The American School
October 2018 Newsletter
Dear friends,

This issue of The American School newsletter takes a closer look at the archive University Libraries is building to help document our rich history. Bridget Burke, University Libraries associate dean for special collections, describes OU Libraries' commitment to developing and preserving The American School Archive.
 
I would also like to invite you to join The American School team on November 13, 2018, to celebrate those who have made possible OU's multi-year commitment to honoring The American School legacy. We will convene on the first floor of Bizzell Library at 4:00 pm to enjoy the "Renegades: Bruce Goff and the American School of Architecture at Bizzell" exhibition, then move to the Blackbird Mezzanine at 5:00 pm. To RSVP for this gathering, please contact Camille Germany (germany@ou.edu) by November 9.
Thank you for your continued interest in The American School project at the OU. We look forward to providing you with more exciting updates soon.

Kind regards,
Stephanie Pilat
Director, Division of Architecture
Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture
The University of Oklahoma
Building The American School of Architecture Archive
By Bridget Burke, University Libraries associate dean for special collections

The  Renegades: Bruce Goff and the American School of Architecture at Bizzell exhibition is the public-facing expression of a year-long collaboration between OU Libraries and the Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture. Behind the scenes, another activity is taking place: soliciting and gathering the American School of Architecture Archive.

The College of Architecture's work to collect the drawings, plans, project files, correspondence, and ephemera of OU architecture faculty and alumni during the 1950s and '60s to establish the archive has gained momentum as word spreads about the American School project through these exhibitions, the first in Venice in May 2018, now at the Bizzell Memorial Library (2018-2019) and later at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (2020). The exhibition featuring the work of Goff and his students is an opportunity to connect with former students, associates, and clients and build enthusiasm and engagement around the archive.

Materials are arriving in boxes and mailing tubes, portfolio cases and brown paper envelopes, and in the form of digital files. They come from the homes and offices of architects who studied or worked with Bruce Goff and others, or from clients whose homes became physical evidence of the work of Goff and his students. 

Recent acquisitions include drawings by Ernest Burden and Harvey Ferrero; ephemera and correspondence from Norman Rudi; material related to Mendel Glickman, who worked with Frank Lloyd Wright before joining the OU architecture faculty, and plans and correspondence between Bruce Goff and Celestine Barby, for whom Goff designed a home in the 1970s. Arn Henderson, the author of Bruce Goff: Architecture of Discipline in Freedom (University of Oklahoma Press, 2017) recently donated his research files and drawings. 
 
Making the collection accessible to researchers is a priority. Two graduate assistants from the Gibbs College of Architecture are working on preliminary inventories of the dozen or so collections that have already been received. Corbin Taggart and Farzan Mahmoudzadeh are using specialized vocabulary to describe the documents and preparing them to be added to the OU Libraries' Western History Collections. As OU Libraries' associate dean of special collections, I am working with Gibbs College of Architecture faculty and personnel to secure the archives.

Collections like this document the important contributions that the OU architecture program made to the practice of architecture in Oklahoma and the nation. They also are opportunities to engage with alumni and involve them in telling the story of the American School of Architecture at OU. It is truly their story, and it is their donations that are making the American School Archive a reality.

Visit  Renegades: Bruce Goff and the American School of Architecture on the main floor of the Bizzell Memorial Library through July 29, 2019.

Th is article originally appeared on the University Libraries website.
Archive Highlight: The Ernest Burden Collection
Above: Drawing by Ernest Burden. The American School Archive. OU Libraries Western History Collection.
Please contact Erik Baker if you would like to support the American School Project.
American School Project Supporters
OU Division of Architecture Professional Advisory Board
The American School project is led by the Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma.