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Bruce Goff: A Creative Mind

Cutting Edge Architecture Exhibit Opens at FJJMA

Date: 9 October - 2 Januar 2011
Location: The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma,
      Norman, USA

Perfect Prisms: Crystal Chapel, 2009
Image: Ellen Sandor, Chris Kemp, Chris Day, Ben Carney, and Miguel Delgado, (art)n
30x40 PHSCologram: Duratrans, Kodalth, Plexiglas.
This work was inspired by Bruce Goff’s breathtaking designs for a nondenominational chapel at the University of Oklahoma. The chapel has been constructed with an array of various prisms advancing out into space. Refraction of light and reflection color break up the serene environment and awaken it with new energy.

Although his architectural structures dot the Oklahoma landscape from Norman to Bartlesville, Bruce Goff is celebrated internationally for his innovative design, nontraditional choice of materials and creative ingenuity. The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma pays tribute to Goff in a new exhibition opening Saturday, October 9.

Bruce Goff: A Creative Mind brings previously un-built designs to life through a combination of original drawings, paintings and stunningly detailed three-dimensional virtual reality tours. In addition,  3-D models give viewers the ability look from the outside in at some of Goff’s handiwork.

“After nearly three years of work and more than 20 years since Bruce Goff’s works were exhibited on campus, we are extremely pleased to reintroduce the public to the amazing works of one of the 20th century’s most internationally respected architects,” said Ghislain d’Humières, the Wylodean and Bill Saxon Director of the FJJMA and co-curator of the exhibition.

“Bruce Goff’s incredible architecture is enjoyed, especially, outside the United States,” he said. “Considering his ties to OU and the state of Oklahoma, it is exciting to debut this beautiful exhibition celebrating the innovative spirit of an amazing architect who is still impacting architecture worldwide. Considering that Oklahoma Creativity is hosting the World Creativity Forum in November, it is all too appropriate that Goff is being celebrated internationally in this place, at this time.”

The exhibition is a collaboration between the FJJMA, Price Tower Arts Center in Bartlesville and the OU Colleges of Architecture and Engineering, with animation and 3-D renderings created by Oklahoma City-based Skyline Ink Animation Studios.

The opening includes a day of symposia with guest speakers and ends with a reception. Due to an expected large crowd, the symposia will be held in the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall in the Catlett Music Center across the street to the west of the museum.

The exhibition’s catalog contributors begin with lectures at 10 a.m. Following a lunch break from 12:30 to 2 p.m., a panel discussion runs from 2 to 4 p.m. Museum Association members and the public are invited to the opening reception and Association membership party inside the museum at 7 p.m. Registration is required for the symposia, but all the events are free and open to the public. The exhibition will be open to the public throughout the day.

About Bruce Goff
Goff was born in 1904 in Kansas but came to Oklahoma with his family at the age of 2. He was only 12 when a Tulsa architectural firm took him on as an apprentice in 1916. He completed his first design project at 15. Goff had no formal education beyond high school, but was widely recognized for his creative genius and, along with Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan, he is considered among the pioneers of the organic design movement.

In 1946, Goff accepted an invitation to teach at the then OU School of Architecture. A few months later, he became the school’s chairman, serving from 1947 to 1955. He brought almost instant national and international attention to the university. The school and its students, who came from around the United States and world to study, flourished under Goff’s influence. Following his retirement from OU, Goff was in private practice in Bartlesville, Okla.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Tyler, Texas. He died in Tyler in 1982.

About the exhibition
The exhibition digitally reproduces structures designed by Goff that were never built, such as the Crystal Chapel in Norman, the Garvey residence in Urbana, Ill., a proposed version of the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City and the Viva Hotel in Las Vegas. Additional virtual reality tours of completed homes include the Price residence in Bartlesville, which was built but destroyed by fire in 1996, and the Bavinger residence, which still stands in Norman.

Bruce Goff: A Creative Mind is co-curated by d’Humières and Scott W. Perkins, curator of collections and exhibitions at the Price Tower Arts Center and editor of the exhibition catalog.

For the exhibition, Skyline Ink Animation Studios founder and OU alumnus Brian Eyerman assembled a team of nearly 10 designers to recreate 12 structures through state-of-the-art digital tours. The OU School of Architecture designed and built a large central “pod,” enabling up to 12 visitors at a time to experience one of these tours in 180-degree, full-peripheral view. Additional flat screens located throughout the gallery also display these tours. The OU School of Engineering realized four 3-D models of Goff structures using cutting-edge printing technology. Nearly 30 framed copies of renderings or blueprints of selected projects also are reproduced, and four original paintings by Goff are on display.

A full itinerary of the day’s events, as well as a listing of the guest speakers, selected images from the exhibition and a teaser video, is available on the museum’s website at A listing of fall programs surrounding the exhibition, including concerts, films, guest speakers and more, is available on the museum’s online calendar.

The exhibition remains on display through January 2, 2011. It will then open at the Price Tower Arts Center in Bartlesville January 21–May 1, 2011.

Admission to the museum is free to all OU students with a current student ID and all museum association members, $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children 6 to 17 years of age, $2 for OU faculty/staff, and free for children 5 and under. The museum is closed on Mondays and admission is free on Tuesdays. Information and accommodations on the basis of disability are available by calling +1 (405) 325-4938.

Construction on a new wing is under way, but the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is open and fully functional with exhibitions and programming throughout the entire construction process.

Further Information:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Avenue
Norman, OK 73019-3003 • USA
Tel.: +1 405 325-3272
Fax: +1 405 325-7696

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