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William T. Oedel Faculty Lecture- Interpreting an Anecdote: Frank Lloyd Wright Visits Philip Johnson's Glass House

Philip Johnson, Glass House, 1949

Join us at 1:25 pm for our William T. Oedel Faculty Lecture given by Timothy M. Rohan. This talk interprets Paul Rudolph’s eyewitness account about a surprise visit in 1956 by Frank Lloyd Wright to Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, CT. Wright is usually thought to have disliked the Glass House – a famous example of the postwar International Style widely admired for its transparency. According to Rudolph, the Glass House affected Wright powerfully, turning his initial skepticism about it to appreciation. Interpreting Rudolph’s anecdote in light of 1950s architectural discourse reveals that the encounter really concerned Wright’s complicated relationship with postwar American architecture. The talk was first given at a scholarly conference devoted to looking at Wright in new ways, “Rethinking Frank Lloyd Wright at 150,” held at the MoMA from Sept. 13-15, 2017. The conference was organized in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition commemorating Wright’s 150th birthday, “Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive” (June 8 - Oct. 1, 2017).