A BEHIND-THE-SCENES ART AND ARCHITECTURE TOUR:
Back to Cranbrook School for Boys with DR. Jeffrey Welch
Saturday, September 7, 2019 | 10:00am—1:30pm
$55, including lunch
Tour is limited to 22 guests
Tour begins at Cranbrook School Library
550 Lone Pine Road
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304 Parking is available at Cranbrook Schools Performing Arts Center
Presented by the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research
Dr. Jeffrey Welch, Retired Faculty Member, Cranbrook Schools (1977 – 2015)
This tour is sold out.
Join us for this special, intimate look at the historic Cranbrook School for Boys campus with retired Professor of English Dr. Jeffrey Welch. This tour will study and interpret the works of art commissioned, purchased, and placed within the school’s courtyards and buildings by Cranbrook founder George Booth and his architect, Eliel Saarinen.
Dr. Welch brings over forty years of experience at Cranbrook into forming his unique understanding and analysis of the school’s art and architecture. A legendary instructor at Cranbrook Schools, since his retirement Dr. Welch has been researching George Booth, Eliel Saarinen, and the formation of Cranbrook in preparation for a book on the subject. This tour combines his scholarly expertise with his personal interpretations of the campus.
Today known as the Cranbrook Campus of the coeducational Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School, Cranbrook School for Boys opened in September 1927.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOUR INCLUDE:
Welcome and Documents from Cranbrook Archives. The morning begins in the Cranbrook School Library Reading Room, where original documents from the formation and design of Cranbrook will be on display courtesy of Cranbrook Archives.
Library Reading Room. The tour kicks off with Dr. Welch’s analysis of The Gift of Knowledge, the monumental carved stone bas relief by Hungarian architect and sculptor Géza Maróti surrounding the fireplace.
North Lobby. In this room that perfectly synthesizes the Arts & Crafts aesthetic of George Booth with the Finnish National Romantic style of Eliel Saarinen, the tour stops to view A Map of North America Depicting the Principal Expeditions of Discovery and Exploration by John Hession Jr., painted across the entire south wall.
South Lobby. Learn about Venice’s special place in the founding ethos of Cranbrook, and see where (and why) Booth hung The Piazzetta, Venice by Luca Carlevarijs, painted in the early 18th century. We’ll also examine the fireplace featuring tiles sculpted by Eero Saarinen and cast at Detroit’s Pewabic Pottery.
Alumni Court. See the progress Cranbrook’s Capital Projects team is making in restoring this special space (including re-carving its limestone columns), and see David Evans’ 1930 bronze relief of the first thirteen members of the Cranbrook football squad.
Quadrangle. As the tour moves about we’ll stop at the highlights of the quadrangle, including the Armillary Sphere, sculpted by Paul Manship in 1924, the Peacock Gates by Eliel Saarinen and fabricated by Oscar Bach, and the fabulous central fountain commissioned for the space by George Booth after an Italian medieval original.
Page Hall. Enter through the Eliel Saarinen-designed and Eero Saarinen-ornamented Baldachin (or gazebo) to the airy Page Hall, where we will discuss The Death of General Wolfe, attributed to Benjamin West, of 1791.
Dining Hall and Lower Dining Hall. One of the most dramatic rooms at Cranbrook, this striking building features Oscar Bach’s Arts and Crafts clock upstairs and, in the lesser known lower level dining hall, a witty history of education in painted frescos by Katherine McEwen.
Lunch and Conversation. The last hour of our tour will feature a sandwich and salad luncheon, with a chance to continue the conversation with Dr. Welch about the history, art, and meaning of this special campus.
The tour will begin at the Cranbrook Campus Library Reading Room, on the quadrangle of Cranbrook Upper School Campus. Free parking is available in the Cranbrook Schools Performing Arts Center parking lot located at 550 Lone Pine Road, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Center staff will be on site to help guide you from the parking lot to check-in at the library.
This Behind-the-Scenes tour will include walking outdoors between campus buildings and multiple sets of stairs.
Advance registration is required as participation is limited. Tickets are non-refundable (but may be transferred to another participant). For more information, please contact the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research. Our Administrative Assistant, Alissa Seelmann-Rutkofske, may be reached at 248.645.3307 (Tuesday through Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm).
This tour is sold out.
Banner Image: View of Cranbrook School Quadrangle, with Running Dogs by Carl Milles in foreground. Colton Graub, photographer. Courtesy Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
Stairway of the Hoey Hall tower. Colton Graub, photographer. Courtesy Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
Cranbrook School Dining Hall interior, October 1936. Copyright Cranbrook Archives.
Dr. Jeffrey Welch. Courtesy Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research
Galileo Door by Géza Maróti. Colton Graub, photographer. Courtesy Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
North Lobby of Hoey Hall featuring A Map of North America Depicting the Principal Expeditions of Discovery and Exploration by John Hession Jr., October 1936. Richard G. Askew, photographer. Copyright Cranbrook Archives.
View of Cranbrook School Quadrangle, 1928. Max Habrecht, photographer. Copyright Cranbrook Archives.