It may be an odd thing to say, but if ever there were a museum gift shop that I would want to live in, it would be the beautifully curated one at Philip Johnson’s iconic Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut. Set amid 49 picturesque acres, the museum is a vibrant part of a 14-building campus that was once the architect’s personal residence. In addition to the modernist glass dwelling, there’s a sculpture gallery, a lake pavilion and a tiny brick house that was inspired by Filippo Brunelleschi’s 15th-century Duomo.
The Glass House Design Store (first picture), as the museum shop is called, is part-curated by tastemaker Murray Moss and his design firm, MossPop. The space houses items from classic furniture to design objects – Alvar Aalto’s Finlandia vases (from $145, second picture), Alessi tea kettles ($325, third picture) Barcelona chairs ($7,091) to name a few – alongside art tomes and lighting designs.
I was thrilled to discover Building Seagram ($65) – a book detailing the construction of the Mies van der Rohe landmark – by noted patron Phyllis Lambert, as well as Harvard Fivein New Canaan ($39.95), which explores the work of a group of American architects who built homes in the local area. Some wonderful finds for the kitchen were available, too – stainless steel Arne Jacobsen for Stelton coffee pots ($369) and sleek glassware including beer vessels by Oswald Haerdtl for Lobmeyr ($67 each) plus whimsical “hand” brass beer openers by Werkstätte Carl Auböck. Cheese knives by France’s Laguiole Forge ($250, fourth picture) have been dubbed “the only knife you’ll ever need” by Moss, while the Matali Crasset cake knife for Pierre Hermé ($352) is über chic.
I came away with Laguiole Forge’s sommelier corkscrew ($326) for an oenophile friend and, for myself, Andrej Urem’s soy-based candles ($35 each), which are handmade in Brooklyn, and an old-school Braun calculator circa 1981 ($49).
The Glass House boutique’s stock constantly changes – as do the museum exhibitions. One not to miss is Fujiko Nakaya’s Veil (until November 30), commissioned to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Glass House – and the first site-specific project to engage with this wonderful space.