The
  Cornell
    Journal
      of
        Architecture
10
Unsolicit**ed Comments



Philip Johnson & Sibyl Moholy-Nagy

Philip Cortelyou Johnson was an influential figure in the architecture discipline in the 20th century. Most notable works include his private residence, the Glass House, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Modern Art, the AT&T Building, and the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. He was awarded the first Pritzker Architecture Prize for his seminal contributions to the architecture, art, and design of the 20th century.

Sibyl Moholy-Nagy was an architectural and art historian. She taught visual education, architectural history, and the history of art, with a final appointment at Pratt Institute as a professor of history and theory of architecture. She was a contributing editor to Progressive Architecture, the Architectural Forum, Perspecta, and other architectural journals.
In Mart Stam’s Trousers, Dolf Broekhuizen presents a touching set of correspondences between Philip Johnson and J.J.P. Oud during the Second World War titled “Mr. Oud Loses Ornament—Correspondence between Philip Johnson and J.J.P. Oud, 1931–55.” The content meanders between architectural criticism and expressions of need and gratitude for help during years of paucity in the Netherlands. The correspondence reveals, Broekhuizen notes, that “the genealogy of modern architecture was determined to a significant extent by individual quests, opinion, doubts, and friendships.”

In researching these multifaceted letters as part of our investigations in criticism and correspondence for issue 8: RE, the editors discovered the following correspondence that is yet another captivating interweaving of personal warmth and precise criticism; a narrative of two individuals who care deeply about the practice and criticism of architecture, as well as about each other.

The letters refer to two articles, one by each correspondent, the first page of each being presented here.

—Eds.


















Credits

IMAGE 1 First page of Philip Johnson, “Is Sullivan the Father of Functionalism?” Art News 55 (December 1956): 45–47, 56–57. Copyright © 1956 Art News, llc December. Courtesy of Philip Johnson–Alan Ritchie Architects.

IMAGE 2–3 Letter from Sibyl Moholy-Nagy to Philip Johnson, Dec. 17, 1956. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, U.S.A. Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA /Art Resource, NY. Courtesy of Courtesy of Philip Johnson–Alan Ritchie Architects and Hattula Moholy-Nagy, Moholy-Nagy Foundation.

IMAGE 4 Letter from Philip Johnson to Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, Dec. 19, 1958. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, U.S.A. Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by scala /Art Resource, NY. Courtesy of Courtesy of Philip Johnson–Alan Ritchie Architects and Hattula Moholy-Nagy, Moholy-Nagy Foundation.

IMAGE 5 First page of "F.L.W. and the Ageing of Modern Architecture Progressive Architecture 1959 May, v. 40, pp. 136–142. Sibyl Moholy-Nagy © Architect/ Hanley Wood. Courtesy of Hattula Moholy-Nagy, Moholy-Nagy Foundation.

IMAGE 6 Letter from Philip Johnson to Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, May 12, 1959. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, U.S.A. Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA /Art Resource, NY. Courtesy of Philip Johnson–Alan Ritchie Architects and Hattula Moholy-Nagy, Moholy-Nagy Foundation.

IMAGE 7 Letter from Sibyl Moholy-Nagy to Philip Johnson, May 15, 1959. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, U.S.A. Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY. Courtesy of Philip Johnson–Alan Ritchie Architects and Hattula Moholy-Nagy.



-->


Go back to 8: RE