Philip Johnson – Architect
July 22, 2009
“Early unsuccesses shouldn’t bother anybody because it happens to absolutely everybody” – Philip Johnson
Philip Johnson’s story is pretty incredible. He graduated Harvard in 1930 with a degree in philosophy. He became the director of the Architecture department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for about 6 years. It wasn’t until he was 34 years old until he returned to Harvard to study architecture.
He promoted the theory of “International Style” and as a working architect he designed the Seagram Building, Pennzoil Place, IDS Center, NY State Theater at Lincoln Center and his Glass House.
The most amazing thing about Philip Johnson is his humility and the fact that he went back to school for training in architecture at age 34. He didn’t know that it was his calling until later.
When asked whether he ever doubts his abilities:
“Oh goodness yes. I’m thoroughly discouraged right now. But that goes with the territory. You see better people around you all the time. Not to be envious and not to take that out in bitterness is a hard lesson, but you’d better, because you can’t always be Frank Lloyd Wright. You’ve got to learn to live in this world just as you live in it. You’ve got to stand it.”