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New York State Museum displays Philip Johnson's "Habitable Sculpture" model
"Habitable Sculpture", Philip Johnson, 2000. Gift of Antonio 'Nino' Vendome and Family.

ALBANY, NY.- The New York State Museum today announced a new ongoing display featuring one of the last building models created by renowned architect Philip Johnson titled the “Habitable Sculpture”. Art investor and developer Antonio ‘Nino’ Vendome and Family recently donated the 8-foot “Habitable Sculpture” model, one of ten created and signed by Johnson, to the New York State Museum. In addition to the model, banners of Johnson’s early brainstorming sketches and a full-color street view rendering of the “Habitable Sculpture” are also on display.

In 2000, Philip Johnson was asked to submit a proposal for a New York City residential building by Antonio (Nino) Vendome, art investor and developer and owner of Nino’s Restaurant, which provided thousands of free meals to workers at Ground Zero after September 11, 2001. Johnson designed an innovative building he called the “Habitable Sculpture”. Although the building was never constructed, in 2001 Johnson said, “It is the best building I ever designed. It is my last opportunity in New York to do something good for the city and something good for art.” Johnson died in 2005.

“The display of this important Philip Johnson collection gives State Museum visitors a unique opportunity to learn about American art, architecture, and innovation,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “The Board of Regents and the State Museum are grateful to donor Antonio ‘Nino’ Vendome and Family for allowing us to display the “Habitable Sculpture” model.”

“Philip Johnson’s “Habitable Sculpture” is an extraordinarily important work by one of America’s greatest architects,” said State Museum Director Mark Schaming. “On view for the first time at the State Museum, the “Habitable Sculpture” gives testimony to Philip Johnson’s life work as an innovator, a visionary American master architect and an artist. We thank Antonio ‘Nino’ Vendome and Family for their generosity in donating the “Habitable Sculpture” model to the Museum.”

One of the great architects of the last century, Philip Johnson first championed the International Style, later promoted Post Modernism, and continued to experiment in his designs throughout his career with groundbreaking approaches. He is best known for the Glass House (1949, his own home in Connecticut), the Seagram Building in New York City (1956, working with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe), the AT&T Building, also in New York (1984, now the Sony Tower), and what became his last project, the Urban Glass House (opened 2005, New York City).

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