Cranbrook Kitchen Sink: Best of 2019

2019 was a banner year for the Cranbrook Kitchen Sink blog. Thanks to readers like you sharing our posts by email, Facebook, and word of mouth, in 2019 we increased our readership to 25,000 views (up from 16,081 in 2018). While most of our readers are here in the U.S., we also have readers in Canada, the United Kingdom, Finland, France, Hong Kong, and beyond!

Here are ten of our most viewed (and favorite) blog posts of the year. In no particular order, take a look back and catch up on posts you might have missed:

Green Book, Don Shirley, and Henry Booth Our first post from the Center’s Director Greg Wittkopp was a runaway success, becoming our most read post—ever! Learn about the connection between jazz pianist Don Shirley, Kingswood, and Cranbrook’s own Henry Booth.

The Day Cranbrook Went Bananas Did you know the Academy of Art has an undefeated intercollegiate football team? And not because we’ve never had a football team: in the fall of 1970, the Cranbrook Bananas defeated the Art Institute of Chicago Hog Butchers in a game at Thompson Oval.

Loja Saarinen: Lady of Fashion In a year with more posts about Loja Saarinen than any other subject, readers loved Collections Interpreter Lynette Mayman’s focus on the fashion of Cranbrook’s ur-weaver. In other posts, you can read about Loja’s monumental Sermon on the Mount weaving, the murals on the ceiling of her Weaving Room, or how we moved a loom from Kingswood to Saarinen House.

Saarinen (and Students) Expand a Masterpiece Did you know Eliel Saarinen intended to add on to the Art Museum, around the Orpheus Fountain? View his drawing–and how the Academy and Museum have actually grown–in this post.

To See a World in a Grain of Sand Associate Archivist Laura MacNewman took a deep dive into the magnificent Women’s Window at Christ Church Cranbrook. Learn the history of the work, and click on each pane of the window to see an expanded image and a detailed description of each woman featured.

Cranbrook Unseen: My Senior May Experience One of our most shared and read posts of the year was from our Cranbrook Schools Senior May student intern, Desai Wang, who wrote about her work cleaning, sorting, moving, scanning, and learning with the Center for Collections and Research.

Sunscreen for Smith House: UV Window Film Here, Associate Registrar Leslie Mio talks about installing protective film at Saarinen and Smith Houses in order to reduce heat and sun damage.

Lisa Frank’s Cranbrook Years Learn about the colorful life of 1990s school supply icon and Kingswood alumna Lisa Frank, known for her rainbow world of puppies, pandas, and unicorns.

Hibernation Mode Head Archivist Deborah Rice showed us some of the amazing plant photographs and illustrations in the Archives from the Institute of Science in this post celebrating the beauty and botany of autumn.

The A-maize-ing Frank Lloyd Wright Finally, a post that was widely shared on Facebook: Wright’s visit to the Smith House and the story of Sara’s serving him corn on the cob!

Map of Cranbrook from 1973 Catalog by Edward Fella

Our most opened (clicked) image in 2019 was this map of Cranbrook. Read more about it here. Map of Cranbrook drawn by Edward Fella (CAA Design 1987), 1972. Printed on the inside cover of the 1973/1975 Cranbrook Academy of Art Course Catalog. Courtesy of Cranbrook Archives.

2019 was a great year for Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research. We are honored so many of you, our readers, joined us on Cranbrook’s campus to attend tours, lectures, exhibitions, and concerts; rode along with us on Day Away trips; or visited Cranbrook Archives to research, volunteer, and explore. If you’re a reader from farther afield, thank you for following our blog and for your continued interest in the many Cranbrook stories. We hope everyone has enjoyed learning more about Cranbrook through the Kitchen Sink!

In addition to continuing our Friday blog posts, the Center has lots of exciting programming coming up in 2020. You can be the first to find out about Center events through our emails (if you’re not subscribed, you can join here), or on the Center’s website.

Happy New Year!

– Kevin Adkisson, Curatorial Associate and Cranbrook Kitchen Sink Blogmaster



2 thoughts on “Cranbrook Kitchen Sink: Best of 2019

  1. Kudos to everyone involved in this wonderful blog! It is so well done in every way! And this “Best of” is proof of that! Martha Neumann



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