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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Philip Johnson’s Pro-Nazi Sympathies Detailed in FBI File

Philip Johnson’s Pro-Nazi Sympathies Detailed in FBI File

New York State Pavilion
Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion was opened to the public today for the first time in 27 years (photograph by Allison Meier for Hyperallergic)
Philip Johnson’s grandiose pavilion for the 1964 World’s Fair wasn’t the only skeleton exhumed from his past today. The first public viewing of the pavilion in 27 years was followed by the release online of the renowned architect’s FBI file by the Paleofuture blog, where it was obtained via Freedom of Information Act request. The file, which comprises 171 pages of letters, memoranda, and other documents detailing the architect’s public and private life, reignites the discussion over his controversial Nazi sympathies at a time of intense public interest in the fate of some of his work. The file, embedded in two parts below, also reveals that Johnson was the target of a White House background check in 1963, which Paleofuture presumes was linked to his involvement with the 1964 World’s Fair as architect of the New York State pavilion.
Philip_Johnson.2002.FILARDO
Philip Johnson in 2002, three years before his death. (image via Wikipedia)
The dossier begins with a comprehensive internal FBI memorandum noting that “since 1932″ Johnson, a “homo-sexual,” has “expressed his interest in the coming Revolution and has stated that things will be different ‘when the revolution comes.’” Other letters in the cache are more mysterious, like an anonymous communication from a “loyal American citizen” who writes that though Johnson’s family, or “his people,” are beyond reproach, Philip Johnson “is mesmerized by this evil that is trying overpower the good in the world.”

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