1956-1958. Unique collection of materials assembled in 1957 by the architect Bruce Goff for a feature article about his work in the weekly German architecture journal "Bauwelt."
The collection, which includes a fascinating 22-page essay, architectural plans, renderings and photographs of many of Goff's most famous residential and commercial designs, represents what the architect himself deemed noteworthy and is a snapshot of how he wished to portray his practice at the time.
Typewritten “Notes on Architecture” (signed and hand-corrected by Goff, dated June 1957, with pencil notation requesting Douglas Harris be given editing credit), a note (typed and signed) from Goff to "Bauwelt" editor-in-chief Ulrich Conrads, 189 b/w photos, 1 blue-line + 23 black-line prints of various projects, and many typewritten project notes. (detailed inventory available upon request). Several items include signed pencil notes from Goff to Conrads discussing the project: for example, on the red-star-stickered verso of a closeup of a geometric skylight over studio balcony Goff writes, "How about this for the cover? otherwise lets show it large inside."
While the collection surveys many of Goff's famous early works, it concentrates on work contemporaneous to the journal's publication date. All of the black-line prints in the collection are projects from 1956/57 and as such had not yet been documented photographically.
The illustrated article was published in Bauwelt's January 27, 1958 (Heft 4) issue. Goff's essay “Notes on Architecture” was translated into German for the journal by Kurt Lamerdin, and has never been published in English. Two years later Dr. Conrads (together with Hans Sperlich) included several of the images in their popular book "Phantastische Architektur" published by Verlag Gerd Hatje in 1960.
Materials include work, both built and not, in Oklahoma, Illinois, Kentucky, California, Florida, Texas and Venezuela. Among the photographs are: the famous Bavinger residence, the Unseth house with its open roof, Price studio drawings, the Colmorgan house, Tulsa's Boston Avenue Methodist Church and examples of design especially attuned to the client: the Frank house for the owners of Frankoma Pottery Company. Among the project notes, Telemovies building in Bartlesville, Oklahoma 1956: An existing building to be remodeled for an office and sending mechanism for a new enterprise, sending recent movies over cables to TV sets in homes as a public service at a flat rate per month. Downtown Bartlesville where parking is a problem, therefore customers drive into the building onto a turntable which places them in position to drive out after doing their business.
Many photos in the collection are rubber stamped on the verso by the publisher. Many versos also contain various notes from Goff describing the buildings and requesting that the material be returned to his office. Some have crop marks and numbering by the publisher, some have photo credits (Gene Bavinger, Bob Bowlby, Paul Colmorgan, Matt Farrell, Paul Giganti, Griggs Studio, Alfonso Iannelli Jr., Kamper, Ulric Meisel, Larry B. Nicholson Jr., Julius Shulman, Jimmie Wallace, Phil Welch). The black-line prints in the collection were produced (presumably in 1957) by the traditional ozalid process, which makes contact monotone reproductions from original tracing paper drawings. There are hand-written pencil notes on the verso of each, noting the project and often the delineator. Ironically, none of the black-line prints were reproduced in the journal.
Our inventory of the collection (available upon request), includes project descriptions derived from the online catalog of the Bruce Goff archive held at the Department of Architecture at The Art Institute of Chicago, and references the numbering system established by Goff scholar David De Long. Item #15768
On the architect: As a young prodigy, American architect Bruce Alonzo Goff (1904-1982) began his professional life at the unusual age of 12-years old. In 1943 he was appointed head of the Architecture Department at the University of Oklahoma despite a lack of academic grounding and later taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago. Working first in Art Deco and Prairie idioms, he later developed a uniquely signature style involving organic forms tailored to the site, often employing eccentric materials and demonstrating an unconventional spatial sense. Renowned for his architectural drawings, his elegant style and brilliant achievements are evident in this collection.