Coincident with the 50th anniversary of New York's Stonewall Uprising in 1969, a watershed in the contemporary gay rights movement, and the 70th anniversary of the completion of the Glass House in 1949, Gay Gatherings underscores an essential element of the site's history that has not been fully presented as part of its public interpretation up to this time. "The exhibition highlights the Glass House as an intellectual and artistic gathering place," says Thomas Mellins, co'curator of the show, "where these men's work was collected, exhibited, and performed."
While, from the first, the Glass House served as a salon, it became even more so once Johnson was joined in New Canaan by David Grainger Whitney, the man who would be his partner, beginning in 1960, until the end of both of their lives in 2005. Whtiney, 33 years Johnson's junior, brought not only a passion and talent for art, but also the perspective of a younger generation to Johnson's world.
Gay Gatherings will be presented in two buildings on the Glass House site: Da Monsta and the Painting Gallery. The exhibition begins in Da Monsta with a specially created digital presentation.The presentation visually showcases the relationships among the exhibition’s key figures, both at the Glass House and other cultural venues from Harvard University to The Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center, and the site of the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
Gay Gatherings continues within the Painting Gallery. In the building’s foyer, visitors will encounter 42 postcards written by Cunningham, Johns, Warhol, Rauschenberg to David Whitney, and Philip Johnson to David Whitney. Key holdings in the Glass House collections—paintings by Rauschenberg, Johns, and Warhol—will be shown in the Painting Gallery itself, alongside two photographs by David McCabe taken at the Glass House in 1964-65.