Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research is pleased to announce the exhibition Speculative Histories, the fourth intervention of new, site-specific work by Cranbrook Academy of Art students, alumni, and Artists-in-Residence staged within the historic homes of Cranbrook.
This year, some fifty artists from each of the Academy’s eleven departments are participating. For the first time, works will be installed across all three of Cranbrook’s historic house museums: Cranbrook House (1908/1918), Saarinen House (1930), and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Smith House (1950/1968). The new work is being created in dialogue with the art, architecture, and stories of each home’s residents: Cranbrook founders George and Ellen Booth, architect and designers Eliel and Loja Saarinen, and Detroit schoolteachers Melvyn and Sara Smith. Experimental new works in a range of media will be sited directly alongside existing pieces in the homes, challenging the idea of art existing only within the neutral space of the studio or gallery.
The theme, Speculative Histories, encourages the artists to produce objects and interventions that embrace, enlighten, uncover, or imagine histories of the three houses. By placing the pieces within the domestic context, complementing or challenging the objects of the permanent collections of these three significant interiors, the artists will encourage us to think creatively and critically about the history of the homes and campus.
After the new works are installed in each house, the objects and their contexts will be photographed by award-winning Detroit-based photographer Eric Perry. These images will form a virtual exhibition on the Center’s website. During the online Virtual Opening and Lecture, Associate Curator Kevin Adkisson will deliver a guided tour through the exhibition images following remarks from Metalsmithing Department Artist-in-Residence Iris Eichenberg.
Speculative Histories is organized by Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research Associate Curator Kevin Adkisson and Head of the Cranbrook Academy of Art Metalsmithing Department and Artist-in-Residence Iris Eichenberg. Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research is responsible for stewarding the collections of Cranbrook House (in partnership with Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary), Saarinen House (in partnership with Cranbrook Art Museum), and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Smith House.
While admission to the Virtual Opening and Lecture is free, we kindly ask you to consider making a donation to support the work of Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research and our collaborations with Cranbrook’s Program Areas, including the Academy of Art.
ABOUT CRANBROOK ACADEMY OF ART
Cranbrook Academy of Art is the country’s top ranked, graduate-only program in architecture, design, and fine art. Each year, just 75 students are invited to study and live on our landmark Saarinen-designed campus, which features private studios, state-of-the art workshops, a renowned Art Museum, and 300 acres of forests, lakes, and streams, all a short drive from the art, design, and music scene of Detroit. The focus at Cranbrook is on studio practice in one of 11 disciplines: Architecture, 2D, 3D, and 4D Design, Ceramics, Fiber, Metalsmithing, Painting, Photography, Print Media, and Sculpture. The program is anchored by celebrated Artists- and Designers-in-Residence, one for each discipline, all of whom live and practice on campus alongside our students. For more information, visit www.cranbrookart.edu.
ABOUT CRANBROOK CENTER FOR COLLECTIONS AND RESEARCH
Founded in 2012, 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. The Center—which includes Cranbrook Archives—serves a broad audience through its research initiatives and educational programs that include tours, lectures, and numerous behind-the-scenes opportunities.
On the Friday prior to the lecture date, registered participants will receive an email with instructions on how to join this virtual experience; a reminder will be sent one hour prior to the start of the lecture. We are limited in the number of virtual “seats” and each registration is unique. Please do not share the login link with others.
The lecture will begin promptly at 3:00pm Eastern and include a fifteen-minute Q&A session at the end of the presentation.
For more information, please contact the Center at email@example.com or leave a voicemail at 248.645.3307 and we will return your call.
Banner Image: Notguys 17-21 by Annie Meyer, 3D Design 2021, displayed on the Book Room table in Saarinen House, March 2021. Photograph by Eric Perry. Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
No, Thank You by Chelsea Romeo Allen, Sculpture 2022, displayed in the Library of Cranbrook House, March 2021. Photograph by Eric Perry. Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
Chanterelle by Katie Severson, 2D Design 2022, displayed in the bathtub of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Smith House, March 2021. Photograph by Eric Perry. Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
Smith House Sunroom, February 2019. Photograph by Brett Mountain for SEEN Magazine. Courtesy Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
Alissa Lamarre, CAA Metalsmithing 2013, at work in Metalsmithing Department, 2013. Courtesy Cranbrook Academy of Art.