Bruce Goff and the American School of Architecture
Nancy Johnston Records Gallery
Jan. 23 – Apr. 5, 2020
The American School refers to the imaginative school of design and practice that developed under the guidance of Bruce Goff, Herb Greene and others at the University of Oklahoma in the 1950s and ‘60s.
Students were taught to look to sources beyond the accepted canon of Western architecture and to find inspiration in everyday objects, the natural landscape and the designs of Native American tribes. The results of this pedagogical experiment—the fantastic environments imagined on paper and through built works—are characterized by experimental forms, attention to context and material resourcefulness. The architects of the American School have long been characterized as renegades, iconoclasts and apostates.
Renegades: Bruce Goff and the American School of Architecture tells this story of dramatic change in three sections. Moving Past the Beaux-Arts and Bauhaus, the first section, highlights the evolution in American architecture schools at the time. The second section, “Do Not Try to Remember”: The American School Curriculum, showcases the curriculum and student work produced at OU as well as the work of faculty at the time. The American School Legacy, the third section, highlights the contextual, resourceful and experimental built works of American School architects around the world.
Take a quick tour of the exhibition.
Meet the Designer
Exhibition designer Michael Hoffner shares show highlights.
Calling all kids! Download a client card to get started on your own American School project.
About the American School
Learn more about this unique period of design and what OU is doing to preserve its memory.
Host Renegades at Your Institution
Renegades is available to travel! Learn more about hosting this stunning show at your institution.
Renegades: Bruce Goff and the American School of Architecture
Luca Guido, Stephanie Pilat and Angela Person, 2020
Paperback, 272 pages
We’re grateful to the many Renegades who donated their work and shared their stories with us.
This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of an incredible team.
The Exhibition Curation and Research efforts were led by Luca Guido with: Erik Baker, Bridget Burke, Hans Butzer, Sam Callahan, Anthony Cricchio, Angela Person, Stephanie Pilat, Elizabeth Pober, Lynne Rostochil, Carl Siegel, and Matt Stock. The Exhibition Design and Fabrication team was led by Michael Hoffner with: Paul Bagley, Bryan Bloom, Jordan Brauser, Torrey Butzer, Jacob Cullum, John Grunewald, Kimberly Huff, Ken Marold, Joe McFall, John King, Lorenzo Perez, Evan Sack, Bristol Souders, Allyson Stumpf, and Reilly Tuer. Virtual Reality models were created and generously donated by Skyline Ink of Oklahoma City. Physical models were created by OU architecture students including: Jordan Brauser, Ben Decuyper, Emily Hays, Farzan Mahmoudzadeh, and Evan Sack. The team at OU Printing Services, especially Greg Scott, provided amazing support. Special thanks to Somik Ghosh, Avery Hightower, Angela Person and Haley Sandell for preparing this online interactive version of the exhibition.
Support from the OU Libraries staff was critical to the creation of the American School Archive. Special thanks to Bridget Burke, Carl Grant, Kristina Grimsley, Barb Laufersweiller, Rick Luce, and Rick Schultz. We’re grateful for tremendous support from the OU Press, especially Stephanie Evans, Adam Kane, and Tony Roberts. The project would not have been possible without the tireless support from GCA staff and faculty, especially Camille Germany, Leehu Loon, Ginger Murray, Jerry Puckett, and Garrett Stowe. Countless more students, faculty, staff and volunteers have donated their time to these efforts since 2016. A strong partnership between the Gibbs College of Architecture and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art was critical to bringing this exhibition to fruition.
Thank you to our generous donors:
Hans and Torrey Butzer
William Newton Jr.
The Bryan Professorship
The Office of the Provost
Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture
Bruce Goff Chair of Creative Architecture
The Office of the Vice President for Research
Featured image: Ernest Burden, 1955, American School Archive, OU Libraries.