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Iconic Houses Conference in Norwalk

From 15 to 18 May the Iconic Houses Conference will take place in Norwalk, CT.

Tue, May 15 - Fri, May 18  2018

Dolce Norwalk

From 15 to 18 May the bi-annual international Iconic Houses Conference will take place in Norwalk, CT. Register via this link.

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31 January 2018: Last day to obtain the discounted rate at Dolce Norwalk (if rooms are still available).
6 April 2018Online registration closes.
14 May 2018: Pre-conference House Tours
15 – 18 May 2018: Conference in Dolce Norwalk, CT
19 – 21 May 2108: Post-conference House Tours to Cape Cod and Boston.

About the Conference

15 May – Expert Meetings for house museum professionals and owners of iconic homes 
16 May – Pre-conference tours to three iconic houses upstate New York 
17 May – Lectures followed by tours of iconic private homes in New Canaan 
18 May – Lectures followed by tours of iconic private homes around New Canaan 
19 -21 May Post-conference house tours in Cape Cod, Cambridge and Lincoln, MA

With more exclusive house tours, more authoritative speakers, and more knowledge-sharing networking activities than ever before, ICONIC HOUSES’ fifth international conference is its most ambitious event yet. Taking place from May 15th to 18th at Dolce Norwalk in Norwalk, CT, the conference – on the theme Modernism on the East Coast – Philip Johnson and the Harvard Five – highlights the importance of Modernist residential architecture worldwide, and the urgent need to safeguard its future.

Local Heroes
The conference explores the early days of Modernism on the USA’s East Coast following its arrival from Europe. The New Canaan area has an impressive number of high-quality Modernist homes because the architects who taught at Harvard built houses for themselves and their friends here. Many are the work of the Harvard Five: Philip Johnson, Marcel Breuer, Eliot Noyes, Landis Gores and John Johansen. These unique homes will be the focus of the lectures and conference house tours.

Latin American Accents
A second theme is Iconic Houses in Latin America, the new focus of the organization’s awareness-raising efforts. Representatives of house museums from several Latin American countries will share their struggles to overcome obstacles, as well as their successful survival strategies.

Exclusive House Tours
Wednesday, May 16 (optional pre-conference session): The Marcel Breuer House in the Pocantico Hills of Tarrytown; Russel Wright’s home and studio Manitoga in Garrison; the Usonia community and the Roland Reisley House (Frank Lloyd Wright), a Usonian Home in Pleasantville, New York.

Thursday, May 17: Philip Johnson masterpieces including his own iconic Glass House; Alice Ball House; the Boissonas House and Hodgson House.

Friday, May 18: Harvard Five masterpieces including the family home of Eliot Noyes; the Gores Pavilion by Landis Goris; plus the John Rayward House, Tirranna by Frank Lloyd Wright (tentative owing to sale).

Saturday, May 19 – Monday, May 21: An optional three-day post-conference trip to the modest Modernist holiday homes on Cape Cod, which also takes in Cambridge and ends with Boston’s Gropius House. Tours on Cape Cod include houses designed by Serge Chermayeff, Jack Hall, Paul Weidlinger and Charlie Zehnder.

Top Speakers 
Key stakeholders – curators, owners, restoration architects and residents of iconic houses – reflect a wide spectrum of knowledge, perspectives, and opinions.

Keynote speaker, architect, museum professional, teacher and critic Terence Riley, was Philip Johnson Chief Curator for Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where he championed contemporary and Modernist architecture. He will discuss Philip Johnson’s role in popularizing Modernism in the USA.

The other keynote speaker is noted architectural historian Jorge Francisco Liernur, Emeritus Professor of the History of Architecture, Torcuato di Tella University, Buenos Aires (Argentina) and co-curator of MoMA’s exhibition (2015) Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955–1980. He will share his insights on the origin of the Modern house in Latin America.

Experts Sessions
The conference program also includes expert sessions and case studies devoted to the vital topics of fundraising for house museums and viable alternatives to the house-museum model. Representatives of The National Trust for Historic Preservation (USA), Realdania By Byg (Denmark), Cape Cod Modern House Trust (USA) and the Heritage Houses Trust (Japan) ensure an international perspective. Moderating is Chandler McCoy, who runs the Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative (CMAI) as Senior Project Specialist at the Getty Conservation Institute.

ICONIC HOUSES is the international platform connecting architecturally significant 20th-century houses that are open to the public as house museums. It focuses on conservation, management, policy and cooperation. The website,, lists 150 house museums worldwide and was launched in 2012. The Organizing Board consists of house museum directors Natascha Drabbe (Van Schijndel House Utrecht/Iconic Houses Founding Director), Iveta Cerna (Villa Tugendhat), Janice Lyle (Sunnylands Center and Gardens) and Lynda Waggoner (Fallingwater).

Conference Program Full program and booking details can be found here.

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