (Minneapolis, MN) is now facing the wrecking ball, while a road expansion threatens Kiley’s landscape at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Burlington, VT) and Halprin’s Riverbank Park has been the target of an generic and uninspired new design (Flint, MI).

What role can architects, landscape architects, historians, historic preservation professionals, journalists and bloggers do to instill value for the legacy of landscapes?

Filed under: Glass House Conversations, , , , ,

Glass House Focus Tours: Art + Influence

Glass House Focus Tours: Art + Influence

2-hour guided tour | $45 per person | Select Wednesdays at 2:30pm


Focus tours delve into specifics of the tour topic, including special access and alternate paths. Focus Tours are intended for guests interested in learning more about a key element of the site or for those looking to see the Glass House through a new perspective.

Art + Influence | Philip Johnson and David Whitney played a significant
role in cultivating and commissioning the work of world-renowned creative talent that defined an era: enjoy deeper discussion and close observation
of the art works of the Glass House campus, including one of the world’s foremost collections of pieces by Frank Stella. Artists include Andy Warhol, Donald Judd, Cindy Sherman, David Salle, Lynn Davis, Julian Schnabel, Michael Heizer, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Andrew Lord and John Chamberlin. Explore the personal relationships between the Glass House, these artists, and the founding and development of The Museum of Modern Art.

For more information on this and other Glass House tours visit

The 2012 Glass House public tour season runs from May 2 – November 30, 2012 (closed Tuesdays). Tickets are available now!  Advance reservations are highly recommended.  Tickets by phone, please call 866.811.4111.

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Landscape Architect Raymond Jungles Hosts New Glass House Conversation

1111 Lincoln Rd.

 Raymond Jungles, FASLA

Raymond Jungles, FASLA

Join us for this week’s online Glass House Conversation hosted by landscape architect Raymond Jungles. Jungles and his firm based in Miami design private residential gardens, civic gardens, boutique hotels, and botanical gardens, and have collaborated with leading architecture firms including Herzog & de Meuron, Frank Gehry & Partners and Foster + Partners. See more of Jungles’s work, including 1111 Lincoln Rd. pictured above, on his website

Jungles asks:

Considering the landscape an integral part of an overall architectural solution, we identify regional context and a sense of place as the primary objectives. To us, unity, harmony and human experience are the driving force.

Which architects best prioritize the human experience in their work? How are people responding?

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Glass House Conversations, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tickets On Sale Now for the 2012 Glass House Tour Season!

Reserve Tickets Now

Tickets on sale for season six: Wednesday, May 2 through Friday, November 30, 2012

Enjoy the Pure Glass House, Site, Extended, or Focus Tours (Art, Landscape, or Architecture) with access to Philip Johnson’s architecture, fine art collection, and 47-acre curated country landscape.

“…an essential pilgrimage* for any serious-minded fan of twentieth-century architecture.” -Departures Magazine

We look forward to seeing you in New Canaan!

Tickets by phone, call 866.811.4111.

*New Canaan, CT is just over an hour by train or car from New York City!

Visitors from 48 states and 38 countries can’t be wrong!

To learn more about the Philip Johnson Glass House visit

Photo © Stacy Bass

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

Fall Foliage + Tours at the Glass House

Fall Foliage at the Glass House
Visit the Glass House now to experience Philip Johnson’s 47-acre landscape amidst New England’s fall colors. Tickets available for tours now through November 30th: Pure Glass House Tour, Focus Tours: Architecture, Art + Landscape, Site, Extended and Twilight Tours.

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

Glass House Conversations: Could you live in the Glass House?

Join in our online Glass House Conversation at!

This week’s question has occupied imaginations for more than half a century (The Glass House + Brick House were built in 1949) and continue to inspire many great debates, including a recent Huffington Post commentary.

In our latest Conversations in Context Film, and in the introduction to our new Glass House Book, Architecture Critic Paul Goldberger discusses Philip Johnson living in the Glass House, and the Glass House campus as example of the opportunities for experimentation that come with being one’s own client.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Conversations in Context, Glass House Conversations, Glass House Films, Overheard at the Glass House, Tours + Programs, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Glass House Survives Tropical Storm Irene

Photo: Eirik Johnson / The Glass House
Photo: Eirik Johnson / The Glass House

The Glass House site, buildings and collections sustained no severe damage from Tropical Storm Irene. Tours are running as scheduled and we look forward to welcoming you to the site. The fall schedule includes new tours and evening programs, learn more on our website,, and plan your visit soon!

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , ,

Discuss Conservation of Artist Donald Judd’s Sculpture at the Glass House


The cleaning and repair of Donald Judd’s first site-specific concrete sculpture, Untitled, 1971 is going on now at the Glass House.  Learn about the conservation process and the history of the piece, check out photos as the work progresses + post your questions here on the Glass House blog. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Glass House Conversations, Preservation in Action, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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