Spicer Art Conservation, LLC examined and proposed treatments for the textiles in Philip Johnson’s Brick House adjacent to his private home, The Glass House. This is part of a house wide preservation project for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Glass House complex is a registered National Historic Landmark, considered one of the most significant architectural resources of the Modernist period. A video of the Brick House and the site can be seen on YouTube.
The Brick house is divided into two rooms, a large guest room with walls covered in Fortuny Fabric and a study or reading room. The fabric is a cotton twill that is dyed, printed, and highlighted with printed gild work. The interior design of the bedroom lead Johnson to use similar architectural elements in later projects. He placed the same pink and gold Fortuny Fabric (pictured below) in the woman’s bathroom of the Four Season Restaurant only a few years later. Johnson also placed Fortuny Fabric on the walls of the dining room of the Beck House designed in Dallas TX.
Gwen Spicer gave a talk “Decoding the History of the Fortuny Fabric at Philip Johnson’s Brick House Interior” at the New England Conservation Association held at the Shelburne Museum in September of 2010. A summary of the talk can be read in the blog Inside the Conservator’s Studio.
Above left: View of the Brick House from the inside the Glass House. Above right: Front of Brick House with Art Gallery in the distance.