Philip Johnson “Several new projects have tied me to my desk”- Typed Signed Letter, 1962
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TLS from the architect to Professor Irma Antonetto of the Associazione Culturale Italiana, declining an invitation to speak. May 11, 1962; 1 pp., written on A4 Philip Johnson Associates stationary. "Dear Madame Antonetto:/ How very flattering to get this new offer from you and I hope you believe me when I say I would like nothing better than to speak to your audiences. Unfortunately, several new projects have me tied to my desk, so that for the next few years I am afraid you will have to cross me off your distinguished list. I am truly sorry./ Yours very sincerely, [Signature] Philip Johnson." While Johnson would conclude several projects in the next couple of years, including the Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln, Nebraska (1963), the New York State Theater (renamed David H. Koch Theater) at Lincoln Center (1964); and the New York State Pavilion for the 1964 New York World's Fair, depending on his definition of "new" in this letter, it is more likely he is referring to the Laboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University (1966) or the Kreeger Museum in Washington, D.C. (1967). Expected mailing folds, two holes to left margin, the recipient has written 62-63 in the upper left corner, else fine.
The influential American architect Philip Johnson is especially known for his postmodern work since the 1980s. In 1930, he founded the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In 1978 he was awarded an American Institute of ArchitectsGold Medal and in 1979 the first Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Irma Antonetto (1920-1993), was founder and director of the Associazione Culturale Italiana [Association of Italian Culture] for 46 years, during which time she brought some 400 philosophers, writers, scientists, artists, and Nobel winners to lecture in Italy. She was recipient of the 1964 Cavaliere al merito della Repubblica italiana.