In recognition of Finland’s centennial of independence, Cranbrook Art Museum presents Finland 100: The Cranbrook Connection, an exhibition examining the profound influence this country has had on the development of the arts in America.
Design has always been a special strength of Finnish culture, exemplified by the Cranbrook campus itself. When designing Cranbrook, architect Eliel Saarinen blended vernacular Finnish romanticism from his native Kirkkonummi, Finland, with the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles prominent in America at the time. Saarinen’s comprehensive philosophy that one should design in the context of the next larger thing—from the chair to the room to the house to the city—meant that no element of the built environment should be overlooked. Thus, he and his talented family designed Cranbrook as a “total work of art,” which the New York Times has called “one of the greatest campuses ever created anywhere in the world.”
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