This year, the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research has announced a new exhibition at the campus' Saarinen House
, which served as a home and studio of the famous Finnish American designers. The installation will feature drawings, letters, and family photographs as well as expanded tours that offer an insight into the lives of the wildly creative family.
The Saarinen family made some of the most treasured works of design in the country, from architect Eliel's designs for Cranbrook's own campus to his son Eero Saarinen's iconic St. Louis Gateway Arch. Eliel's wife, Loja, was the Academy's first head of the Weaving Department from 1930 through 1950.
From a press release:
The Saarinen House Studio — where Loja worked on designs for her rugs and monumental tapestries, and Eliel practiced architecture and discussed projects with his two partners, son Eero Saarinen and son-in-law J. Robert F. Swanson—will be transformed into a showcase of work produced by the entire family from their arrival at Cranbrook in 1925 to Eliel's death in 1950. Sketches, plans, and presentation drawings of their furniture and buildings, as well as period books, articles, and catalogues by or about the family, will be arranged on drafting tables in the Studio for guests to explore. Weavings by Studio Loja Saarinen, ceramics and illustrations by daughter-in-law Lily Swann Saarinen, dresses and tableware by daughter Pipsan Saarinen Swanson, and furniture by Eliel, Eero, and J. Robert F. will also be on display.
During special "Finnish Fridays," the public will have the opportunity to party like a Saarinen. Special "Finnish Fridays" events will include live music in the studio, Loja's pineapple upside down cake served in the courtyard, and Saarinen home movies screened in the living room. There will also be a cash bar, period games, and other Finnish activities. The home tours will be held alongside the Cranbrook Art Museum's exhibition, Finland 100: The Cranbrook Connection.
The exhibition opens to the public Sunday, April 30, with a free open house from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Otherwise, the house is open to the public between May 5 through July 30 on Fridays and Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
More photos of the Saarinen house are below:
Cranbrook Art Museum is located at 39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills; 248.645.3307; cranbrook.edu/center. Saarinen Home tours cost $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $11 for students. Tour price includes admission to the Art Museum. The "Finnish Fridays" events will held on May 5, May 19, June 9, and June 23, from 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 per person in advance or $15 at the door.