Friday, October 28, 2016

Registration and Coffee at Cranbrook House from 8 - 8:30am
Bus Departed Cranbrook at 8:45am and returned from Ann Arbor by 5:30pm

$135 Adults, Seniors, and Students (included a $50 tax-deductible donation to the Center)

University of Michigan Host and Guest Speaker:
Amy Harris, Director, University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Additional Hosts and Guest Speakers:
Kenneth C. Fischer, President, University Musical Society
J. Kevin Graffagnino, Director, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
Janet Kreger, Founding Member and Past President, Michigan Historic Preservation Network
Clayton Lewis, Curator of Graphics, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
Tiffany Ng, University Carillonist, University of Michigan
Jeffrey Welch, Retired English Faculty Member, Upper School, Cranbrook Schools

Albert Kahn in Ann Arbor Day Away

Private Lunch at Taste Kitchen hosted by Owner and Chef Danny Van

Sponsored by Albert Kahn Associates

For the Center's eighth Day Away program exploring Cranbrook connections off campus, We headed to Ann Arbor to explore the work of architect Albert Kahn (1869-1942) at the University of Michigan. Kahn’s renowned contributions to the development of modern industrial architecture often overshadow his civic, residential, and institutional commissions; this tour introduced guests to the stories, styles, and successes of his grand campus architecture.

Active at the University of Michigan between 1906 and 1938, Kahn and his office designed over a dozen new buildings (along with several additions and renovations) for the school. At a time when traditional design remained prized at U of M (exemplified in the Collegiate Gothic Law Library and Quadrangle, 1924-33), Kahn crafted academic architecture to house students and scholars in settings as functionally modern as his industrial buildings.

We explored the campus and had in-depth tours of five Kahn landmarks (including interior spaces usually closed to the general public such as the carillon in Burton Memorial Tower) intermingled with narrated walks and drives to view many other of his campus buildings. Along the way we also learned about the relationship between Cranbrook luminaries George Booth, Eliel Saarinen, and Carl Milles to the University of Michigan—connections that are more substantial than you may think!

We had lunch at Taste Kitchen, an acclaimed new restaurant on the northwest edge of campus. Taste Kitchen is the vision of owner and chef Danny Van. Working with local produce and sustainably sourced seafood, Van combines the flavors of his native Vietnam with the legendary culinary techniques of France. Van designed a three-course lunch (paired with a glass of wine or craft beer and followed by coffee) that helped us relax and recharge in the middle of this full day.

Our hosts for the day included Gregory Wittkopp, Director of the Center (and proud graduate of the University of Michigan), the Center’s new Collections Fellow, Kevin Adkisson, and seven additional Albert Kahn and University of Michigan experts. We also welcomed Janet Kreger from the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, whose research has focused on the style battles that took place in Ann Arbor between the traditionalists and the pioneering modernist Albert Kahn. 


8:00 – 8:30am                       
Registration and Coffee
Cranbrook House (Albert Kahn, 1908, 1918 and 1919)
380 Lone Pine Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

8:45am (sharp)         
Bus departed for Ann Arbor from Cranbrook House Parking Lot

10:00 – 11:00am       
Presentations on Albert Kahn
Hatcher Gallery, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library (Albert Kahn, 1920)

Illustrated Lecture by Janet Kreger
“A Battle of Designs: Albert Kahn at the University of Michigan”

Talk by Dr. Jeffrey Welch
“The Cranbrook Connection: George Booth, Eliel Saarinen, and Carl Milles”

(11:00 – 11:15am, Walked to Hill Auditorium)

11:15am – 12:30pm 
Hill Auditorium (Albert Kahn with Ernest Wilby, 1913)
Burton Memorial Tower (Albert Kahn, 1936)
Current Offices of the University Musical Society

Sunday Morning in Deep Waters Fountain (Carl Milles, 1940)

(12:30 – 12:45pm, Walked to Taste Kitchen)

12:45 – 2:15pm         
Private Lunch at Taste Kitchen
521 East Liberty Street

(2:15 – 2:30pm, Bus to Museums Building)

2:30 – 3:00pm                       
Alexander G. Ruthven Museums Building (Albert Kahn, 1928)
Current Home of the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

(3:00 – 3:15pm, Walked to Clements Library)

3:15 – 4:00pm                       
William L. Clements Library (Albert Kahn, 1923)

Bus Departed for Cranbrook

Arrived at Cranbrook House

Additional Information 

The cost of this all-inclusive guided tour was $135 per person, which included a $50 tax-deductible gift to the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.

photo credits

Hill Auditorium (1913) and Burton Memorial Tower (1936), University of Michigan. Photograph Courtesy of University Musical Society, Ann Arbor.
Albert Kahn, Architect. Photography Courtesy of The Henry Ford.