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“Bruce Goff: Tulsa’s Architect” is an art exhibit in collaboration with the Tulsa International Airport that will be on display until January 2025.

Bruce Alonzo Goff was an American architect who worked in many conventional styles including Art Deco, Prairie Style and International Style before moving into original design and becoming one of the founders of organic architecture. One of Tulsa’s most celebrated homegrown artists, his constructions represent many of Tulsa’s iconic buildings. Bruce Goff: The Art of the Continuous Present is presented at the Tulsa International Airport by Goff Fest and curated by Britni Harris, Karl Jones and Jamie Pierson and will be on display through January 2024 with refreshed content presented throughout the year. The exhibition features biographical information, photography, journals, original objects from Goff buildings. architectural drawings, and ephemera to tell a story of Goff’s life and career, his impact on Tulsa and the need for preservation. The exhibition is supported by the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, the OATH Studio, and the Tulsa International Airport.

Location: Post-security, between the TSA Security Checkpoint and the Concourse A gates. 

For more information you can visit their website.

Curated by: Britni Harris, Karl Jones and Jamie Pearson

Presented by: Goff Fest

CASE 1: Origins of Bruce Goff

CASE 2: Buildings

Born in Kansas, Bruce Goff moved with his family as a child to Tulsa, Oklahoma, then a booming oil capital. He first began working for an architecture firm at the age of twelve and his first building was completed shortly after he started high school. Goff designed more than twenty-seven buildings in Tulsa between 1917 and 1929, most of which are still standing. Buildings designed by Goff such as the Tulsa Club Hotel, The Riverside Studio (Spotlight Theater) and the Adah Robinson House (OATH Studio) are among Tulsa’s many architectural gems.

A look into the life of architect Bruce Goff who started his career at the age of 12 in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the firm Rush, Endacott and Rush. This display features some of his early drawings, books by one of his favorite authors – Agatha Christie, a yearbook from the University of Oklahoma highlighting his faculty portrait and other photos of young Bruce, Frank Lloyd Wright and Bruce Goff, a look inside Bruce Goff’s classroom and his time at the University of Oklahoma and Price Tower in Bartlesville, OK.

Art Institute of Chicago, The Ryerson and Burham Libraries

Bruce Goff’s building designs in Tulsa represent a diversity of architectural styles and include works informed by Prairie Style Architecture, the Art Deco movement, and the International Style. His work can be found in numerous American cities and ten different states, from Chicago to Los Angeles, and Minnesota to Mississippi. Tulsa and Oklahoma play host to the largest collections of his works.

This display features the important work Bruce Goff did while in Oklahoma. The buildings images displayed include (from left to right) Boston Avenue Methodist Church (Tulsa), Joe Price House – Shin’en Kan (Bartlesville), John Quincy Adams House (Vinita), Page Warehouse (Tulsa – demolished 1977), and the Bavinger House (Norman – demolished 2016). Other items include (from left to right) a paper model of the Page Warehouse designed by artist Lilly April at Flash Flood Print, a reimagining of the Page Warehouse by Patrick McNicholas of Tulsa Past and a lego build of the Riverside Studio – Spotlight Theater (Tulsa) designed by Wyatt Dunham.

Art Institute of Chicago, The Ryerson and Burham Libraries
Oklahoma Historical Society

CASE 3: Outreach

CASE 4: Preservation

Artists, community leaders, and other architects have long been inspired by Bruce Goff’s life and work. Some of these creatives use elements of his designs for sculptural inspiration; others create city-wide festivals and celebrations inspired by his legacy; and still more meticulously study the importance of his influence on built space and how we interact with it decades after his passing. New work inspired by Goff acts as a continuation of his contributions to the built environment and his influence on architecture and design education through these various forms of outreach.

(from left to right)

“GOFF” documentary BTS crew photo – directed by Britni Harris
Mural located in Tulsa, OK – artist Jamie Pearson at Scraps Designs
“Bruce Goff Day” Proclamation for June 8th granted by the City of Tulsa
Goff Fest 2021 poster – designed by Pearl Rachinsky at Flash Flood Print
Journal by Friends of Kebyar a non-profit promoting preservation
Bruce Goff inspired beers – produced by Good Cause Brewing
Goff Fest 2022 shirt – designed by Julia Stizza at Flash Flood Print
Bandana and sunglasses – designed/printed at Flash Flood Print

Some of Bruce Goff’s most iconic buildings have sadly been lost to history. In Oklahoma, both Shin’en Kan (Bartlesville) and the Bavinger House (Norman) were destroyed rather tragically, and not without scandal. But ever more losses occurred because of a lack of preservation efforts. By remembering the buildings lost and recognizing the efforts of those working to preserve these architectural gems, we hope to inspire a new generation of storytellers to explore and share in Goff’s rich legacy.

This display recognizes those organizations and individuals that are trying to preserve Goff’s legacy and buildings including the Art Institute of Chicago, the current renovation of the Pavilion for Japanese Art (Los Angeles) at LACMA and the Adah Robinson Studio (Tulsa) by the OATH Studio, and the important preservation and educational work being doing at the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture. 

Art Institute of Chicago, The Ryerson and Burham Libraries
Britni Harris
Encyclopedia Britannica
LACMA Unframed
The OATH Studio