Exhibition Detail

Eliel Saarinen, Cranbrook Art Museum and Academy of Art Library, Cranbrook Educational Community, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, 1942 Photo: James Haefner

James Haefner: Michigan Modern

October 6, 2021 - January 9, 2022
Lower Galleries

Featuring more than fifty photographs by acclaimed Bloomfield Hills-based photographer James Haefner, this exhibition explores Michigan’s extraordinary legacy in architectural modernism.

Diverse in style and rich in significance, Michigan Modern documents landmark buildings throughout the state, from the innovative GM Tech Center designed by Eero Saarinen in Warren, Michigan and the refined beauty of Minoru Yamasaki’s McGregor Conference Center at Wayne State University in Detroit to Richard Meier’s iconic Douglas House in Harbor Springs and Zaha Hadid’s striking MSU Broad Art Museum in East Lansing.

At the confluence of art, industry, and education, Michigan has long played an outsized role in the evolution of modern architecture and design. The architects of the 34 projects documented by Haefner reads like who’s-who of modernism and includes the work of Eliel and Eero Saarinen, Frank Lloyd Wright, Alden B. Dow, Alexander Girard, William Kessler, George Nelson, Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer, Gunnar Birkerts, and Kevin Roche, among many others.

In conjunction with this exhibition is a gallery of photographs by Haefner of Cranbrook’s historic landmark campus, highlighting the architecture of Eliel Saarinen.

The exhibition emerged from Haefner’s work documenting important examples of historically significant architecture throughout Michigan for the State Historic Preservation Office and is based on the book by its former chief officer, Brian D. Conway, Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy.

This exhibition is organized by James Haefner with interpretive texts by Brian D. Conway and curated by Andrew Blauvelt, Director, and is supported by ArtMembers of Cranbrook Art Museum and the Museum Committee.

With Eyes Opened: Cranbrook Academy of Art Since 1932 Closes September 19