A Tale of Two Cranbrooks shares the stories of the Cranbrook our founding family the Booths created in Bloomfield Hills, and the Booth ancestral home in Kent, England.

A Tale of Two Cranbrooks

The story begins almost 200 years ago in Cranbrook, a small market town in Kent, England, where generations of the Booth family had worked as coppersmiths; it gathers momentum as the family immigrates to North America in 1844, eventually landing in Toronto, the birthplace of Cranbrook Educational Community co-founder George Gough Booth; and the story flowers in Detroit, where George G. Booth arrives as an ironworker, marries Ellen Scripps, and eventually secures the families’ fortunes as a newspaper publisher.

Using a copper tea kettle made by George G. Booth's great-grandfather as a narrative touchstone, the film explores the family's coppersmithing roots, their influence on the Arts and Crafts movement, and their establishment of Cranbrook Educational Community in Michigan.

"A Tale of Two Cranbrooks" was made possible by the Sponsors of House Party 2023, with gratitude to Bobbi and Stephen Polk and Ryan Polk for making curator Kevin Adkisson’s Pilgrimage to England possible. The film premiered at the Center's gala fundraiser, "A House Party at Two Cranbrooks," at Cranbrook House on May 22, 2023.

Executive Producers: Kevin Adkisson, Vince Chavez, Gregory Wittkopp
Director: Kevin Adkisson
Writers: Kevin Adkisson & Nina Blomfield

Production Company: Elkhorn Media & Entertainment
Cinematographer - UK: James Ducker
Cinematographer - US: Josh Samson, Cory Taylor
Assistant Camera/Grip: Katie Koenigsknecht
Location Sound/Camera: Joe Hopkins
Lead Editor: Emily Craft
Supervising Editor: Anna R. Johnson
Post Production Audio Mix: Doug Raffety
Music: Soundstripe

Narrator: Kevin Adkisson

Special thanks to all who assisted in making this film possible in Cranbrook, Kent and Cranbrook, Michigan

Historic documents, photographs, and film footage from the collections of Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research

Artworks, furniture, and decorative arts on view in Cranbrook House from the Founders Collection, Cranbrook Cultural Properties, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, and the Collection of Cranbrook Art Museum. Gift of George and Ellen Booth.

Season Ticket for The Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society, London, 1890. Designed by Walter Crane. Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum, London, acc. no. E.4164-1915

The works of Geoffrey Chaucer, now newly imprinted, 1896. Designed by Edward Burne-Jones, Michael Wilcox, and William Morris, published bythe Kelmscott Press (Hammersmith, London). Cranbrook Academy of Art Library, Gift of George and Ellen Booth.

Banner Image: House Party 2023 Logo Border, Designed by Ed Ryan, CAA '22.