Cranbrook Schools

I went to my 50th reunion at Cranbrook Schools in Michigan last month. What a delight to revisit the Saarinen designed school and campus.  I believe my academic training there is so essential to my sense of design in so many ways.  Not only did Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen design the schools, but he designed the metalwork, light fixtures, the furniture, the silverware, and the housewares used by the students.  His wife Loja wove all of the tapestry, curtains, upholstery and rugs, and his son and daughter became a weaver and architect in their own right.  Many of the everyday pieces that we enjoyed 50 years ago are now in museums around the country.  

This description ignores all the contributions by many in the early Arts and Crafts Movement in the United States such as: Carl Milles, Harry Bertoia, Charles and Ray Eames, Marshall Fredericks, Maija Grotell, and others to numerous to mention.  I strongly suggest visiting the Cranbrook campus to get a sense of the enormity of this largely scandinavian culture to the United States.  It's a 40 minute drive from the Detroit Airport in Bloomfield Hills.

Please forgive the quality of my iPhone photos.  The are many books about the schools that provide better photos and details.

 Kingswood dining room chairs.  (Kingswood used to be the girls part of the campus at Cranbrook, although now the boys and girls are taught together.

Kingswood dining room chairs.  (Kingswood used to be the girls part of the campus at Cranbrook, although now the boys and girls are taught together.

weaving by Loja Saarinen
Cranbrook Museum
 The pools

The pools