While the main attraction at Philip Johnson's New Canaan CT property is the Glass House itself, there are several ancillary structures on the estate that he and his partner David Whitney used to entertain and house some of their art collection.
From above the main house, you can see in this picture a portion of the Brick House, designed for guests. In opposition to the transparency of the glass house, the brick house has only three round windows on its rear façade. According to our guide, the Brick House was inundated by water shortly after the the property opened to the public, resulting in extensive damage to the interior and its furnishings. The restoration project has been underway since 2008.
To the right, out of frame in the picture above, is the swimming pool, seen below.
As we continue across the upper path, we arrive at what appears to be an underground bunker, but is in fact the Painting Gallery. Johnson and Whitney were avid supporters of contemporary artists and collected a variety of works. Many of their larger pieces are housed in this masonry and earth berm facility built in 1965. Within the three circular pods, center spindles allow for storage of 42 works, although only a few are viewed at one time.
Stepping further into the three circles, a few of the pieces on display, the first two by Frank Stella:
Two more pieces, sorry I didn't catch the artist's name on these…
From the painting gallery, we next visit the Sculpture Gallery. The gallery features five levels and was designed to feel like a Greek village on the side of a volcano, where streets are staircases. The interior play of light in this building is stunning. Some of the most appealing pieces (to me, anyway):
The tour ends with a walk to the top of the driveway and a brief look at Da Monsta, which Johnson conceived as a future visitor center after his death. Sadly it proved to be too small for that task.
Part of the joy of exploring this wonderful National Trust site on a beautiful day was spending it with dear friends. Here we are having a well deserved rest in charming New Canaan CT.
Be sure to book a tour of Philip Johnson's Glass House on your next visit to Connecticut. You are sure to enjoy this modernist architectural gem in its pristine setting.