Center lectures bring to campus engaging speakers whose topics illuminate Cranbrook's history and enduring legacy.
"Room for a Lady: Loja Saarinen at Cranbrook"—The Director’s Cut
Sunday, September 18, 2022
3:00pm – 4:30pm EDT
Documentary Film Screening and Conversation
Join us for a special screening of the Director’s Cut of the Center’s new documentary, Room for a Lady: Loja Saarinen at Cranbrook. Originally produced for the Center’s May 2022 fundraiser, A House Party at Cranbrook, the expanded Director’s Cut of this exploration of the life and career of designer and textile artist Loja Saarinen includes a new interview with Saarinen’s granddaughter, landscape architect Susan Saarinen. A conversation with the film’s director, Kevin Adkisson, and two of the film’s guest experts, Gerhardt Knodel and Nina Blomfield, will follow the screening.
COMPLICATING COLLECTIONS AT CRANBROOK: REPRESENTATIONS OF A CONFEDERATE GENERAL, THE CRUSADES, AND NATIVE AMERICANS
Sundays, April 10, April 24, and May 1, 2022
3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT A Series of Three Virtual Lectures and Conversations
While Cranbrook’s grounds and architecture serve as sources of beauty and inspiration, several iconic works of art across the campus hold complicated histories. Complicating Collections at Cranbrook, brings four experts to the Center’s virtual auditorium where they will contextualize and enhance our understanding of a sculptural study for a fountain in Texas by Carl Milles intended to memorialize Robert E. Lee; the depiction of the Crusades designed by George Booth and carved by John Kirchmayer in the oak overmantel in the Cranbrook House Library; and the representations of Native Americans by non-Natives in the Cranbrook Map Room, notably A Hunter of Taos painted by Oscar Berninghaus.
Sunday, March 27th, 2022
3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT Virtual Opening and Lecture
Engaging in the Academy’s long tradition of making functional art and objects for the table, approximately fifty artists from each of the Academy’s eleven departments have created work for tables in Cranbrook’s historic house museums. Created in dialogue with the decorative arts and architecture of each site, experimental new works in a range of media will be sited directly alongside existing pieces in the homes and from Cranbrook collections, challenging the idea of art existing only within the neutral space of the studio or gallery.
PIPSAN SAARINEN SWANSON: MAKING OF A MODERN DESIGNER
Monday, March 21st, 2022
7:00pm - 8:15pm EDT Virtual Lecture
Join the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research for our latest Uncovering the Archives program, as we once again delve into the collections of Cranbrook Archives and bring to light new scholarship. Guest speakers Alison Kowalski and Karen Swanson will explore the largely untold story of Pipsan Saarinen Swanson.
Sunday, June 27th, 2021
4:00pm - 5:15pm
Admission is Free and Open to the Public
Join Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research on a photographic journey to midcentury Iraq and explore a nation at a crossroads, when the country and its landscapes of ancient Mesopotamia were en route to tremendous change. Drawing from Cranbrook Archives’ vast collection of Cranbrook Institute of Science photographs, experience a unique opportunity to rediscover a decades-old scientific research trip from an entirely fresh art historical and cultural perspective.
Modernism, Textile Design in India, and the Cranbrook Connection
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021
1:00pm - 2:15pm
$20 per Viewer
Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research is pleased to announce the launch of a new seminar program series highlighting the collections of Cranbrook Archives and the contributions they are making to the development of new knowledge.
For the inaugural seminar, Vishal Khandelwal will examine a fascinating connection between mid-century textile design in the United States and India—a connection informed by his research conducted from 2019 to 2021 in Cranbrook Archives.
UNSETTLING LANDSCAPES AT CRANBROOK: HISTORIES OF INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES, THE JAPANESE EXPERIENCE, AND SUBURBAN SEGREGATION
A Series of Three Virtual Lectures and Conversations
Join Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research as we examine the histories of three of Cranbrook’s iconic cultural landscapes through the lens of racial and social justice. The 2021 installment of the annual Bauder Lecture Series, Unsettling Landscapes at Cranbrook, brings six historians and experts to the Center’s virtual auditorium where they will help us explore, expand, and enrich our understanding of the histories associated with Cranbrook’s original 1904 Booth Estate, the 1915 Japanese Garden, and the 1950 Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Smith House.
Genius Loci: A Tour of America’s Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios
Sunday, March 14th, 2021
3:00pm - 4:15pm Eastern Time
From the desert vistas of Georgia O’Keefe’s New Mexico ranch to Winslow Homer’s studio on the rocky, windswept cost of southern Maine, the homes and studios of illustrious American artists are sites of extraordinary creativity. Forty-four of the nation’s most celebrated homes and studios have been part of a national coalition of independent museums, the Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. On February 10, 2021, the National Trust added four more sites to this prestigious network—one of them is Saarinen House. Join your friends at Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research as we both celebrate this milestone in the history of Saarinen House as a public museum and learn about some of the other forty-seven sites in this nationwide network.
HISTORY OF AMERICAN ARCHITECTURE: CRANBROOK VISITORS
11:00am-12:15pm EST | 7:00pm-8:15pm EST
Virtual Lecture Series
In the fourth annual installment of the Center’s popular series, Kevin Adkisson will examine the past ninety years of architecture history through the framework of distinguished architects who have lectured at Cranbrook and visited the Academy of Art.
EERO SAARINEN AND YALE UNIVERSITY: EDUCATION AND ARCHITECTURE
Tuesday, October 27, 2020 | 10am & 7pm
This lecture will present Eero Saarinen’s time studying and building at Yale within the context of his teenage years working with his parents in the development of Cranbrook, and the impact his time among the students at Cranbrook Academy of Art in the 1930s had on his trajectory as an architect.
FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT AND JAPAN: INFLUENCES, IMPORTS, AND IMPACT
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 | 10am & 7pm
This lecture will trace Wright’s career as a collector of Japanese art, as an architect working in Tokyo, and the lifelong impact of Japanese architecture and gardens on Wright’s designs for American homes.
This lecture will introduce the pedagogy and designs of the Bauhaus, and compare the German institution with our own Academy of Art. How were they similar? How were they different? How are the legacies of each intertwined, and where do they diverge? Join us for this special Uncovering Cranbrook lecture where we will attempt to answer: Is Cranbrook an American Bauhaus?
Studio Loja Saarinen: The Art and Architecture of Weaving
Join Kevin Adkisson in this 50-minute survey of the weaving enterprise led by Loja Saarinen—Studio Loja Saarinen. Staffed by a team of Swedish immigrant weavers, the Studio produced rugs, curtains, and fabrics for use at Cranbrook and around the country. The lecture will review the Studio’s inception and operation, study the textile designs for Kingswood School for Girls, completed in the early 1930s, and focus on how Loja’s textiles were central to the vision of her husband, architect Eliel Saarinen.
BAUDER LECTURE | CARS: ACCELERATING THE MODERN WORLD
Brendan Cormier, Senior Design Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, discussed the exhibition he co-curated, “Cars,” with Center Director Greg Wittkopp in this virtual lecture. Cormier presents the car as a force for change and symbol of social, political, personal, and economic transformation.
HISTORY OF AMERICAN ARCHITECTURE: CRANBROOK IN CONTEXT
Join curator Kevin Adkisson for this five-part lecture series surveying the history of American architecture through the lens of Cranbrook’s distinct and impressive architectural history. Each seventy-five minute talk moves between the story of Cranbrook’s creation and the history of modern architecture.
Sunday, June 12, 2022 | 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
Presented by the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, in collaboration with the Albert Kahn Legacy Foundation and Albert Kahn Associates
Conversation, Book Signing, and Reception with Twelve Authors
Where Today Meets Tomorrow: Eero Saarinen and the General Motors Technical Center
Sunday, November 10, 2019 | 3:00pm
Lecture, Conversation, and Book Signing with Author Susan Skarsgard
Lecture Only: $10 for adults and seniors, $5 for students
Book & Lecture: $70 for adults and seniors, $65 for students
Monday Evenings, January 28, 2019 - March 4, 2019 | 6:30pm
Join the Cranbrook for Collections and Research Collections Fellow Kevin Adkisson for this six-week lecture series surveying the history of six building typologies in American architecture. By examining the intersection of design with social, political, and economic forces, this series will introduce ways of seeing and understanding our built environment.
Tuesday, May 1, 2018 | 7:00pm
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 | 7:00pm
Thursday, May 17, 2018 | 7:00pm
Tuesday, May 22, 2018 | 7:00pm
This lecture series will feature a presentation of the 2018 Historic Landscape Study of Cranbrook’s Japanese Garden as well as an opportunity to hear from three of the most respected Japanese garden designers working in North America.
The Voices of Cranbrook: History Speaks for Itself
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 | 6:30 pm
Join the Center's Head Archivist for an evening of insight, surprise, and laughter. Hear the voices of some of the people who helped shape Cranbrook, especially during the second half of the twentieth century.
"Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy" Book Launch and Talk
Saturday, March 10, 2018 | 3:00pm
Celebrate the official book launch of Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy at this free lecture and conversation with the author Brian Conway and photographer James Haefner, followed by a reception and book signing.
Monday Evenings, January 29 - March 5, 2018 | 6:30pm
Join the Cranbrook for Collections and Research Collections Fellow Kevin Adkisson in this six-week lecture series on the history of American architecture. Using Cranbrook and Detroit as a microcosm of larger developments in American architecture, this series will introduce ways of seeing and understanding the built environment.
"Ellen Browning Scripps: New Money and American Philanthropy" Book Talk
Sunday, November 12, 2017
In her talk at Cranbrook House, Molly McClain will bring to life an extraordinary woman, Ellen Browning Scripps, who played a vital role in the history of women, California, the American West -- and the story of the Scripps and Booth families in Michigan.
The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter
Inaugural Bauder Lecture
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Best-selling author and journalist David Sax lectured about his book, The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter, which examines the demand for tangible media and handmade objects in the wake of the digital revolution.