Cranbrook Academy of Art Women's Committee
The Women's Committee Records reflect mainly their fundraising activities for the Academy. They include historical information about the founding of the committee; administrative materials relating to event and program planning, and fundraising initiatives; and correspondence related to their participation within and outside of the Cranbrook community including letters to former United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and former Chairman, CEO, and President of the Chrysler Corporation Lee Iacocca. Also included are publications and marketing materials relating to events and programs hosted by the committee including house and museum tours, exhibits, lectures, symposiums, ceremonies, and other formal gatherings such as the annual Arts Ball, including the Guy Fawkes Ball. A significant part of the collection are several scrapbooks and photo albums documenting the committee’s activities throughout the years.
SERIES I: Administrative (1966-2002) includes historical information about the committee; correspondence including letters to former United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and former Chairman, CEO, and President of the Chrysler Corporation Lee Iacocca; meeting materials; financial data; reports; and files specific to committee chairs Barbara Czamanske, Susan Lanciault, Ginger Scott, Gilly Von Drehle, and Marcia Wiltshire. The series also includes membership and volunteer information.
SERIES II: Events and Programs (1966-ca. 2004) includes various documentation relating to field trips, the Arts Ball, the Annual Membership Luncheon, the Annual Membership Tea, the Art & Antique Auction, Brolly Day Swarry, the Board of Governors Dinner, the Challenge Fund Drive, the Guy Fawkes Ball, CAA president Roy Slade’s 10-year anniversary, and other committee activities.
SERIES III: Publications (1966-2002) includes catalogs, membership directories, and newspaper clippings.
SERIES IV: Photographs, Scrapbooks, & Realia (1931-2006) includes photographs; proofs; negatives; and slides pertaining to numerous committee activities including Creative Patronage, the Cranbrook Board of Governors Awards Dinner, the annual Guy Fawkes Ball, and the Serious Moonlight Patron Party. Scrapbooks document the annual Guy Fawkes Ball and the 13th Anniversary Tea, focusing on the committee's first 21 years in operation. Realia includes a gavel most likely used during committee meetings.
- 1966 - 2006
- Cranbrook Academy of Art (Organization)
Access to the collection is unrestricted.
Permission to use collection materials must be requested in writing.
The Cranbrook Academy of Arts Women’s Committee was founded on February 11, 1966 as the social arm of the Friends of the Academy (the Museum’s new membership program). The committee’s purpose was to promote and undertake activities and projects that would further the welfare of the Academy and the Museum. In the first years, this primarily meant hosting social activities sponsored by the Museum, in order to raise local and national awareness of the Academy as a whole. The committee’s first event was sponsorship (decorations and hors d’oeuvres) of a reception in honor of Zoltan Sepeshy, retiring Academy President, and included a Museum exhibition preview of his paintings. They would hold similar events for subsequent presidents Glen Paulsen (1966-1971), Wallace Mitchell (1970-1977), and Roy Slade (1977-1994).
Officers included a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and Corresponding Secretary, forming the Executive Committee or Board. First Chair of the Committee was Academy Board of Trustee, Mary Love Russell, and charter members included Carol Lawson Booth, Helen Keyes, and Margot Synder, among others. Business was conducted through meetings of the Board and general membership meetings, including the Annual Luncheon and New Member’s Tea, which took place at regular intervals throughout each year.
The Committee activities quickly became an integral part of fundraising efforts to primarily support students and academic programming, through student scholarships, subsidization of the visiting artists programs, and sponsorship of visiting lecturers. Other projects over the years have included refurbishing the student lounges, purchasing books for the Academy Library, purchasing studio equipment, and organizing Challenge Fund Drives for significant initiatives like the Student Forum Gallery in the New Studios Building. The group’s major annual fundraiser for the Academy was the Arts Ball, instituted in its first year. The gala event would be a tradition carried throughout its thirty-six-year existence, with various themes and titles, rebranding as the Guy Fawkes Ball in 1977. Other fundraising events throughout the years have included the Serious Moonlight Patron Party, Spring Arts Fair, Brolly Day (a reimagining of the annual student open house and auction instituted during President Slade’s tenure), an Arts & Antique Auction, and a Clifford West film festival.
Aside from hosting and planning refreshments for exhibit openings and raising funds, committee members also volunteered at the museum shop and reception desk, held student hospitality events like the student dinner, assisted students with finding part-time work or housing during holidays, and sponsored panel discussions and lectures for Museum members. Beginning in the 1970s, the Women’s Committee would also plan and host visits to other museums, artist’s studios, private art collections, and art galleries as part of the Museum membership program.
At one time the Women’s Committee boasted a membership roster of over 450, and through its use of creative fundraising endeavors, secured hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Academy. In an effort to be more inclusive and responsive to the Academy's and Museum's strategic visions, the committee reorganized as the Cranbrook Academy of Art/Cranbrook Art Museum Member's Council in 2002, reporting to the CAA/CAM Board of Governors.
Committee Chairs: Mrs. George Russell, 1966-1967 Pipsan Saarinen Swanson, 1967-1968 Marion Mitchell, 1968-1971 Mrs. Richard Strickland, 1971-1972 Mrs. Donald E. Young, 1972-1975 Tay Barclay, 1975-1977 Barbara Hogan, 1977-1979 Jean Schuler, 1979-1981 Mrs. George Zonars, 1981-1983 Marusha Judy, 1983-1985 Mrs. Ramon von Drehle, 1985-1987 mrs. Roger Robinson, 1987-1988 Mrs. Eric A. Wilshire, 1988-1990 Ginger Scott, 1990-1992 Phoebe Goldstein, 1992-1994 Susan Lanciault, 1994-1996 Barbara Czamanske, 1996-1998 Joanna Boeckl, 1998-2000 Karmen Santourian, 2000-2001
- Mrs. George Russell
- Pipsan Saarinen Swanson
- Marion Mitchell
- Mrs. Richard Strickland
- Mrs. Donald E. Young
- Tay Barclay
- Barbara Hogan
- Jean Schuler
- Mrs. George Zonars
- Marusha Judy
- Mrs. Ramon von Drehle
- Mrs. Roger Robinson
- Mrs. Eric A. Wilshire
- Ginger Scott
- Phoebe Goldstein
- Susan Lanciault
- Barbara Czamanske
- Joanna Boeckl
- Karmen Santouria
7.5 Linear Feet (8 MS, 2 SB, 1 OS)
Language of Materials
The Cranbrook Academy of Arts Women’s Committee was founded on February 11, 1966 as the social arm of the Friends of the Academy (the Museum’s new membership program). The committee’s purpose was to promote and undertake activities and projects that would further the welfare of the Academy and the Museum. Throughout nearly forty years the committee hosted numerous events, programs, and fundraising projects until disbanded in 2002. The bulk of the collection reflects primarly the Women's Committee's fundraising activities for the Academy, including the annual Arts Ball, known in later years as the Guy Fawkes Ball. It also includes historical information about the founding of the committee; administrative materials, publications, marketing materials relating to event and program planning, and fundraising records; correspondence related to participation within and outside of the Cranbrook community; and scrapbooks and photographs covering the committee’s activities.
The collection is divided into six series based on subject or material format:
SERIES I: Administrative (Box 1-3)
SERIES II: Events and Programs (Box 4-6)
SERIES III: Publications (Boxes 6-8)
SERIES IV: Photographs, Scrapbooks, & Realia (Box 9-12)
The bulk of the collection was transferred from the Cranbrook Academy of Art Administration Offices in 2008. Some newsletters and directories were donated by Phoebe Goldstein in 1990. Scrapbooks were donated by Susan Lundine in 2008.
A VHS tape from the 1994 Guy Fawkes Ball, and CDs relating to the 2003 Serious Moonlight Patron Party were transferred to the Cranbrook Film and Video Recording Collection (1990-35).
A Kingswood School Green Lobby tile was transferred to the Center Cultural Properties Department.
Initial processing by Nichole Manlove, 2020. Final processing by Deborah Rice, 2020.
- Cranbrook School (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)
- Art -- Study and teaching
- Art auctions
- Bloomfield Hills (Mich.)
- Cranbrook (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)
- Cranbrook Art Museum
- Cranbrook Educational Community
- Cranbrook Kingswood School (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)
- Cranbrook Press
- DeSalle, Peggy
- Detroit Institute of Arts
- Detroit News (Firm)
- Grotell, Maija, 1899-1973
- Hall, Michael
- Historic house museums
- Knodel, Gerhardt
- Mitchell, Wallace, 1911-1977
- Sepeshy, Zoltan, 1898-1974
- Slade, Roy
- Women -- Societies and clubs
- Guide to the Cranbrook Academy of Art Women's Committee
- Original finding aid written by Nichole L. Manlove. Revised and edited by Deborah Rice.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Edition statement
- Resource record created by Nichole L. Manlove. Inventory and Agents/Subjects by Laura MacNewman.
- 2021-03-24: Notes fields revised and history note and abstract rewritten by Deborah Rice.
Part of the Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research Repository