NEW WORK FROM CRANBROOK ACADEMY OF ART STUDENTS AND ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE
Virtual Exhibition Ongoing from April 2, 2021
Presented by Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research
Welcome to Speculative Histories, the fourth intervention of new, site-specific work from Cranbrook Academy of Art students, staff, and Artists-in-Residence. Over seventy artists staged work within Cranbrook's historic homes: Cranbrook House (1908/1918), Saarinen House (1930), and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Smith House (1950/1968). The new work was created in dialogue with the art, architecture, and stories of each homes’ residents: Cranbrook founders George and Ellen Booth, architect and designers Eliel and Loja Saarinen, and Detroit schoolteachers Melvyn and Sara Smith.
The theme, Speculative Histories, encouraged the artists to produce objects and interventions that embrace, enlighten, uncover, or imagine histories for the three houses. Experimental new works in a range of media, sited directly alongside existing pieces in the homes, challenge the idea of art existing only within the neutral space of the gallery. Award-winning Detroit-based photographer Eric Perry documented the show.
There are two ways to experience the exhibition: watch the virtual guided tour by curators Kevin Adkisson and Iris Eichenberg, with special appearances by three student artists; or explore the exhibition through the pages below, with photographs and short essays about the work.
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.
Color photography by Eric Perry, courtesy Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
Exhibition graphics by Ed Ryan, 2D Design 2022.