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Series II: Correspondence


Collection Scope

From the Collection:

The Swanson brothers’ gift included a core grouping of archival materials relating to Eliel, Loja, and Eero Saarinen that had been held by Loja Saarinen until her death and later by Pipsan Saarinen Swanson. This grouping of material constitutes the majority of the Saarinen Family papers.

SERIES I: Biographical and Personal (1922-1969) contains biographical, genealogical and personal papers of Eliel, Loja, and Eero Saarinen.

SERIES II: Correspondence (1904-1985) mostly consists of correspondence to and from the Saarinens, but also has one file concerning the work of Albert Christ-Janer, in relation to his publications on Eliel Saarinen. The file with Albert Christ-Janer correspondence is copyrighted material from the Archives of American Art and cannot be reproduced without permission.

SERIES III: Financial Records (1933-1967) contains files and correspondence pertaining to Eliel and Loja Saarinen's contributions to war-relief efforts in European countries during World War II, tax and medical files, and materials relative to annual memberships to various organizations.

SERIES IV: Design Work and Exhibits (1930-1967) holds files on Studio Loja Saarinen, the textile weaving studio at Cranbrook Academy of Art, as well as articles, correspondence, and several documents concerning Eliel and Loja's design and exhibition works.

SERIES V: Buildings and Projects (1896-1980) is largely an artificial collection of magazine articles, booklets, photocopied newsprint, and specifications related to the many architectural projects undertaken by Eliel Saarinen and his firms, and Eero Saarinen & Associates. The files concerning the Kleinhans Music Hall are copyrighted reproductions and one must receive permission before making additional copies. Writings contains a small number of materials written by or about Eliel Saarinen.

SERIES VI: Writings contains a small number of materials written by or about Eliel Saarinen, however, actual published books have been removed from the collection and are housed in the Archives library collection.

SERIES VII: Photographic Materials (1918, undated) includes photographs, slides, glass negatives, as well as four photograph and scrapbook albums kept by the Saarinen Family.

One scrapbook titled "Eliel Saarinen's Work," consisting of loosely fixed articles and clippings, was disassembled and interfiled within series I and V.


  • 1880 - 1989


Access to the collection is unrestricted.


From the Collection: 7.3 Linear Feet (9 MS, 6 OS, 23 envelopes)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Repository Details

Part of the Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research Repository