This series contains chronologically-arranged papers, photographs and drawings concerning Goldsmith's life from about the time of his enrollment at the Armour Institute in Chicago, to the mid-1950s when he returned from Europe to America to join Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. These documents are records of Goldsmith's early influences, and his education and training as an architect at the Armour Institute (later the Illinois Institute of Technology) and at the University of Rome. The papers also concern his service as an structural engineer in the U.S. armed forces, work in the office of Mies van der Rohe, and travels in Europe in the early 1950's all of which could be also considered as part of his education.
The documents in this series are interesting for the quantity of Goldsmith's student sketches and research notes, including lectures by and observations on Mies van der Rohe and Pier Luigi Nervi. Moreover, correspondence, notes and photographs reveal a variety of other important influences on the young Goldsmith, such as a pilgrimage to visit Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesan East, and letters to Buckminister Fuller.
Of particular interest are the papers concerning Mies van der Rohe as teacher, mentor and friend to Goldsmith. The fonds contains various documents from office files, including Goldsmith's notations on projects like the Farnsworth House, and collections of period photographs and blueprints of Mies' buildings and furniture designs. Related documentation on Mies exists in various files throughout the fonds, especially in the Mies van der Rohe Centennial Project located in Series 3: Professional Activities - Teaching.
The last section in this series, Papers and Correspondence, which consists of personal and business papers dating from the late 1950's to the mid-1990's. This material includes the Goldsmith-Ferris Portfolio, a collection of 150 mounted photographs (possibly for an exhibition) that presents mostly Goldsmith's collaborative work with architect James Ferris, from the experimental projects in reinforced concrete in Rome to the Kitt Peak Solar Telescope of 1962. Also included are documents concerning Mies van der Rohe's Mansion House Square scheme as revived by architect Peter Carter (1982-84).
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