The Glass House 15th Anniversary Summer Party

After two years of pandemic related postponement, The Glass House built by Philip Johnson is once again hosting its annual summer party, an important fundraiser which aids in the preservation of this architecturally significant gem situated amid a forested splendor in New Canaan, CT. The Local Vault visited the stunning grounds of the late architect’s own home turned museum for a gorgeous afternoon featuring a live performance by award-winning tap dancer and choreographer Ayodele Casel with DJ Paul Sevigny to support this worthy cause.

Built in 1949, the beloved Glass House is startling in its modernity. A master of Modern and Postmodern architecture, Johnson brought with him to New Canaan a vision and a dream of the future that over 70 years later remains as relevant as it is striking. After several years of a pandemic which has sent many searching for their own place within nature, with an influx of city dwellers moving to the country in search of space, this home that so elegantly emphasizes the beauty of bringing the outdoors inside feels especially awe inspiring. This minimalist home, so well considered and well edited both with regard to the building itself as well as the furnishings inside, creates space for stillness and peace, two elements that are always in style.

We had the privilege of spending the afternoon enjoying the home, often described as being Johnson’s “signature work” among a series of iconic designs including the sculpture garden at the Museum of Modern Art and his postmodern skyscraper in Manhattan for AT&T to name only a few.

At the event, a locally sourced picnic lunch by Elm could be enjoyed on tatami mats on the Pavilion or on pillow lounges by Italian textile company Dedar.

A garden installation by artist David Hartt features a selection of flowers corresponding to varieties found in the paintings on view in the Painting Gallery, by artist Charles Ethan Porter (1847 –1923).

Guests sipped rosé by The Pale, played lawn games and bid on a curated auction, hosted by Artsy, of over 120 lots of art, design, luxury experiences, while chatting with supporting artists. Artists with works up for auction included Nan Goldin, Alex Katz, Josephine Meckseper, Kenny Scharf, and Jack Tworkov as well as many emerging voices such as Miya Ando, Sarah Crowner, Futura, Carlos Rolón, and Jen Stark.

All proceeds support the preservation of The Glass House site.

For more information on The Glass House and The National Trust for Historic Preservation, visit The Glass House Visitor Center + Design Store at 199 Elm Street, New Canaan, CT 06840.

Photos by The Local Vault / Text by Liana Hayles Newton

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