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Ford, Ruth and Sam, House number 1: Elevation Showing Wall

A work made of graphite on tracing paper.

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  • A work made of graphite on tracing paper.




Bruce Alonzo Goff
American, 1904-1982

About this artwork

Bruce Goff designed buildings for the Navy during World War II and there became acquainted with the versatile Quonset hut, a demountable steel structure with a distinctive, half-tube shape. This experience fueled Goff’s increasingly experimental approach to architecture after the war. When asked to create a home for the director of an arts school in Aurora, Illinois, Goff returned to the Quonset hut, whose semicircular ribs created an opportunity for spatial play. Military materials found their way into other parts of the rounded structure as well—including army surplus rope in the ceilings and aircraft domes repurposed as skylights—creating a kind of postwar fantasy far removed from the formulaic ranch houses being built across the Chicago suburbs.


Currently Off View


Architecture and Design


Bruce Alonzo Goff (Architect)


Ford, Ruth and Sam, House number 1: Elevation Showing Wall


United States (Object designed in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Graphite on tracing paper


44.4 × 86.2 cm (17 1/2 × 33 15/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Shin'enKan, Inc.

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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