"Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy" Book Launch and Talk

Saturday, March 10th 3:00pm
Cranbrook Schools Kingswood Auditorium
39221 Woodward Avenue
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

A Lecture and Conversation with Author Brian Conway and Photographer James Haefner
Followed by a Reception and Book Signing with the Author and Photographer

Admission is Free 
Advance registration is closed. Limited seating may be available on a first come, first served basis at the event.

The official Book Launch of Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy is presented by the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research in collaboration with Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Office and the assistance of Cranbrook Schools. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the lecture ($60, plus tax). Proceeds from the sale of the book at the Book Launch benefit the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research and the Michigan History Foundation. For additional information, please call the Center at 248.645.3307.

Published by Visual Profile Books, Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy takes readers on a tour of iconic buildings and interiors designed by some of the world’s most renowned and celebrated architects and interior designers, including Eliel and Eero Saarinen and many of their associates. Each of the thirty-four selected projects is carefully documented to record its place in architectural history and the story behind its architect and client. New photography, taken expressly for this book by James Haefner, and enlightening text, by Brian Conway, bring the buildings to life. One breathtaking view after another invites readers to enter and explore the innovative design solutions presented on these pages.

Four of the thirty-four featured projects are part of Cranbrook, including Saarinen House, Kingswood, Cranbrook Art Museum, and the newly acquired Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Smith House. Additional Cranbrook-related projects include the Saarinen Swanson-designed Koebel House in Grosse Pointe Farms and Eero Saarinen’s General Motors Technical Center in Warren.

With 300 pages and 227 color images, the hard bound book Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy will appeal to a wide audience beyond professional designers, art scholars and cultural historians. Indeed, it would be hard for anyone to resist the magnificent buildings and interiors chosen for this publication. The book may well be remembered for raising the public’s awareness and appreciation of early Modern architecture and interior design in Michigan and the nation, inspiring many communities to protect and preserve them in the coming years. It may also convince the nation -- and the world -- to learn more about the vibrant design culture that thrives to this day in the State of Michigan.
Brian D. Conway was appointed Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Officer in 1997. In that capacity, he directs the State Historic Preservation Office in fulfilling the state’s responsibility under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, including the identification, protection, and redevelopment of historic and archaeological resources. Conway holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and a Masters of Architecture degree from the University for Florida and has been involved with historic preservation and the rehabilitation of historic buildings throughout Michigan since 1980. He served on the board of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers and is an adjunct professor in Eastern Michigan University’s graduate program in historic preservation. Conway coauthored the award winning book Michigan Modern: Design That Shaped America published by Gibbs Smith Publishing in 2016. He has lectured across the country on topics related to modernism and historic preservation. Conway’s work on modernism in Michigan won the 2016 Advocacy Award of Excellence from Docomomo-US.
James Haefner’s career in photography spans the last four decades. An accomplished automotive advertising photographer, Haefner’s love of modern design drew him into the architectural world fifteen years ago. Employing a unique workflow, his ability to capture the designer’s intentions—whether the subject is an automobile or a structure—is paramount to his success. Today he balances both areas of interest equally along with a lifetime interest in landscape photography. After graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1976 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Haefner apprenticed for three years before starting his own studio in 1979. His contributions to Michigan Modern: Design That Shaped America led to this book project, which, in many respects, is the culmination of his forty-year career to date.

Kingswood Auditorium is accessible through Cranbrook’s main entrance at 39221 Woodward Avenue, between Big Beaver Road and Long Lake Road. Once on the Cranbrook campus, follow signs to “Kingswood Campus.” The entrance to Kingswood Campus and its parking lot will be the first drive on the left (south side). Free parking is available immediately after you turn into the Kingswood Campus; additional parking is available in the lower lot to the right. Signs will then direct you to the entrance of Kingswood and the Auditorium.

To view a 3D map of campus, click here.

Admission is free.
Advance registration is closed. Limited seating may be available on a first come, first served basis at the event.

Cranbrook Kingswood photograph by James Haefner. Courtesy Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.

Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy Cover. Cover design by Scott Markel; photograph of the General Motors Technical Center by James Haefner. Cover Photography courtesy the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office.

Brian Conway. Photography courtesy James Haefner and the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office.

James Haefner. Photography courtesy James Haefner and the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office.