Research

  • Philip Johnson: A Biography
  • GRANTEE
    Mark Lamster
    GRANT YEAR
    2010

Philip Johnson, The Glass House, New Canaan, CT, 1949. Photo: Mark Lamster.

Philip Johnson is on any shortlist of America's most influential architects, yet he has been the subject of only one full biography, and that was completed more than a decade ago, and before his death. This study fills this gap in the literature. A complete, unvarnished review of Johnson's controversial life and career, the publication devotes attention to his role as a curator, a power broker, a builder, and a cultural figure.

Mark Lamster's writing on architecture appears regularly in print and online for publications including Architect, Metropolis, and the Los Angeles Times. For more than a decade, he was senior editor at Princeton Architectural Press in New York. In 2004, he left the press full time to pursue his own writing career. He has since authored two books, both biographical in nature, and both widely praised. The most recent is Master of Shadows: The Secret Diplomatic Career of the Painter Peter Paul Rubens (Nan Talese/Doubleday, 2009). The first, Spalding's World Tour (PublicAffairs, 2006), was an Editor's Choice selection for the New York Times Book Review. Both projects, like his proposed Johnson biography, are situated at the intersection of culture and politics. Lamster holds an MA in art history from Tufts (with a focus in modern architecture) and a BA from Johns Hopkins University.