This week, we’re proud to announce that the Center is launching its first online exhibition! With the tireless efforts of the Center’s Administrative Assistant and resident website guru, Alissa Seelmann-Rutkofske, we have adapted my 2018 exhibition Saarinen House: Presidents/Residents, 1946-1994 for the web.
The show, which was on display in Saarinen House from April to November 2018, focuses on the first five Presidents of Cranbrook Academy of Art. These were the only five leaders to live in Saarinen House (built to be the President’s residence) and the only five who held the title “President” (we now have Directors of the Academy and a President of Cranbrook Educational Community).
In the online exhibition, you will learn about President Eliel Saarinen and the four subsequent presidents: Zoltan Sepeshy, Glen Paulsen, Wallace Mitchell, and Roy Slade. Each man’s page features a short biography, history of their artistic practice, and an account of the Academy under their leadership. Their tenure is documented through photographs from Cranbrook Archives, showing the presidents and their era of the Academy (including publications, Museum exhibitions, protests, parties, and other examples of student life and strife).
You’ll also find an Exhibition Checklist of the paintings and drawings from each president that were included in the show; click on the title of each work to see a larger image. Also online are photographs of the Exhibition Installation and information about the design and construction of our custom-made displays.
Exhibitions are a lot of research and work, and once they’re deinstalled it can feel like all the effort was for naught. Using the show’s text and images, documentary photography from P.D. Rearick, and with the encouragement of the Center’s Director, Greg Wittkopp, I am happy that Presidents/Residents and the efforts that went into its physical production will live on in digital form. Please go take a click around, and let me know what you think.
Look for digital documentation of our other past exhibitions soon, and don’t miss your last chance to see this year’s show (in person): Studio Loja Saarinen: The Art and Architecture of Weaving, 1928-1942, on view with all Saarinen House tours through Thanksgiving weekend.
—Kevin Adkisson, Curatorial Associate
Dear Kitchen Sink,
This looks like a delightful exhibit in Saarinen House, and your online version is a treat. But I’m duty-bound to tell you that the photo of Wallace Mitchell “in his studio holding Turnabout Number One” does not show Wallace Mitchell (my father) doing that. The man in the photo must be a colleague or a friend or a student, but unfortunately I can’t identify him. All I can say is that he doesn’t look at all like the man I remember.
Please change your caption—but please also keep up the good work. It’s much appreciated.
41 Dogwood Lane
Northampton, MA 01060
From: Cranbrook Kitchen Sink
Reply-To: Cranbrook Kitchen Sink
Date: Friday, November 8, 2019 at 6:04 PM
To: Jeffrey Mitchell
Subject: [New post] Online Exhibition: Saarinen House: Presidents/Residents, 1946-1994
cranbrookkitchensink posted: “This week, we’re proud to announce that the Center is launching its first online exhibition! With the tireless efforts of the Center’s Administrative Assistant and resident website guru, Alissa Seelmann-Rutkofske, we have adapted my 2018 exhibition Saarin”
Thank you very much for your comment and pointing out the picture. I have corrected the caption to include the fact that, you’re right, that’s not Wally Mitchell! The correct image will be uploaded this week. I appreciate your compliments and correction!
BRAVO KEVIN !!!
LOIS ANN HARSH, ARCHIVES