Michigan’s role in the development of American mid-century Modernism is something we’re very familiar with at Herman Miller (our headquarters is in Zeeland, MI, after all). And this weekend, an exhibit at the Cranbrook Academy of Art near Detroit opened to celebrate our state’s outstanding contributions to design and the people who made it happen.
Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America, hosted by the Cranbrook Art Museum, examines the designers and architects that defined the look of the 20th century with classic pieces like the Eames Lounge Chair, the expressive styling of the fins on a Cadillac, corporate campuses like the General Motors Technical Center, and office environments revolutionized by Herman Miller.
The campus of Cranbrook is an especially appropriate setting for this important show. “In the late 1930s, a remarkable group of artists and designers were at Cranbrook — notably Eliel and Loja Saarinen, their son Eero, faculty members such as Harry Bertoia, and promising young students like Charles and Ray Eames, Ralph Rapson, Florence Knoll, and many others,” said Gregory Wittkopp, Director, Cranbrook Art Museum and Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research. “Collaboratively, and then individually, they used the Academy’s studios to experiment and create the furniture and products that became the icons of the 20th century. It is no exaggeration to say that mid-century Modernism was conceived at Cranbrook.”
For more information on the four-month exhibition — which will last through October 13 — visit cranbrookart.edu. In the meantime, get a taste of the exhibit with these photos, courtesy of Cranbrook.
Photos: Courtesy Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum