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Cranbrook Academy of Art Administration Records

 Collection
Identifier: 1981-09

Collection Scope

This collections contains records divided into the following series:

SERIES I: Administrative is divided into six subseries:

Subseries 1: Organization Documents (1943-1957) contains drafts and final versions of bylaws.

Subseries 2: Board of Trustees (1923-1966) includes the complete set of Minutes of the Meetings of the Board of Trustees, with three bound volumes and some unbound records, as well as records of the Executive Secretary, and correspondence to and from Trustees about Academy of Art business.

Subseries 3: Accreditation (1945-1973) includes self-study reports submitted to the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities and the 1969 Goals Conference.

Subseries 4: Committees (1943-1967) contains records of several Academy of Art committees: the Art Collection Committee, the General Utilities Committee, the Museum Committee, and a Special Committee set up in 1947 to assess the state of the Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Subseries 5: Presidents' Papers (1939-1973) is comprised predominantly of correspondence and contains some writings as well covering the Presidency of Eliel Saarinen and Zoltan Sepeshy.

Subseries 6: Public Relations (1966-1968) contains a draft and proposal for a public relations program. SERIES II: Construction Records (1925-1973) covers the initial construction of the Cranbrook Academy of Art buildings and subsequent development and maintenance. The records concerning expenditures provide a detailed cost analysis of construction materials and fixtures. SERIES III: Curriculum Development (1942-1972) consists of brochures of course announcements for Academy students as well as for children who participated in the activities of the Young People’s Art Center. There is also material from the Design Department, including academic requirements and the layout of the studios. In addition, there is a major follow-up study of Academy of Art Alumni, ordered in 1971 to assess the impact of the curriculum. SERIES IV: Financial (1928-1975) is particularly noteworthy for the Annual Financial Reports for the 1942-1954 period, Student Tuition Lists for the 1943-1966 period, Inventories, and correspondence related to Scholarships. The departmental inventories illustrate each department's holdings of equipment, supplies, and furnishings. Also of note are the records pertaining to Michael Gorman and the scholarship fund set up after his passing in 1958. The Hungarian Student Scholarship records show the involvement of the student council in bringing a Hungarian artist, Laszlo Ispansky, to Cranbrook during a politically charged time in Hungarian history.

SERIES V: Museum is divided into two subseries:

Subseries 1: Administrative (1942-1973) contains a variety of records concerning the Museum, which until 1973 was known as the Galleries of the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Among those are the Curator’s Reports to the Trustees and to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. Most noteworthy is a large selection of materials documenting the auction of the collections that the Academy of Art organized in 1972 to raise money.

Subseries 2: Collections and Exhibits (1951-1973) contains various inventories, as well as exhibition brochures and supporting documents.

SERIES VI: Personnel is divided into two subseries:

Subseries 1: Faculty/Staff (1941-1976) includes contractual employment agreements, lists of faculty appointments, and correspondence with job applicants and recruits including Harry Bertoia, Pierre Kleykamp, Carl Milles, and others.

Subseries 2: Topical (1941-1973) contains primarily records pertaining to benefits received by personnel at the Academy of Art, documents concerning firings and retirements, and union agreements.

SERIES VII: Student Life (1943-1989) primarily consists of student rosters, including those for students who were veterans. There are three types (or sets) of student rosters included here: Typescript Rosters, Printed Rosters, and Computer Generated Rosters. All three sets have been retained as, even though they overlap, they each contain some unique information. This series also includes commencement brochures and related materials, including the First Commencement ceremony of 1943, as well as the complete series of President Sepeshy’s Commencement speeches.

SERIES VIII: Topical (1944-1976) provides records pertaining to various issues of interest to the history of Cranbrook Academy of Art. There is a chronology of the Academy’s history, put together by curator Mary Riordan, and various memorabilia and brochures produced by the Academy. Documents about the proposal to create an Art Association in 1953 provide information about the condition of the Academy’s Museum and the thoughts of the Academy’s leaders on its objectives and future development.

Dates

  • Majority of material found within 1942 - 1973

Access

Access to the collection is unrestricted.

Use

Permission to use collection materials must be requested in writing.

History

In 1927 George G. Booth established the Cranbrook Academy of Art as an educational environment where students could come and learn from master artists in residence. These artists-in-residence would contribute to the aesthetic development of the Cranbrook community. The Academy functioned as a department under the Cranbrook Foundation and included painting, architecture, sculpture, ceramics and decorative design. The first Academy students were taken in early 1930. In 1933, the Foundation Board of Trustees allowed the daytoday operations of the Academy to be administered by the Academy of Art President and an Executive Secretary. In 1942, with the opening of the Museum and Library, the Academy became an autonomous educational, policy-making and administrative unit. The Art Museum was intended not only to house artworks acquired from George G. Booth through the Cranbrook Foundation, but also to serve as a teaching tool through its permanent collections and exhibitions in both the museum and the library.

Frank Leonard Allen was engaged by the Cranbrook Foundation as the Director of Art Education (1930-1932) to serve as an advisor related to the art work carried on by all of the Cranbrook schools. On 16 Jun 1932, he tendered his resignation and on the same day, the Foundation created the office of the President of the Academy of Art. The Board of Trustees elected Eliel Saarinen as the first President (1932-1946). Saarinen was also head of the Cranbrook Architectural Office, chief architect for most of Cranbrook’s institutional buildings through 1942, and head of the Academy’s Department of Architecture. Saarinen was assisted by an Executive Secretary, Richard Raseman (1932-1941), who was solely responsible for the administration of the Academy. Raseman was instrumental in shepherding the proposal for the Academy to become incorporated as a separate educational institution.

Presidents/Directors of the Cranbrook Academy of Art:

1932-1946: Eliel Saarinen 1946-1966: Zoltan Sepeshy 1966-1970: Glen Paulsen 1970-1977: Wallace Mitchell 1977-1994: Roy Slade 1994-1995: Susanna Torre, Director 1995-2007: Gerhardt Knodel, Director 2007-2014: Reed Kroloff, Director 2014-2018: Christopher Scoates, Director 2018-present: Susan Ewing, Director

Extent

6.1 Linear Feet (16 MS)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

In 1927 George G. Booth established the Cranbrook Academy of Art as an educational environment where students could come and learn from master artists in residence. The Academy functioned as a department under the Cranbrook Foundation and included painting, architecture, sculpture, ceramics and decorative design. The first Academy students were taken in early 1930. Eliel Saarinen was the first President (1932-1946). In 1942, with the opening of the Museum and Library, the Academy became an autonomous educational, policy-making and administrative unit. The Cranbrook Academy of Art Administration Records covers the first thirty-one years of its operation as a separate entity from the Cranbrook Foundation. The collection documents the Academy's governance, management of its built environment, academic programs, finances, faculty and staff, students, and museum activities. It contains materials created by Cranbrook Board of Trustees, Presidents Saarinen and his successor Sepeshy, various committees, museum curators, student groups, public relations staff, and faculty such as Harry Bertoia and Carl Milles.

Arrangement

The Cranbrook Academy of Art Administration Records are arranged alphabetically and divided into eight series: SERIES I: Administrative is divided in six subseries: 1) Organization Documents (Box 1); 2) Board of Trustees (box 1-4); 3) Accreditation (Box 5); 4) Committees (box 5-6); 5) Presidents' Papers (Box 6-7); 6) Public Relations (Box 7-8); SERIES II: Construction Records (Box 8); SERIES III: Curriculum Development Box 8); SERIES IV: Financial (Box 9-11); SERIES V: Museum is divided in two subseries: 1) Administrative (Box 11-12); and 2) Collections and Exhibitions (Box 12); SERIES VI: Personnel is divided into two subseries: 1) Faculty/Staff (Box 13); and 2) Topical (Box 13); SERIES VII: Student Life (Box 13-15); and SERIES VIII: Topical (Box 15-16).

Additional Access

An index to the collection is available.

Acquisition

The collection was transferred to the Cranbrook Archives in August 1981. Additional records were transferred from the Academy of Art in 1985. These were originally called the “Lost” Academy records.

Related Materials

CAA Office of the President: Roy Slade Records (1995-09); CAA Office of the Registrar Records (1990-19); CAA Publications (1998-05); CAA Historic Films; Cranbrook Foundation Records (1981-05); George G. Booth Papers (1981-01); Henry S. and Carolyn F. Booth Papers (1982-05); S. Glen Paulsen Papers (1991-25); Cranbrook Archives Oral History Collection

Transfers

Ledgers from Series IV were removed and shelved with all other Cranbrook ledgers/registers.

Processing History

The collection was originally processed in June 1990 by Gregg T. Trendowski. In 2002, the pre-1942 records were removed to the Cranbrook Foundation Records and in the summer of 2008, the records were merged with the Lost Academy Records to create a more complete fond. Dominique Daniel re-processed the collection and created a new finding aid.
Title
Guide to the Cranbrook Academy of Art Administration Records
Status
Completed
Author
Original finding aid written by Gregg T. Trendowski.
Date
1990-06
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Edition statement
Resource record created by Deborah Rice.

Revision Statements

  • 2008: Collection reprocessed and finding aid revised by Dominique Daniel.

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