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Saarinen-Swanson Reunion Records

 Collection
Identifier: 2001-14

Collection Scope

The collection consists of a variety of formats, including printed materials, audiotapes and videotapes, computer disks and photographic materials.

SERIES I: Correspondence (1995-2001) contains correspondence with individuals who were invited to the reunion, who were connected to those invitees, or who were involved in the planning of the reunion. Along with correspondence, the files may include résumés, edited transcripts of remarks made during the reunion and returned to Cranbrook as requested, and original or photocopied articles or other publications. Of particular note is the file (1:20) containing personal correspondence of Eero Saarinen.

SERIES II: Reunion (1995-1996) includes materials that directly relate to the planning, execution, and funding for the reunion event itself. Fundraising and planning correspondence; meeting agendas and notes; registration forms; attendees lists; financial records; publicity materials; and post-reunion notes and publications are included in this series.

SERIES III: Proceedings (1995-2001) consists of items concerned with the publication of the Saarinen Swanson Reunion Proceedings. Grant information, applications and related correspondence; transcripts of audio commentary from the reunion; biographies of reunion speakers; financial records; page mockups and proofs; and copies of the book are included.

Dates

  • 1995 - 2001

Creator

Access

Access to the collection is unrestricted.

Use

Permission to use collection materials must be requested in writing.

History

Eliel Saarinen, along with his wife Loja, son Eero, daughter Pipsan, and son-in-law J. Robert F. Swanson, founded a creative tradition at Cranbrook that endures to this day. The Saarinens' fame and design philosophies attracted many of the brightest talents in the architectural, design, and planning fields to study at Cranbrook or to work for their businesses --- known variously as Saarinen and Swanson; Saarinen and Saarinen; Saarinen, Swanson, and Saarinen; Swanson Associates; and Eero Saarinen & Associates, depending upon the shifting union of the principals.

Recognizing that these associates possessed a wealth of information about the architectural practices of Eliel and Eero Saarinen and the Swansons, the Cranbrook Archives, under the direction of Mark Coir, organized a reunion of more than fifty architects, model makers, draftsmen, and other members of the Saarinen circle at Cranbrook. The reunion, held over the weekend of August 11-13, 1995, was the first concerted attempt to capture recollections in a unified way, and it produced more than eight hours of recorded reminiscences. Edited versions of these memories, along with profiles of the attendees and archival photographs, are included in the reunion proceedings.

Extent

1.3 Linear Feet (3 MS)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Eliel Saarinen, along with his wife Loja, son Eero, daughter Pipsan, and son-in-law J. Robert F. Swanson, founded a creative tradition at Cranbrook that endures to this day. The Saarinens' fame and design philosophies attracted many of the brightest talents in the architectural, design, and planning fields to study at Cranbrook or to work for their businesses --- known variously as Saarinen and Swanson; Saarinen and Saarinen; Saarinen, Swanson, and Saarinen; Swanson Associates; and Eero Saarinen & Associates, depending upon the shifting union of the principals. Recognizing that these associates possessed a wealth of information about the architectural practices of Eliel and Eero Saarinen and the Swansons, the Cranbrook Archives, under the direction of Mark Coir, organized a reunion of more than fifty architects, model makers, draftsmen, and other members of the Saarinen circle at Cranbrook. The reunion, held over the weekend of August 11-13, 1995, was the first concerted attempt to capture recollections in a unified way, and it produced more than eight hours of recorded reminiscences. Edited versions of these memories, along with profiles of the attendees and archival photographs, are included in the reunion proceedings. The collection consists of a variety of formats, including printed materials, audiotapes and videotapes, computer disks and photographic materials.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in three series: SERIES I: Correspondence (boxes 1-2); SERIES II: Reunion (box 2); and SERIES III: Proceedings (boxes 2-3).

Acquisition

Records were generated by Cranbrook Archives.

Related Materials

George Gough Booth Papers (1981-01)

Cranbrook Academy of Art President’s Papers (1981-09)

Cranbrook Architecture Office (1989-01)

J. Robert F. and Pipsan Saarinen Swanson Papers (1990-01)

Saarinen Family Papers (1990-08)

S. Glen Paulsen Papers (1991-25)

Olav Hammarström Collection of Eero Saarinen & Associates Materials (1995-19)

Jack M.Goldman Collection of Eero Saarinen & Associates Materials (1995-46)

Richard Lopacki Photo Collection of Eero Saarinen & Associates (1995-48)

Lewis Zurlo Collection of Eero Saarinen & Associates Materials (1995-66)

John Mesick Collection of Eero Saarinen & Associates Materials (1995-67)

Claude de Forest Collection of Eero Saarinen & Associates Materials (1995-68)

L. Glen Abels Collection of Eero Saarinen & Associates Materials (1995-69)

Astrid Sampe Collection of Eero Saarinen Correspondence (1995-87)

Robert Ziegelman Slide Collection of Eero Saarinen & Associates (1995-92)

Maurice Allen Collection of Eero Saarinen & Associates Materials (1996-34)

Roger Johnson Collection of Eero Saarinen & Associates Materials (1998-03)

Richard Shirk Collection of Eero Saarinen & Associates Materials

Transfers

Photographs were removed to Photograph Special File.

Negatives removed to CEC Negatives.

Audiotapes removed to Audio Cassette Tape Collection (1990-09).

Fourteen U-Matic videotapes were removed to Videotape Collection (1990-35). There is also one VHS tape containing a post-reunion production featuring archival photos, videotaped remarks by attendees, and footage of Cranbrook.

A CDROM contains electronic copies of some reunion correspondence, fundraising, and the various edited drafts of the transcriptions. Also of note on the CD is a file of the list of attendees with their dates of employment and a list of major projects they worked on.

Processing History

Processed by Isabel S. Hansen, April 2004.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Saarinen-Swanson Reunion Records
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid written by Isabel S. Hansen.
Date
April 2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Edition statement
Resource record created by Laura MacNewman.

Repository Details

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

Contact:
39221 Woodward Ave.
P.O. Box 801
Bloomfield Hills MI 48303 US