• IdentificationPUBLIC "-//The Art Institute of Chicago::Ryerson and Burnham Archives//TEXT(US::ICA::2011.1::BRUCE J. GRAHAM (1925-2010) PAPERS, 1939-2010 (bulk 1960s-1980s))//EN" "ica201101"
  • TitleGraham, Bruce J., (1925-2010) Papers, 1939-2010 (bulk 1960s-1980s)
  • PublisherRyerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago,
  • Language
    • English
    • English,
    • French,
    • Spanish,
    • Russian,
    • German,
    • Italian,
    • Arabic,
    • Hungarian, and
    • Japanese.
  • Date
    • 1939-2010
    • (bulk 1960s-1980s)
  • Physical Description
    • 23.5 linear feet, (27 boxes), 3 portfolios, 2 oversize portfolios, flat file materials, and 1 tube
    • Manuscripts, photocopies, dot matrix printouts, printed papers, typescripts, newsprint, black and white and color photographs, black and white and color slides, color transparencies, color stereo transparencies, color negatives, black and white and color digital prints, color ink jet prints, color laserprints, diazotypes, indirect electrostatic prints, xeroxes, posters, plaques, diploma covers, flag, pamphlets, holographs, sepia-diazo prints, postcards ink on paper, correspondence, drawings, architectural reprographic prints, VHS videocassettes, and DVDs.
  • RepositoryRyerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago 111 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60603-6110 (312) 443-7292 rbarchives@artic.edu http://www.artic.edu/aic/libraries/rbarchives/rbarchives.html
  • AbstractArchitect and art collector Bruce Graham's professional career and private life is documented through images, papers, and video tapes. Materials relating to Graham's wife, Jane Graham, and their friends, colleagues, and artistic collaborators are also represented.
  • OriginationGraham, Bruce, 1925-2010 Graham, Jane, 1927-2004
  • LocationThe collection is housed in the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries' on-site stacks.

Bruce Graham was born in 1925 in La Cumbre, Colombia of Scottish and Peruvian decent and was raised in Puerto Rico. Graham originally came to the United States in the 1940s to study engineering but, during a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he discovered that his real interest was architecture. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1948, Graham, following the advice of Mies van der Rohe, worked for several years at the Chicago architectural firm of Holabird, Root & Burgee. In 1951 he joined the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as chief of design and was elected a partner in 1960.

At SOM, Graham earned numerous awards and accolades for his Miesian towers. He led the way in distinguishing Chicago's modern skyline: designing Chicago's first post-great depression high-rise, the landmark Inland Steel building; masterminding its two most iconic structures, the John Hancock Center and the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower), which remain two of the tallest buildings in the world; and peppering the city's downtown grid with notable works such as the Brunswick Building, the Equitable Building, Chicago Civic Center (now the Richard J. Daley Center), Three First National Plaza, Madison Plaza, the pink-granite towers of One Magnificent Mile, and the Quaker Tower. His achievements were not limited to Chicago as Graham designed buildings across the United States and in England; Mexico; Hong Kong; Cairo; Barcelona, Spain; Seoul, South Korea; and elsewhere abroad. Graham was named an honorary member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 1966.

Graham's contributions to the field of architecture reach beyond the high-rise corporate structures upon which he built his reputation. At SOM he innovated new working methods, grouping architects and engineers together to form self-contained/ multiple-disciplinary design teams, integrating both design and engineering into the earliest stages of project conception (a organizational re-structuring inspired by his own successful partnership with noted structural engineer Fazlur Khan). He was instrumental in helping to bring great art to the public spaces he designed, including the Miró sculpture in Chicago's Brunswick Plaza, Calder installations in his Sears Tower and Fourth Financial Center buildings, and the Picasso sculpture in Daley Center Plaza. And he helped produce the visionary Chicago 21 plan of 1973, which directly led to the 1998 transformation of fifty-seven acres of Chicago's downtown into a pedestrian friendly Museum Campus.

Graham led a life of community service and philanthropy. He was president of the Chicago Central Area Committee, a trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. He also was a member of the board of trustees and chairman of the board of overseers of the Graduate School of Fine Arts of the University of Pennsylvania and funded the Bruce J. and Jane J. Graham Professorship in architecture.

In 1989, Graham retired from SOM and moved to Hobe Sound, Florida where he opened a new firm, Graham & Graham, in partnership with his wife of 34 years, Jane Abend Graham. Mrs. Graham, an architect in her own right and a highly influential interior designer, was an important influence on Mr. Graham's work and vision. Jane Graham passed away in 2004. Bruce Graham died in Hobe Sound, Florida on March 6, 2010.

The collection represents Graham in his many roles: architect, collector, civic leader, student, educator, father and friend. Graham's contributions to the field of architecture and design are documented through correspondence, slides, lectures, photographs, and plans. His activities as an influential leader and as a well-traveled lecturer are documented by his own writings and those of his critics and admirers.

SERIES I: PROJECT PAPERS. This series of drawings and project notes related to the design and construction of Graham's work is arranged alphabetically by project name.

SERIES II: ARTIST'S PAPERS. This series of papers related to artists associated with Graham and his projects is divided into two sub-series. A. SUBJECT FILES Arranged alphabetically by artist name, this series contains business letters, PR materials, project correspondence, and papers related to commissioned works by Calder, Miró, and Gardy Artigas for Graham designed spaces. B. CORRESPONDENCE This series of personal and professional correspondence between Graham and a number of associated artists is arranged alphabetically by artist name. Of particular note in this collection is a group of letters by Calder to Graham referencing his works for the Sears Tower and Wichita projects.

SERIES III: GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE. Arranged alphabetically by the correspondent's last name, this series includes letters of both a business and personal nature.

SERIES IV: WRITINGS AND LECTURES. This series of speech texts, slide lists, and personal writings by Graham is arranged chronologically by the date of the speech/writing. When no date is known, the papers are alphabetized by either the title or the first five words of the remarks. Included in this series are holograph recounts of Graham's personal and professional life.

SERIES V: PHOTOGRAPHS AND SLIDES. This series of images documents both the architectural output of Graham and his colleagues at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Graham's process of collecting and developing a robust visual vocabulary of architectural styles. The series is divided into two sub-series. A. PROJECTS This series documents Graham's and SOM's projects and proposals as well as a curated collection of buildings by the great architects who influenced Graham and others of his generation. This sub-series is further subdivided into the works of Graham (projects where he is the lead architect, arranged alphabetically by project name); Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (projects/proposals completed during Graham's tenure at SOM, arranged alphabetically by project name); and Other (historically significant buildings not designed by Graham or SOM, arranged alphabetically by architect's name, then by project name). B. OTHER This series of non-project/site specific slides and photographs is subdivided into Graham's professional life and images from his personal interactions. Professional images include associated artists (arranged alphabetically by artist name); group pictures taken at SOM Partners' Meetings and various civic events (grouped by type); and travel of a mixed professional/ personal nature (subdivided further into Partners Meetings (arranged chronologically); Other (photographs from his international travels arranged chronologically by date of travel or, when no date is known, alphabetically by country/state/city (specific locals arranged above general)); and Bound Albums (arranged chronologically by date of travel, some duplication may exist)). Personal images are divided into travel of a personal nature (arranged chronologically); portraits of Bruce Graham (grouped by relative size); portraits of Jane Graham; photos of Jane and Bruce Graham together, and photographs of the Graham children.

SERIES VI: PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL PAPERS. This series documents Grahams various professional and personal affiliations and partnerships and provides some biographical information on Graham's pre-professional life. This series is divided into two sub-series, A. PROFESSIONAL (including awards, certifications, memberships, and printed material related to Graham's partnership at SOM) and B. PERSONAL (including passports, school transcripts, obituary notices, and some materials related to the Graham Foundation). Within each sub-series, materials are arranged alphabetically by subject or document type.

SERIES VII: JANE GRAHAM PAPERS. This series of drawings and papers is divided into three sub-series. A. PROJECT FILES Arranged alphabetically by project name, this series of drawings, photographs, correspondence, and printed papers documents a selection of Jane Graham's interior design projects. B. PROFESSIONAL PAPERS This series, arranged alphabetically by subject/category, contains materials related to Jane Graham's professional career in interior design. Included in the collection are furniture design papers, professional certifications, and PR material for select projects. C. CORRESPONDENCE This series, arranged alphabetically by correspondent's name, is a collection of Mrs. Graham's personal and professional correspondence. Of note are letters from the artist and family friend Chryssa.

SERIES VIII: PRINTED PAPERS. Contains printed materials by and about Graham, SOM, and their collective output. The series is sub-divided into seven sub-series. A. PROJECTS, A-Z This series of site specific articles, presentation and promotional materials, and reports is arranged alphabetically by project name. B. VARIOUS PROJECTS This series of articles and bound items that reference Graham and/or SOM projects is arranged alphabetically by subject/topic. C. ABOUT SOM This series of articles and books documenting Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is arranged alphabetically by bibliographic citation. Various clippings, from newspapers and magazines, collected by Graham are organized in a rough chronological order at the end of the series. D. BY BRUCE GRAHAM A small collection of general interest articles written by Graham. E. ABOUT BRUCE GRAHAM This is a collection of articles profiling Graham and arranged in chronological order. F. INTERVIEWS WITH BRUCE GRAHAM Arranged chronologically, this series documents the numerous interviews Graham granted over his professional career. G. MISCELLANEOUS An assortment of articles and papers, covering a variety of topics, collected by Graham and arranged alphabetically by subject/topic.

SERIES IX: AUDIO-VISUAL MATERIALS. This series of recordings is divided into two sub-series. A. PROJECT RELATED This series, arranged alphabetically by title, collects audio and video recordings which reference or document buildings designed by Graham. B. INTERVIEW WITH GRAHAM Arranged chronologically, this series collects audio and video recordings of Graham interviews.

  • Names
    • Graham, Bruce, 1925-2010
    • Graham, Jane, 1927-2004
    • Gardy Artigas, Joan, 1938-
    • Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976
    • Miró, Joan, 1893-1983
    • Adami, Valerio, 1935-
    • Valentine, DeWain, 1936-
    • Chryssa, 1933-
    • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
    • Graham & Graham
    • Chicago Central Area Committee
  • Subject
    • Graham, Bruce, 1925-2010--Archives
    • Graham, Bruce, 1925-2010---Correspondence
    • Architecture--Study and teaching--United States--History--Sources
    • Architecture--United States--20th century--Sources
    • Architects--United States--Archives
    • Architecture, Modern--20th century--Designs and plans
    • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill--Bibliography
    • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill--Criticism and interpretation
    • Architecture, Modern--20th century--Sources
    • Graham, Bruce, 1925-2010--Criticism and interpretation
    • Sears Tower (Chicago, Ill.)
    • John Hancock Center (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Architectural Photography
    • Architecture--United States--Photographs
    • City planning--United States--History--Sources
    • City planning--Illinois--Chicago--History--Sources











Historic Architecture and Landscape Image Collection: Modern c.1940-, 2008.3. This collection contains images of major works by Graham, including the John Hancock Center and the Sears Tower. Oral history of Bruce John Graham / interviewed by Betty J. Blum, compiled under the auspices of the Chicago Architects Oral History Project, the Ernest R. Graham Study Center for Architectural Drawings, Department of Architecture, the Art Institute of Chicago, 720.973 G738o. History taken in 1997 at Graham's Florida home.

Portions of this collection are restricted; wherever possible, surrogate copies are provided for patron use, as noted in the series listings. The remainder of the collection may be used by qualified readers in the Reading Room of the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at The Art Institute of Chicago. Collections maintained on-site are available for patron use without prior arrangement or appointment. Collections maintained in off-site storage will be retrieved with advance notification; please consult the Archivist for the current retrieval schedule. For further information, patrons are requested to consult http://www.artic.edu/aic/access/access.html

The Art Institute of Chicago is providing access to the materials in the Libraries' collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of the Art Institute is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Archivist, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to permission from the Art Institute, permission of the copyright owner (if not the Art Institute) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distribution, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. The Art Institute makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.

Bruce Graham Papers, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago.

The majority of this collection was donated by the family of Bruce J. Graham, December, 2011. Additional materials were donated by Patrick Pruchnik in 2013.

This collection was processed by Orly Fried in 2012, Heather Tennison in 2013 and Aaron Rutt in 2014.