Photo Friday: The Great Outdoors

Photo Friday12_26_14

George G. Booth by Kingswood school area. c. 1906. Courtesy Cranbrook Archives.

Since it has yet to snow and cover the campus with glistening white, I though it best to show the beauty of the greenery and foliage all over this campus. Enjoy the end of the year and holidays with this photo of George G. Booth in the midst of the nature of Cranbrook! We will see you next year!

– Stefanie Kae Dlugosz, Collections Fellow, Center for Collections and Research

A Fond Farewell

Farewell Gretchen

Gretchen in front of the North Gates before they head off to conservation.

As the end of the year approaches, it is with a heavy heart that the Center for Collections and Research is saying a fond farewell to our Associate Registrar Gretchen Sawatzki. After 2 years of working hard at Cranbrook cataloging and restoring cultural properties all over the campus, organizing the restoration of the North Gates, contributing to the blog, maintaining objects, coordinating loans, and much much more, Gretchen will be leaving Michigan. She has taken a position in California and will be driving out west in the new year! We couldn’t be happier for her and her new opportunity but she will be greatly missed here at the Center for Collections and Research, as well as at all over the Cranbrook Campus.

Please feel free to leave comments and well wishes to Gretchen as she begins this new chapter!

Stefanie Kae Dlugosz, Collections Fellow, Center for Collections and Research

Highlighting Access: The Edward and Ruth Adler Schnee Papers


Recently the staff of the Cranbrook Archives announced the online addition of The Edward and Ruth Adler Schnee Papers which was  donated to the Archives in 2010.  While the website is not a biography of Ruth or Eddie’s life, it is a tribute to the work they created as evidenced by the materials in the collection. 

Archives Assistant Justine Tobiasz designed the web pages “drawing from Schnee’s designs and sketches.” She was inspired by, and wanted to pay tribute to, Schnee’s use of color  when creating the site about the collection.  Moving forward I hope that we can find ways to create sites for other collections. I think it’s a good way for us to use the incredible materials we have to convey a ‘whole picture’ view of our mind-blowing collections.” 

Working within the constraints of our web portal was very challenging – it did not allow free reign, and Justine had to find ways to display the content exactly how the staff wanted it to be.  All of the Archives staff worked collaboratively to create the content, digitize the images and post them up on CONTENTdm (our digital asset management system), and find external links to populate the design created by Justine.

Check out this addition and let us know what you think!

Stefanie Dlugosz, Collections Fellow, Center for Collections and Research & Justine Tobiasz, Archives Assistant

Icing on the Cake

Claude de Forest cartoon

Claude de Forest Collection of Eero Saarinen and Associates Material (1995-68), Courtesy Cranbrook Archives.

It’s the holiday season. And, I don’t know about you, but for me, one of the best aspects of the holidays is the food. I love preparing a big holiday feast and the comforting aromas of spiced cider, or cookies and pies baking in the oven. Perhaps that is why the drawing featured in today’s Kitchen Sink appealed to me. While researching an archival inquiry, I came across this wonderful cartoon of a baker icing a cake by Claude de Forest (1931-2013).

Born in 1931 in Basel, Switzerland, de Forest descended from a long line of architects. This led him to pursue a BA in Architecture from the University of Manitoba and a Masters degree in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After completing his studies at MIT, de Forest worked as a cartoonist and junior designer for Eero Saarinen and Associates from 1956-1958. Significant projects include the Ingalls Hockey Rink at Yale University, the IBM Research Center, the TWA Terminal at JFK, and the University of Chicago Law School. The “cake” in this photo is actually a model of the Chicago Law School.

In 1960 de Forest began teaching in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba. He retired as a full professor in the Department of Environmental Studies in 1994. De Forest’s talents extended beyond design and teaching—he was also an activist and dedicated a significant amount of time and research to disability issues and responsible design. In 2007 he received the Lifetime Achievement Winnipeg Accessibility Award for community leadership in Universal Design.

Additional works in our collection related to Claude de Forest can be viewed here.

Gina Tecos, Archivist

Christmas card, 1941. Benjamin Baldwin Papers (2006-02), Courtesy Cranbrook Archives


Wedding photo, 1941. Benjamin Baldwin Papers (2006-02), Courtesy Cranbrook Archives

Today we are celebrating Ray Eames’ birthday a few days early. In honor of her birthday, which is December 15th, we selected a few photos from our collections. Ray Kaiser studied weaving and design at Cranbrook Academy of Art in the fall of 1940, where she met her future husband, Charles Eames.

Stefanie Kae Dlugosz, Collections Fellow  & Gina Tecos, Archivist, Center for Collections and Research

The Art of the Menu

The Cranbrook Archives has recently added more menus to The Henry Scripps Booth Collection of Menus in our digital image database, thanks to the efforts of Wayne State University graduate student, Leilani Ward. The menus cover 1926-1984, and were collected by Henry and his wife Carolyn during their travels in the U.S. and abroad. Menus were selected for digitization for their art or design work, and for local interest as well.

Several Detroit icons are represented including the Book Cadillac Hotel, Stouffer’s, the Hotel Statler and J.L. Hudson.





1934 Hotel Statler dinner menu

Other menu covers reflect the art of their era, or the luxuriousness of travel, aboard steamship or railroad.




Queen elizabeth

1952 breakfast menu from R.M.S. Queen Elizabeth

And others are just fun to look at …


1926 Paris, France

More menus will be added as time and staff permit, but in the meantime, please take a look at these gems from the past.

— Cheri Gay,  Archivist


Sailing the High Seas: John Martell and the War of 1812


Greenwich Hospital Out-Pensioner Application, John Martell, n.d. Henry Wood Booth Papers.


Petition for Pension, John Martell Jr., 1875. Henry Wood Booth Papers.

George Gough Booth’s maternal great-grandfather was John Martell  (1791-1836), a purser in the British Royal Navy.  Martell served on the HMS Aeolus, a 32-gun frigate, which was part of a flotilla of five ships charged with patrolling the waters between New York and Halifax, Nova Scotia during the War of 1812.  On July 16, 1812, the Aeolus was part of the squadron that gave chase to the USS Constitution, which finally managed to escape and sail safely to Boston.  After the war, Martell spent several years stationed first at Isle-aux-Noix in Quebec, a key ship-building center for the British at Lake Champlain.  He was a clerk in the dock yards at the Kingston Royal Naval Yard in Ontario, and was a store porter at the Grand River Naval Depot (Port Maitland) on Lake Erie until his discharge in 1832. Martell and his wife Mary (nee O’Keefe) then resided in St. Catherines, Ontario where Martell served as the first Postmaster and the first division court clerk.  John Martell died in 1836.

Leslie E. Edwards, Head Archivist

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