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The Glass House, 1

July 26, 2013

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Today, a bunch of photos & some thoughts.

First, above are photos I took at The Glass House by renowned architect Philip Johnson. It’s located in New Canaan, CT. I visited a couple of weeks ago with my friends Shari & Tom and we really enjoyed the tour and walking around this historic piece of architecture. Everything – the grounds, the sculptures, the reflections & blurred lines between outdoors/indoors, and the house itself – was thought-provoking and inspiring. I also got to see Tauba Auerbach’s sculpture that is installed in the house this summer as part of the exhibition Night (1947-2015). So good.

(NB: inevitably, I know these photos will end up on Pinterest with comments like “I want to move into this house!” which is, already, making me laugh/sigh. This is a National Trust Historic Site, not some home in Dwell magazine. Let’s all just agree to enjoy Johnson’s skill & vision and marvel at the beauty found on this site, and maybe refrain from pinning these images to “kitchen inspiration” pinboards, yeah? Consider the context. It’s important.)

I have more images from our visit to New Canaan – I’ll share more next week!

 
 
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Second, some things I’ve been enjoying/thinking about lately:

+ Ricky Swallow’s new(ish?) website ( & the log, wow!)
+ This post from my friend Ken Tisuthiwongse
+ Ruby Sky Stiler studio visit on Post New (photographed by the talented Clement Pascal)
+ This reblog from Todd Hido, photography master; I couldn’t agree more with this statement: stop worrying about which camera a photographer is using and just admire the image & the photographer’s eye.
+ Speaking of admiring the photographer’s eye: Tony Luong’s series, “Two Roofs”

 
 
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Pardon my rants about Pinterest & camera questions … but these are 2 things that always bug me.

Have a good weekend / see you next week.

14 Comments
  1. Anna permalink
    July 26, 2013 11:06 am

    first of all, beautiful images! as always.

    something to consider with regards to the pinterest rant: while context is important, and as you state it is not “move-in ready”, i do not see the problem with pinning for inspiration. that site is art, and art is meant to inspire. if a beautiful and artful home is something you strive for, then what is the issue in looking to visionaries for a little direction?

    just a thought…

    • July 26, 2013 11:13 am

      Yes, I completely agree with you – it’s complicated. I think about this alot – and I think my biggest issue is that the photo then seems to become less about the “art” and “vision” and more about acquisition/buying/wanting. Inspiration is great, but somewhere along the way, inspiration has been conflated with wanting to acquire something. And the public nature of Pinterest seems to spur this on. I guess I just wish that people were more curious, rather than simply consuming.

      Of course, this is a complicated issue and I acknowledge that … but I think it’s important to be aware of the context of the image and the history of the site. Too often, Pinterest (and Tumblr, etc.) takes the image out of context and that’s unfortunate to me.

      Appreciate your thoughts, Anna.

      • Milena permalink
        January 17, 2014 11:30 pm

        Beautiful pictures!
        I must admit that I had similar questions to Anna’s, popping in my mind when I read your comments about Pinterest: what about ordinary someone’s appreciation of beauty being part of the “context”, what if this someone has only pinterest to gather ideas, “hang” pictures on imaginary walls, get inspired?
        I guess I believe that art is here to make our life better and more beatiful. I know this is a very subjective opinion and one can probably read and write books on the purpose of art (and I add photography and architecture in this category).
        Anyhow your reply to the comment sheds light to your viewpoint, which is far more complex than the “rant” and makes a good point as well.
        Thank you for sharing: pictures, rant, comment, everything.
        Milena
        Btw: to put the things in context, it’s five in the morning here in Brussels, Belgium and I just spent +1 hour browsing your beautiful pictures and blog. I am not insomniac but my toddler and baby had hard night sleeping, so in between caring for them I opened pinterest, stumbled on a beautiful picture, pinned it on my board, got curious and decided to find out more about it and who did it. That’s how I found you. You made my life a bit more beautiful today.

      • January 18, 2014 4:37 am

        Thank you for such a nice comment, Milena. Best, Brian

        On Sat, Jan 18, 2014 at 4:30 AM, the blue hour

  2. July 26, 2013 3:30 pm

    I know what you mean about Pinterest. It creates and fosters this unattainable reality, and it is all about buy/want/better/prettier. It’s overwhelming. Your photos are gorgeous and I understand the want to respect this historical site as it is.

  3. July 27, 2013 1:35 am

    Brilliant captures. Would like to visit this beautiful historic site sometime.

  4. July 27, 2013 5:13 am

    Sometimes I’m just curious about which analog camera people use and enjoy because I have troubles finding the right one myself! Last deception in date: contax g1. Still not the one.

  5. July 27, 2013 8:04 am

    Great to see these, Brian. It’s an interesting modernist building. Maybe not up there with Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth house, but close!

  6. July 28, 2013 8:53 pm

    that one of the trees reflected in the mirrored tray on the table. that one.
    t.

  7. July 29, 2013 9:51 am

    this is awesome. cant wait to go see the glass house myself soon!

  8. mike permalink
    July 30, 2013 11:10 am

    Since I gather you’re from Connecticut and somewhat familiar with the region’s history and claims to fame, would you have the same complaint for someone who walks into say a “George Washington Slept Here” or other historically correct house and said, “Oh…I really like the period decor. I wish I could decorate my house like that.” Not throwing stones (pun intended) because I’m not sure where my line necessarily lies on this issue (but I’m more likely than not on the anti-consumerist side), but more curious about what brought the rant about this house in particular.

  9. July 30, 2013 3:09 pm

    This place is forever on my bucket list, alongside Falling Water. You’ve captured it beautifully, Brian. Those window reflections — unreal.

  10. Gabriel permalink
    August 5, 2013 4:42 pm

    Yes, so beautifully captured. Really lovely photos, as always.

  11. August 26, 2013 8:54 pm

    Love your “rants” on pinterest and photog questions. Couldn’t agree more. We’ve become so narcissistic even to the point of wanting someone’s camera equipment instead of admiring their artistic point of view. Your photos are beautiful, as always.

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