The Exhibit is now open at Cranbrook Art Museum!
Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America
Exhibition Dates: June 14, 2013 – October 13, 2013
In Michigan, industry and design intertwined creating an epicenter of modern design. Michigan’s visionaries touched nearly every aspect of American life. Detroit’s automobile manufacturers didn’t just produce automobiles; they styled them to become synonymous with the American dream. The state’s furniture manufacturers didn’t just manufacture furniture; they revolutionized the look of the American office and home. Michigan architects Albert Kahn, Eero Saarinen, and Minoru Yamasaki didn’t just design buildings; they defined an era.
Michigan’s industry, prosperity, and educational institutions created a synergy that attracted the design talent that formed the foundation for modern American design. This exhibition celebrates Michigan’s outstanding contributions to Modern design and the stories of the people who made it happen. For more information about the Michigan Modern project, click here.
Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America is organized by the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office in association with Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by MPdL Studio.
Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America is supported by the State Historic Preservation Office, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the Kresge Foundation, Cranbrook Art Museum and Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, DeRoy Testamentary Foundation, Alden B. Dow Home and Studio, the McGregor Fund, Herman Miller, Eleanor & Edsel Ford House, Knoll, Robert W. Daverman, AIA, the Detroit Art Deco Society, the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, and the Michigan History Foundation.
See related press reviews:
The 25th annual preservation award ceremony was held June 3rd at the Ann Arbor City Council meeting. Congratulations to all that were recognized by the City including David and Connie Osler! Also congratulations to Pauline Walters for her many years of service with the award for Preservationist of the Year.
Frank Lloyd Wright at Twilight
Thursday, July 18, 2013
A rare chance to visit the Wright-designed Goetsch-Winckler House in Okemos
fundraiser for the Michigan State University Museum, the science and culture museum at MSU
in conjunction with the special exhibit, “East Lansing Modern, 1940-1970,” at the MSU Museum through Aug. 18.
The Goetsch-Winckler House in Okemos, Mich., is a compact, one-story Usonian house with signature Frank Lloyd Wright design elements: organic relationship to the site, horizontal planes, cantilever roofs, and the embodiment of Wright’s early design philosophy for moderately priced housing.
Designed for MSU art professors, the Goetsch-Winckler House is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the second of Wright’s Usonian house designs.
5:30 – 8 p.m.
Refreshments – tours – meet the homeowners
6:45 — “A Modest, Modern Masterpiece,” with Dr. Susan J. Bandes, Exhibition Curator and MSU Professor of Art History & Visual Culture
2410 Hulett Rd., Okemos (parking instructions to follow)
$50 per person
Space is limited.
Register online at our secure site: https://commerce.cashnet.com/msu_3722
Or send check to:
c/o Goetsch-Winckler House Tour
409 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing, Mich. 48824
(Please include names of attendees)
East Lansing Modern exhibition page:
Read more about the home at the Michigan Modern web site:
As part of the Jewish Film Festival: Mendelsohn’s Incessant Vision
Israel, Poland, USA, Germany, 2011, 71 minutes, English
He drew sketches on tiny pieces of paper and sent them, from the WW1 trenches, to a young cellist, who was waiting for him in Berlin. She thought he was a genius and helped him become the busiest architect in Germany. When the Nazis came to power, Erich and Louise Mendelsohn escaped Germany forever. The buildings which Erich built, scattered as a trail of their journey, have changed the history of architecture. This film is a cinematic meditation about the untold story of Erich Mendelsohn, whose life and career were as enigmatic and tragic as the path of the century.
SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER: Jennifer Perlove Siegel, Lecturer in Art History and Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Michigan, Dearborn.
Sponsored by Harlene & Henry Appelman and Penchansky Whisler Architects
Threads is the story of Herman Miller’s history of design, openness to new ideas and people, and respect for individuals. Steve Frykholm, graphic designer, and Clark Malcolm, writer, with a combined 72 years at the company, tell the stories of the people, products, and events behind 107-year-old Herman Miller, Inc. Woven together, the many threads of this history tell the story of how Herman Miller has become what it is today and the origins of the values and culture that will sustain it in years to come. Threads is an interactive presentation; the audience chooses the topics to be discussed. Threads includes images, video clips, and audio segments from Herman Miller’s long history of design and innovation.
Thursday, June 6th, 2013
6:30 p.m. Reception
7:15 p.m. Threads Interactive Presentation
Location: Three Chairs Co., 215 S Ashley St Ann Arbor, MI 48104
This event is free however donations to a2modern are appreciated to help defray expenses and for future programs! Note: Three Chairs Co. is an authorized Herman Miller retailer. It just so happens that this event will occur during the Herman Miller annual sale so all Herman Miller will be 15% off!
RSVP, as limited seats are available email@example.com
This year’s tour features Robert C. Metcalf’s first commission “H. Richard and Florence Crane” (1954) home at 830 Avon Road which is now owned by Jim and Linda Elert.
Significance of home:
The original homeowner, Dr. Richard H. Crane, was one of the most distinguished experimental physicists of the 20th century. Dr. Crane’s early work on nuclear physics and the physics of accelerators culminated in the invention of the race track synchrotron, a design emulated by almost every particle accelerator since 1950. His pioneering measurements on the gyro-magnetic ratio of the free electron are a cornerstone of quantum electrodynamics. During World War II, Crane worked as a research associate on radar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and as a physicist on the proximity fuse at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. He served as the director of proximity fuse research at U-M and as director of the atomic research project for the Manhattan District.
The architect of this home, Robert C. Metcalf, is in an own right one of the leaders in architectural modernism in southeast Michigan. The Crane house was Bob’s first commission after apprenticing under George B. Brigham from 1948 to 1952. At the same time he was designing the Crane house, Bob was also building his own home with his wife Bettie. Bob would go on to design over 40 residential structures in Ann Arbor for prominent business, research scientists and academic leaders in the Ann Arbor and Detroit areas.
See City Club flyer for details on obtaining tickets for the tour!
Tour: Southfield’s Unique Collection of Mid-Century Modern
DATE: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Time: 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Start: Millennium Centre (Northland Theater) 15600 Northland Drive, Southfield, MI 48075
Parking: Free at Millennium Centre
COST: $20/per person
Tour includes discussion of Mid Century Modern Design Elements for Homes, offices, Commercial Buildings and Religious Institutions
SPONSORED BY: Southfield Historical Society & the City of Southfield
East Lansing Modern, 1940 – 1970
Michigan State University Museum Ground Floor, April 28 – August 18, 2013
Opening Reception: Sunday, April 28, 2-4 PM. Gallery Talk at 3PM
East Lansing itself is on exhibit at the Michigan State University Museum as “East Lansing Modern, 1940-1970” explores the city’s place in Michigan’s modern design heritage. Especially following World War II, East Lansing’s population grew dramatically, and with that boom came a need for additional housing for GI-Bill students and their families, as well as MSU faculty. Many bought traditional residences within walking distance of the campus, yet several embraced modernist principles and worked primarily with local architects to design their homes.
“Modernist architecture, characterized by low, flat roofs, large areas of glazing and new technologies, reflected a changing, more informal lifestyle,” notes MSU Museum Exhibition Curator Susan J. Bandes, also MSU professor of art history and visual culture. “For modernist homes, often the street view is modest and belies the openness, use of space, light and unexpected design elements of the interior.”
Commercial, religious and professional buildings along Abbot Road are among East Lansing’s most modern, while modernist homes are sandwiched between older ones and in the northern sections of the city annexed in the 1950s. In addition to a number of private residences, the exhibit features many recognizable modernist landmarks: Glencairn Elementary School, East Lansing Public Library, Edgewood United Church, Eastminster Church, Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, Michigan Education Association headquarters, and the Michigan State Medical Society, designed by renowned World Trade Center (1971) architect Minoru Yamasaki.
Locals will likely recognize a couple of other modernist mainstays, even if they aren’t familiar with their origins: Bell’s Pizza (formerly Dawn’s Donuts) and Biggby’s first café (originally Arby’s), both on Grand River Ave., are prime examples of “Googie” architecture. The Googie trend, originating in California, featured steeply pitched, sharp angled roofs and a futuristic feel — making for exuberant, unrestrained designs that called attention to themselves.
Inspiration for the exhibit began with the State Historic Preservation Office’s “Michigan Modern” project to inventory modernist architecture across the state. From there students in Bandes’ Fall 2012 “Michigan Modern” course researched East Lansing’s architectural examples, and then Bandes and a team of research assistants completed the exhibit in the spring. (For more, see michiganmodern.org)
A driving/biking tour is in development and in 2014, MSU Press will also publish a book by Bandes’ with a more comprehensive look at East Lansing’s architecture.
Visitors to “East Lansing Modern, 1940-1970” will also get a look of sorts inside the modernist homes. Furnishings, small appliances, tableware and other decorative arts – some produced by MSU art faculty – will be featured in the exhibit, drawn mainly from MSU Museum and Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum collections. Many of the designs reflect the modernist sensibilities valuing informality, simplicity, bright, optimistic color palettes and a moderate price to make them available to middle-class consumers.
Tuesday, May 14, 5 p.m.
Film screening: “East Lansing: The City We Know,” 30-minute documentary on the history of the city; followed by exhibition tour
Saturday, June 9, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Workshop: “How to Research Your Home,” led by Whitney Miller, University Archivist at MSU and author of “East Lansing, Collegeville Revisited.”
Also in the works (more details to come soon):
Thursday, July 18, 5:30 – 8 p.m.
“Twilight with Frank Lloyd Wright: Goetsch-Winckler House,” a chance to visit the famed Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Goetsch-Winckler House in Okemos; fundraiser for the Michigan State University Museum, the science and culture museum at MSU; space is limited.
It’s preview party time for the Detroit Area Art Deco Society as the mid-century enthusiasts open up the Michigan Modernism Exposition on April 26, 7 – 10 p.m.
And, DAADS would like to giveaway one set of tickets (2 tickets, $130 value) to it’s annual party to an A2MODERN enthusiast. The tickets will be selected by a random drawing that will be held April 19th. To enter the drawing, send a message with the name of your favorite deco or modern building in Ann Arbor to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONGRATULATIONS to Courtenay Michmerhuizen. Courtenay is the winner of two tickets to the DAADS PREVIEW PARTY. Have fun! And, for others interested in attending the party, tickets are still available–see link below.
The annual art deco affair offers you and your guests first dibs on some of the best 20th century antiques and fine arts from the international market while enjoying complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres.
This year we’re pulling out all the stops as Cari Cucksey of HGTV Cash and Cari joins us as our honorary chair for the Friday night preview party.
We’re stepping up the hors d’oeuvres as 2 Unique Catering steps in to present a large variety of the super delicious sweets and savories for you to enjoy all evening.
We envelope the entire venue with classic and modern sounds to set the tone featuring none other than Evan Perri of Hot Club Detroit.
On exhibit is Detroit’s Lost History by Dan Austin with a fantastic display of vintage postcard images courtesy of the Detroit Historical Society at the DAADS booth.
Lastly we’ll have on view a vintage 1931 Studebaker President Eight.
Preview party tickets are $65 in advance and can be purchased now at daads.org or by calling 248-582-3326.
Proceeds from the preview party benefit DAADS scholarship, restoration and preservation programs.
Purchase your tickets online.
Location: The Southfield Civic Center 26000 Evergreen Road
(at 10 1/2 Mile Road) Southfield, MI
Preview Party: Friday April 26, 7pm – 10pm
Modernism Expo: Saturday 10am – 6pm, Sunday 12pm – 5pm
Join us this coming Wednesday April 3rd for a2modern’s Spring lecture. The lecture will be given by
John Comazzi, author of Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography
John Comazzi is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Minnesota where he teaches design studios and research seminars at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. He holds a Master of Architecture and a Master of Science in Architecture History & Theory from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia. From 1999-2000 he was a Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Michigan before joining the architecture faculty at the University of Minnesota in 2006. Through teaching, practice and research his scholarship explores the role of architecture photography in design disciplines and design pedagogy as a model of integrated learning in PK-12 education. In addition to his teaching, he has practiced as a designer in Virginia, Michigan and Minnesota.
He is author Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012), an illustrated biography on the life and career of Balthazar Korab, one of the most celebrated photographers of architecture practicing during the second half of the twentieth century. The book is the first dedicated solely to Korab’s life and career, and traces his rather circuitous path from post-war Hungary to his professional pursuits as a designer in the office of Eero Saarinen (1955-58) and his career as a professional photographer of architecture (1958-2010).
The lecture will be at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 3rd, Stern Auditorium, University of Michigan Museum of Art.
Thanks to the many sponsors that make this event possible: AIA Huron Valley, American Seating, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Bentley Historical Library, Knoll, and University of Michigan Museum of Art.
John Comazzi’s book, Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012), will be for sale before the lecture –thanks to Nicola’s bookstore.
Image courtesy of John Comazzi, 01_Korab_092[1C]_FPO: Eliel Saarinen, Cranbrook Academy of Arts (Bloomfield Hills, MI, 1938–42), ca. 1978. Mermaids & Tritons bronze sculptures (1930) by Carl Milles in the foreground.