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Cranbrook Academy of Art, 1982 - 1984

 File — Container: Box 4, Folder: 4

Collection Scope

From the Collection:

The collection consists chiefly of correspondence, photographs, early writings of Strengell and published works of her father, Gustaf Strengell, textile samples and her work in the Philippines. Together they document Strengell’s life as a weaver, teacher, photographer, artist, mother and wife.

SERIES I: Personal (1620-1998) contains materials relating to Strengell’s family, specifically several works by her father, Gustaf Strengell, in Finnish. In addition there are notebooks of her early drawings and writings, and an illustrated story written by daughter Sandra Dusenbury at age 15.

SERIES II: Professional (1935-1993)

Subseries 1: Artwork contains her artistic statement, clippings, some writings and notably, her two works documenting her experience in the Philippines helping to establish a cottage industry in weaving and textiles. Also there are a number of textile samples, some identified. Subseries 2: Correspondence (1931-1998) is chiefly letters to and from art institutions regarding the acquisition of her works. However, of particular note are two letters from Eliel Saarinen (translated from the Finnish) urging Strengell to come to Cranbrook, and describing his work, particularly on Kingswood School. Correspondence to Cranbrook Director of Archives Mark Coir sheds light on Strengell’s time at Cranbrook and on Eliel Saarinen’s feelings toward Nazi Germany. In addition, former student Jack Lenor Larsen’s correspondence includes discussion on weaving processes and weaving/textiles at Cranbrook. His essay, “A Case for Pluralism” is also in the collection.

SERIES III: Realia (1922, 1993, 1995) contains two medals awarded to Strengell, and one to her father Gustaf.

SERIES IV: Photographs (1910-1995) consists of two boxes of photographic prints, two boxes of larger, mounted prints, two boxes containing approximately 1500 slides, and 225 negatives. The unmounted prints, chiefly black and white, include photographs of Marianne and Olav, many snapshots of family, some of Wellfleet, and a number of prints her textiles and rugs. The slides cover a variety of topics, from her many travels, to her textile and artistic work, to those used in her lectures. Slides of work by various artists include those of Cranbrook alumni such as Eames, Bertoia and Saarinen.

SERIES V: Oversize (1931, 1974, 1980, n.d.) contains items related to others in the collection, such as an exhibit poster, some fabric samples and a book by Gustaf Strengell. It also contains a framed watercolor Marianne did in 1980 and two framed collages of wood, cork and fabric, possibly by Olav Hammarstrom, per a reference in the finding aid to his papers in the Archives of American Art.


  • 1982 - 1984


Access to the collection is unrestricted.


From the Collection: 9.2 Linear Feet ((7 MS, 6 OS), 225 negatives. Box 10 contains slide boxes 1-5, Box 11 contains slide boxes 6-10.) : Original and copy negatives.

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English