The Philip Johnson Tapes: Interviews by Robert A.M. Stern
Edited by Kazys Varnelis
New York: The Monacelli Press, 2008
Debate and banter between the irascible Philip Johnson and the equally articulate and opinionated Robert A. M. Stern generates a provocative combination of astute commentary and personal observation on the state of architecture in the twentieth century.
Philip Johnson's multifaceted career as an architect, curator, and collector extended from the early 1920s to his death in 2005. Captivated by the work of the European modernists Gropius, Le Corbusier, and Mies van der Rohe, Johnson assembled the seminal exhibition "Modern Architecture—International Exhibition" at the Museum of Modern Art in 1932. Among his most notable achievements are the famous Glass House in Connecticut, designed for his own use, and the Seagram Building in New York, in association with Mies van der Rohe.
Recognized as the dean of American architecture, Johnson had a profound influence on the next generation of architects, including Robert A. M. Stern. Stern has conducted a series of ten interviews with Johnson, each covering a decade of his life, that provide an illuminating assessment of a significant period of American architecture.