Spring Cleaning 2023

Each year, the Center staff does spring cleaning around the Cranbrook Community’s campus.

To kick off our spring cleaning this year, in collaboration with Meghan Morrow from Cranbrook Art Museum, Brookside’s Vlasic Early Childhood Center Pre K, JK, and multi-age classes helped us “awaken” the outdoor sculptures, covered for the winter, with a good-morning song. They helped remove the covers, check for any new cracks, and wipe and polish the sculptures.

Friends from the ECC help polish Marshall M. Fredericks’ The Thinker . . .
. . . and the Chinese Lion at Cranbrook Art Museum. Both images are courtesy Cranbrook Schools.

We then needed to get the fountains and sculptures ready for our House Party fundraiser on May 20 (sorry, already sold out). Utilizing Graffiti Solutions’ “Elephant Snot,” we worked with Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary volunteers to clean the Fountain on West Terrace and Mario Korbel’s Harmony.

Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary volunteers Helen Maiman, Bruce Kasl, Cheryl Becker, and Joyce Harding assist me in cleaning the Fountain on West Terrace at Cranbrook House. Auxiliary volunteer Nancy Kulish, photographer.
Joyce and I giving Harmony her spring mani-pedi. Nina Blomfield, photographer.
Nina gives Harmony a quick rinse. Leslie Mio, photographer.

Below are the results. This was just one day after the cleaning, and, typically, the sculptures look better and better as the weeks go on.

Look for an upcoming post about our ECC friends working with the Elephant Snot to clean more stonework in the garden!

The spring also means a new season of work in the Japanese Garden. Pulling vines, before the poison ivy blooms, was a fun, end-of-the-day task for our volunteers this week.

Volunteers Lindsay Shimon and Melinda Krajniak assist Master Gardener Emily Fronckowiak with invasive vines around the Japanese Garden. Leslie Mio, photographer.

Interested in becoming a Cranbrook Japanese Garden Volunteer Gardener? We would love to hear from you!

Not to be outdone, Saarinen House wanted to be part of spring cleaning as well. On location in the Art Museum vault for a photoshoot this past winter, the Saarinen House Studio rug was carried back to the house and reinstalled. As Greg Wittkopp, Center Director, said, “The room does look less Gesamtkunstwerk-ish without it.”

“I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. [Haefner].”
The Saarinen House Studio rug gets the star treatment from photographer James Haefner as Center volunteer Jessica Majeski looks on. Kevin Adkisson, photographer.
Center staff and volunteers move the Studio rug back to Saarinen House. Leslie Mio, photographer.
James Haefner, photographer.

The best part about our spring cleaning is showing off the results. Come see Harmony in the Cranbrook House gardens on a warm day.

The Center’s 2023 Tour season is also beginning. In addition to our Saarinen House and Smith House tours, new tours have been added:

Japanese Garden Tours – Center staff-guided tours of the Japanese Garden have been added to the public tour calendar on one Sunday a month at 1:30pm, May through October.

Three Visions of Home tours – Join Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research as we take you inside three remarkable homes from across the twentieth century. There’s no tour quite like it, with a look into the distinct visions for American life from three internationally significant architects: Albert Kahn, Eliel Saarinen, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Your expert guide will take you through the architecture and innovations of each home, while also sharing the stories of the families who built and lived in these special places.

We hope to see you on campus this season!

Leslie Mio, Associate Registrar, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Resarch

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