Skip to main content

Mod Photog

Modern Architecture Photography Exhibition Comes to Oklahoma

Oklahoma Modernism Rediscovered
April 30 to June 7, 2009
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Famous architectural photographer, Julius Shulman, stopped by OKC's Untitled Artspace last September for a small exhibition and lecture. If you were unable to attend that event, don't despair- you'll have another chance April 30 through June 7, 2009. Those are the dates for Julius Shulman: Oklahoma Modernism Rediscovered, featuring photographs of some of Oklahoma's most unique mid-century buildings. Photographed by one of the world's most famous architectural photographers!

© J. Paul Getty TrustIf the name doesn't ring a bell, the style probably will (see Modernity and Metropolis from the Getty Archive). Shulman, now 99, is credited with creating the "look" associated with California modernism. His photographs of architectural icons designed by Neutra, Koenig and Lautner have become icons in their own right.

The exhibit in Oklahoma City will showcase his work here in the Sooner State in the early Sixties. His subjects include Founder's Bank (right), Bruce Goff's Bavinger House in Norman, the rotund State Capitol Bank and many more. Special events are also planned, including a book signing on opening night.

Bus Tour
A guided bus tour is also planned for May 2 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Magic Modern Bus TourVisitors will have a chance to see the architectural subjects Shulman photographed in the Sixties. At least five commercial properties and private residences are on the schedule and the lucky tourists get to see them up-close... inside and out! Cost for the bus tour is $45 for adults, $35 for OKCMOA members or $25 for students. A box lunch is included.

The bus tour departs from the southwest parking lot of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 222 NW 15th Street in Oklahoma City. Seating is limited and is available on a first come, first served basis. Advance tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 21. Purchase online through or call 405-278-8237 between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.

For more on the works and theory of Julius Shulman listen to this excellent 2005 interview from Day to Day.


Hi there - Jen from OKC here - I recently wrote about Shulman for Oklahoma Today. Any chance you could take a look at a painting I bought today and give me some idea of the architect, location, etc.? I will post later tonigth. Thanks, jen
Shane Hood said…

I would like to see the painting as well. Is it a rendering of a building? You can send the image to my email at

-shane hood

Modern Choices

Popular posts from this blog

Home of ORU Architect on the Auction Block

Frank Wallace is best known as the man behind the futuristic look of the Oral Roberts University campus. On October 14, 2010 his unique home overlooking ORU will be sold in a public auction conducted by Mister Ed's Auctions. Jackie and I recently had a chance to visit with Mr. Wallace and learn more about the house, his career and his thoughts on architecture.

When we visited we expected to snap a few photos of an empty house and speak with a representative from the auction company. To our surprise the door opened, and we were greeted by Mr. Wallace himself! After assuring him we were not architects, he let us look around. Unfortunately we were not prepared to interview the man whose buildings incite such extremely diverse reactions- but that didn't stop me from asking him several questions anyway. 

The home, completed in 1980, was designed and built by Wallace who is now 87. The expansive home is so large that Wallace spends most of his time in a room that was his late w…

Futuristic Acorn Hull House

Today the sign out front says "Acorn Hull House."

I've also heard it called the Zebco House (aka Zero Electric Bomb Company, an oilfield business that later became a famous maker of fishing reels). The rumor goes it was built for a Zebco executive and designed in the shape of a fishing reel. From above the home does have the shape of a fishing reel- as in round- but beyond that I don't really see that much resemblance.

I have no idea if the fishing reel story is true, or who designed the circular abode. Here's an aerial view from Google Maps- click to enlarge the image and see if you think it looks more like an acorn or a fishing reel...

It definitely has the look of a Frank Wallace design with that Klingon inspired skylight. But the Tiki-esque look also suggests a Blaine Imel. No matter who is to responsible, they did a great job creating a unique and fascinating exterior. Now if we can just get a tour of the inside!

This unusual house is located off US-412 near …

The World Museum

The widening of I-44 through Tulsa will soon claim another mid-century building (see Modern Homes Make Way for I-44).

This unusual landmark near Peoria, once known as the World Museum, is being emptied in preparation for demolition.

The concrete complex was built in 1963 by the Osborn Ministries as a museum and "Interstate Temple." Self-proclaimed minister, T. L. Osborn, and his wife, Daisy, traveled the world as Christian missionaries and collected art and artifacts on their journeys. The unusual La Concha-esque building housed their partial collection and distracted motorists touring along the new Skelly Bypass (aka I-44).

The exterior of the building is adorned with maps of the world's continents. In its heyday there was a good deal more- a giant outline of Jesus was on one wall. The inscription below it, "REX," provided one of my earliest Latin lessons when I asked Dad why that building had my name on it. There was also a large globe that once stood out front …