Friends of Kebyar Journal Issue about Bruce Goff’s Gutman House is Available Now

Many Mississippians like golf, but here at Preservation in Mississippi, we like Goff. That is Bruce Goff for the uninitiated. On the site, we have written about Goff’s Mississippi houses, Goff’s colleagues, Goff’s disciples, and Goff’s critics. The fact that the Magnolia State has had two Goff-designed houses constructed here, as well as the presence of several architects who knew or studied under Goff, is something that illustrates that when discussing Mississippi’s architectural history, “It ain’t all moonlight and magnolias.”

At the time of Bruce Goff’s death, he was planning an architecture and creative arts school named Kebyar, which is a Balinese word literally translated as “the process of flowering.” Friends of Kebyar is a non-profit organization which perpetuates Goff’s architectural legacy and teachings and advocates for the promotion and preservation of Organic Architecture, in general. Publishing the Friends of Kebyar Journal is one of the avenues through which they attempt to do so.

The latest issue, Volume 34.1, Number 88, of Friends of Kebyar Journal has been published, arriving in my post office box on Friday. While all Friends of Kebyar Journal issues are interesting, this one is of special interest to Preservation in Mississippi readers as it is about the Gutman House, formerly located in Gulfport.

As stated in the first paragraph, Mississippi has had two Goff-designed houses constructed here, both on the Gulf Coast. Unfortunately, Mississippi currently has one Goff-designed house as only the Gryder House in Ocean Springs is still extant. The Gutman House was lost to a fire in 1986; a great shame as Goff considered the Star House (another name for it) as one of his greatest, most fully realized works.

That gives the current Friends of Kebyar Journal issue more importance as it documents the design and construction of this lost Goff masterpiece. The issue’s forty pages contain correspondence, perspective/presentation drawings, construction drawings, construction photographs by builder and Goff protégé Robert Faust, interior photographs courtesy of Suzy Gutman Tucker, and an essay by Robert Alan Bowlby, who worked for Goff at Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma when the Gutman House was designed and constructed.

The Gutman House Friends of Kebyar Journal issue is available at the Friends of Kebyar website, either for purchase as a single issue or as part of the annual subscription. I do not think a Preservation in Mississippi reader’s bookshelf is complete without it. Mine certainly looks more complete with it on the shelf.

Read posts more about Bruce Goff:

Categories: Architectural Research, Gulf Coast, Gulfport, Historic Preservation, Lost Mississippi, Modernism, Recent Past


2 replies

  1. I’m going to order a copy myself. Thanks, W!


  2. thank you, mr white, for this interesting post. i have known about goff’s work since the 1960s, and i have a ‘sort-of’ personal connection to one of his houses, but not those in ms.

    when i studied architecture at rice in the 1960s, one of my classmates for three years was william(“bill”) bavinger, from norman, ok. his parents, mr and mrs eugene bavinger(he was the head of the art department at u of ok, norman), worked with goff to create their home near norman, ca 1955. it is the famous snail-like tower house that has often been often pictured; sadly, the house gradually “declined”, and the remains were torn down by one of the bavinger children in 2016(i think); my classmate, his brother, had died in an auto accident in 1998.

    when i ‘attended’ rotc summer camp at ft sill, ok, in 1968–50 years after my maternal grandfather was stationed there while a part of the artillery branch during ww1–i used my little free time to sightsee in ok. one of my stops was a visit with the bavingers in norman, and, in fact, the house is/was unforgettable. (i do urge misspres folks to google, “bavinger house, norman, ok”.)

    on the other hand, i can’t imagine growing up in a house like that, and i am glad my own parents ‘contemporary architecture’ tastes in the early 1950s weren’t that bizarre!

    Liked by 1 person

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