Glass House's Summer Party celebrates its art and history in style

Ambitious entertainers have long hoped to throw the type of summer party that people will talk about forever. Like the one renowned modernist architect Philip Johnson hosted in New Canaan on an early June night in 1967.

Get your tickets to June 11's Summer Party at Glass House
Outside Johnson’s see-through Glass House, a 1,728-square foot wonder of steel supports and glass walls, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company performed an hour-long program before a crowd of 400-plus guests that included Andy Warhol. Later, the Velvet Underground played a brief set, surrounded by guests dancing frantically.

"Country Happening" Merce Cunningham Performance, 1967 from The Glass House on Vimeo.

Johnson and his longtime partner, curator David Whitney, both had quite a fondness for entertaining. Their spirit lives on in New Canaan — albeit in a more genteel, pastoral manner.

On Saturday, June 11, from noon to 4 p.m., the Glass House will host its fifth annual Summer Party, with all proceeds going to preservation of the property, a National Historic Landmark now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. You can tour the Glass House, as well as the other 14 buildings on the 49-acre property, while eating a picnic lunch (from the Schoolhouse in Cannondale in Wilton) and sipping Taittinger champagne.

DJ Mia Moretti, fresh off performances at the Met Gala and the Cannes Film Festival, is providing the music and also collaborating with Chez Conversations on a sound installation, which can be heard at each of the 14 buildings. Guests can relax in chaise lounges provided by Design Within Reach, which is also operating a photo booth.

“People can enjoy a delicious picnic basket freshly prepared by the Schoolhouse at Cannondale, enjoy a glass of champagne and stroll the grounds,” said Christa Carr, the Glass House's Director of Communications. “There will also be lawn games (ping-pong, croquet), and guides available to show people around.”

Other highlights include two 2016 exhibitions: Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden, consisting of 1,300 steel spheres floating and drifting in the pond behind the Glass House; and late American abstract artist Robert Rauschenberg’s Spreads and Related Works, a group of paintings and works on paper chosen to compliment a Rauschenberg painting Johnson purchased in 1980.

The event will also serve as the launch for 2016 Summer Party artist Vik Muniz’s limited edition work, The Glass House, after Robin Hill, a digital print created in chocolate syrup. The print is included with two of the five ticket options.

In addition, guests can tour the Painting Gallery, which houses Johnson and Whitney’s collection of modern paintings by Cindy Sherman, Julian Schnabel, Frank Stella, Warhol and Rauschenberg; and the recently renovated Sculpture Garden, a five-story, glass-ceiling structure with spiral staircases leading to works by Bruce Nauman, Robert Morris, Andrew Lord and others.

“Rolls-Royce Motors Cars of Greenwich will provide transportation to and from parking, providing a wonderful experience from start to finish,” Carr said.

Notes: Art in America and Moffly Media are the media sponsors for the event, which receives support from Athena Art Finance and additional support from William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty.

More info: For ticket options, visit or call Isabel Richards at 203-978-3011.