Mark Lamster has written an absorbing new biography of the architect and tastemaker Philip Johnson (1906–2005). Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Conn., is the sleek glass box where the privacy of hearth and home surrenders to minimalist design. It made him famous in 1949, and he died in it. He swiped the basic design from German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, never denied it, and made a glorious career borrowing, tweaking, and subverting the work of many others. Oh, and in the 1930s, he was a Nazi. Details, details, Johnson would argue. As Lamster shows, there’s quite a
Something to Consider
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