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Assets 2021: With Eyes Opened - a History of Cranbrook Academy of Art


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This talk will present a brief history of Cranbrook Academy of Art, which was founded a year after the Bauhaus closed in Germany, but unlike other radical art schools of the early twentieth century it continues to produce influential artists and designers today. With an exclusive focus on graduate level education, the Academy has been described as part design laboratory, part artists' colony, and part atelier. With no curriculum and no grades, it pioneered a student-centric model. Known as the "cradle of midcentury modernism" in the United States, the Academy of Art was the locus of designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, and Florence Knoll. By the mid-twentieth century it had helped birth the American Studio Craft movement through the work and teaching of women such as Marianne Strengell in textiles and Maija Grotell in ceramics. This talk will also explore the contributions of important artists and designers of color associated with the Academy.

drew Blauvelt
This session originally aired at the Assets 2021 Annual Conference.

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