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Bruce Goff: A Creative Mind (Oct 12, 2010)

The name Bruce Goff is not nearly as famous as Frank Lloyd Wright’s, but a new gallery exhibition is featuring the lesser-known, yet internationally influential architect with deep Oklahoma connections. As Ghislain d’Humieres shows me around the newest exhibition, “Bruce Goff: A Creative Mind” at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, it’s easy to see this showing is personal. The director of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art lives in a Bruce Goff house in Norman.

Goff was born in Kansas in 1904, but moved to Oklahoma when he was two. He started working in architecture as an apprentice in Tulsa when he was 12, completed his first project at 15, and in 1946 started teaching at the University of Oklahoma School of Architecture, eventually leading the program as chairman.

d’Humieres says it was time to honor Goff in a new way using new technology. As we talk in the exhibit space, the last architectural models arrive, ready to take their places on plain, white pedestals.

This is one of the first art museum uses of a technology that prints the 3-D models of the buildings. The model d’Humieres quickly moves to is a well-known Goff design that could have become an icon on the University of Oklahoma’s Norman campus.

Standing near the 3-D model of the Crystal Chapel, Goff’s drawings of the same building are visible on the wall. And just down the wall a bit is the virtual video tour that soars through the open, yet energetic space in this cathedral of the mind. Tomorrow, the story focuses on the people whose work makes the Goff exhibit possible.

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