press release

The Museum of Modern Art honors seven decades of contributions by one of its most dedicated supporters with From Bauhaus to Pop: Masterworks Given by Philip Johnson, a selection from the hundreds of works he has donated to the Museum. Presented in honor of the renowned architect's ninetieth birthday, the exhibition, which opens June 6, features paintings, sculptures, and drawings, as well as posters, design objects, and architectural models and drawings, many of which epitomize their genres and have become icons of modern art. In conjunction with the exhibition, Philip Johnson has organized a special installation of works in The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, the celebrated space he designed in 1953.

On view through September 3, the exhibition is organized by Kirk Varnedoe, Chief Curator, and Robert Storr, Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, with Terence Riley, Chief Curator, and Christopher Mount, Assistant Curator, Department of Architecture and Design. The installation of the Sculpture Garden is made possible by a generous grant from the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund. In addition to the exhibition, the Museum's annual gala, The Party in the Garden, on June 5, will be dedicated to Mr. Johnson this year. [Separate release available.]

According to Glenn D. Lowry, Director of The Museum of Modern Art, From Bauhaus to Pop recognizes Mr. Johnson's support of the Museum since 1930, when he joined the Advisory Committee of the fledgling institution. For more than sixty years, his contributions as a curator, donor, architect, and Trustee have aided MoMA's development as the world's foremost museum of modern art."

Mr. Johnson was director of the Museum's newly created Department of Architecture from 1932 to 1934 and from 1946 to 1954. (The area was renamed the Department of Architecture and Design in 1949.) As a curator, he organized some of the most influential exhibitions in his field, including the groundbreaking 1932 show Modern Architecture: International Exhibition, co-organized with Henry-Russell Hitchcock; the 1934 Machine Art exhibition of twentieth-century industrial design, from which the Museum took the nucleus of its Design Collection; and Deconstructivist Architecture, in 1988, co-organized with Mark Wigley. Mr. Johnson designed the 1964 additions to the building, as well as the Sculpture Garden. He was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1957.

From Bauhaus to Pop recognizes one of the architect's greatest contributions to the Museum—the art he has donated to the collection, or provided funds for, since 1932. Beginning with gifts of important German paintings in the 1930s and 1940s, Mr. Johnson went on to make extensive donations of postwar art; his gifts in the areas of Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, and Minimalism are among the Museum's masterpieces.

Selections of Painting and Sculpture In all, some eighty paintings, sculptures, and drawings will be on view in the Museum's first-floor International Council Galleries.

Special Garden Installation For his special exhibition of works in The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, Mr. Johnson was given complete access to the Museum's vast sculpture collection. Choosing works for what he describes as "their scale in relation to the garden," Mr. Johnson installed twenty-one works, eleven of which are not usually on view in the garden. These include Max Beckman's Self-Portrait (1936), Louise Bourgeois's Sleeping Figure, II (1959), Alberto Giacometti's Spoon Woman (1926–27), and Jacques Lipchitz's Gertrude Stein (1920).

According to Kirk Varnedoe, "As architect of the Sculpture Garden, Mr. Johnson has a special vision for the way space is articulated and the way sculpture works within it. With this new sculpture installation for the garden, visitors to the Museum will have the unique opportunity to explore and experience this vision in depth—to see the way the garden's creator imagines architecture, sculpture, space, and the natural environment working together." The installation will be on view until the end of the summer.

From Bauhaus to Pop
Masterworks Given by Philip Johnson
Kuratoren: Kirk Varnedoe, Robert Storr, Terence Riley, Christopher Mount