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Philip Johnson

philip johnson portrait

Absenting Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson was perhaps the most famous and influential American architect of the 20th century. The Pritzker Prize winner (1979) was a pioneer in American modernism and later laid the intellectual and architectural groundwork for the post-modern and deconstructivist styles of the 1970s and 1980s. His thick, black round-framed glasses and high profile as a practicing architect, curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and public intellectual brought him to the fore of American design thinking, a place he occupied well into his advanced age. His masterpieces include the Glass House in New Canaan, CT, (1949) which is a near perfect expression of the modern desire to bring the outside in; the Seagram Building in New York, while working in the office of Mies Van der Rohe; the massive, glassed façade of the PPG Palace in Pittsburgh, PA,; the postmodern AT&T Building (1984) in New York; and one of the original megachurches, the Crystal Cathedral (1980) in Orange County, CA.

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