Welcome

The Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research centralizes the Cranbrook story to increase awareness of—and access to—the diverse art, architectural, landscape, design, and historical resources that comprise the Cranbrook legacy. Founded in 2012, the Center serves a broad audience--including students, scholars, and the general public--through its research initiatives and educational programs, which include tours, lectures, and numerous behind-the-scenes opportunities. 

Cranbrook’s world-renowned campus is a treasure-trove of history, architecture, craftsmanship, design, and beauty. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989, the campus is a living collection of masterworks by architects such as Albert Kahn, Eliel Saarinen, Rafael Moneo, and Billie Tsien and Tod Williams. It isn’t just stunning architecture and sweeping vistas you will see at Cranbrook; the attention to design and detail by Cranbrook artisans are present in the intricate brickwork patterns in walkways and buildings, the ironwork of the gates, and the exquisite statuary that decorates the campus. The grounds of Cranbrook have been walked by some of the most influential people in the worlds of art and design, and the Schools and Academy of Art continue to educate innovative and creative minds.

Designed in the late 1920s and located at the heart of Cranbrook Academy of Art, Saarinen House served as the home and studio of the Finnish-American designers Eliel Saarinen and Loja Saarinen from 1930 through 1950. Saarinen House is Eliel Saarinen’s Art Deco masterwork, and the jewel of Cranbrook’s architectural treasures. The impeccably restored interior features the Saarinens’ original furnishings, including Eliel’s delicately-veneered furniture and Loja’s sumptuous textiles, as well as early furniture designs by their son, Eero Saarinen. 

School teachers Sara Stein and Melvyn Maxwell Smith, undeterred by their modest salaries and guided by a shared love of architecture, met Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin in 1941 and commissioned a custom home. The Smith House in Bloomfield Hills is an excellent example of Wright’s Usonian ideal, which aimed to build quality houses for the American middle class. This tour offers a unique view of this special home, its landscape, and the story of a couple whose vision and determination allowed them to achieve their dream. 

Built in 1908, Cranbrook House was the residence of Cranbrook’s founders, George Gough Booth and Ellen Scripps Booth, and their family. Designed by famed Detroit architect Albert Kahn, the English Arts-and-Crafts style home is the oldest surviving manor home open to the public in metro Detroit, and is now the physical and emotional center of Cranbrook’s campus. Tours of Cranbrook House include the stunning library, the formal dining room, and George Booth’s original office, as well as the handcrafted tapestries, furniture, and wood carvings the Booths commissioned for the house, and the art they collected.

Campus Tours

Cranbrook’s world-renowned campus is a treasure-trove of history, architecture, craftsmanship, design, and beauty. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989, the campus is a living collection of masterworks by architects such as Albert Kahn, Eliel Saarinen, Rafael Moneo, and Billie Tsien and Tod Williams. It isn’t just stunning architecture and sweeping vistas you will see at Cranbrook; the attention to design and detail by Cranbrook artisans are present in the intricate brickwork patterns in walkways and buildings, the ironwork of the gates, and the exquisite statuary that decorates the campus. The grounds of Cranbrook have been walked by some of the most influential people in the worlds of art and design, and the Schools and Academy of Art continue to educate innovative and creative minds.

Saarinen House

Designed in the late 1920s and located at the heart of Cranbrook Academy of Art, Saarinen House served as the home and studio of the Finnish-American designers Eliel Saarinen and Loja Saarinen from 1930 through 1950. Saarinen House is Eliel Saarinen’s Art Deco masterwork, and the jewel of Cranbrook’s architectural treasures. The impeccably restored interior features the Saarinens’ original furnishings, including Eliel’s delicately-veneered furniture and Loja’s sumptuous textiles, as well as early furniture designs by their son, Eero Saarinen. 

Frank Lloyd Wright Smith House

School teachers Sara Stein and Melvyn Maxwell Smith, undeterred by their modest salaries and guided by a shared love of architecture, met Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin in 1941 and commissioned a custom home. The Smith House in Bloomfield Hills is an excellent example of Wright’s Usonian ideal, which aimed to build quality houses for the American middle class. This tour offers a unique view of this special home, its landscape, and the story of a couple whose vision and determination allowed them to achieve their dream. 

Cranbrook House & Gardens

Built in 1908, Cranbrook House was the residence of Cranbrook’s founders, George Gough Booth and Ellen Scripps Booth, and their family. Designed by famed Detroit architect Albert Kahn, the English Arts-and-Crafts style home is the oldest surviving manor home open to the public in metro Detroit, and is now the physical and emotional center of Cranbrook’s campus. Tours of Cranbrook House include the stunning library, the formal dining room, and George Booth’s original office, as well as the handcrafted tapestries, furniture, and wood carvings the Booths commissioned for the house, and the art they collected.

Events

Join us for an upcoming tour, lecture, or behind-the-scenes opportunity. Center programs often sell out in advance; we encourage you to register early!

 

Archives

Cranbrook Archives is the primary research center for the documentation and study of Cranbrook Educational Community's remarkable history.

 

Support

Giving to the Center supports its mission of collections interpretation and stewardship in order to increase awareness of—and access to—the Cranbrook legacy. 

Discover

Cranbrook is recognized for the strength of its educational and cultural programs, the beauty of its grounds, and the exceptional architecture of its many buildings. Here is where you can read stories about its people, places, and things.

Cranbrook Kitchen Sink Blog

Welcome to the Cranbrook Kitchen Sink! A project of the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, the Kitchen Sink is a weekly blog that highlights the history and culture of the entire Cranbrook Educational Community. This is where we explore the objects, photographs, and documents that make up Cranbrook’s 113-year history, bringing to light the important events and forgotten moments of all things Cranbrook. While you will find links below to three of our most recent posts, keep in mind that these are just the tip of the archival iceberg. The Cranbrook Kitchen Sink started back in March 2013, which means there now are hundreds of posts on our WordPress site for you to search and explore.

To subscribe to the blog, and have it delivered directly to your inbox, go to the blog page here and scroll down below the comments to FOLLOW US. Once you enter your email address and click on the button, you will receive updates to the blog as they are posted.

11.3.17

HATS IN THE ALHAMBRA

After a long illness in 1886, Ellen Scripps Booth’s father James Edmund Scripps (1835-1906) retired from his work life in the newspaper business (he had founded Detroit’s The Evening News in 1873).

10.20.17

EDNA VOGEL: CRANBROOK'S OTHER WRIGHT WEAVER

Researching in the Archives before a big tour, I came across an interesting person whom I earmarked to come back and examine further.

10.13.17

THE LITTLEST REBEL

In March 1936, Henry Scripps Booth traveled to California to meet up with his parents who had been wintering out west. 

Banner photo: Colton Graub, CS '13
Read More photos: P.D. Rearick, CAA '10