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The Saarinens: A Family Tradition in Architecture and Design

New Series: A Mid-century Modern Focus

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, October 11, 2023 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1NV050
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Gateway Arch in St Louis (Photo: Matt Kozlowski)

Eero Saarinen was one of the most prominent architects in America working in the mid-20th century. Among his best known and most photographed works are Dulles Airport, the Gateway Arch in St Louis, and the TWA Terminal at JFK Airport. From 1948 when Saarinen won the competition to design the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, which became the iconic Gateway Arch, his fame was assured. However, his story begins much earlier in Sweden with his father, Eilel an architect and city planner born in 1876 and his mother Loja born in 1890. 

In 1923 when Eero was 13, the family moved to the United States. Eilel, with an established career in Europe including such works as the Helsinki Central Railway Station and the Finnish Pavilion at the 1900 World’s Fair, had been selected to design the newly founded Cranbook Academy of Art in Michigan, inspired by the Bauhaus.  His wife was a textile artist and sculptor, and the family often collaborated on projects.

Lecturer Bill Keene explores the family’s creative history, as well as the span of Eero Saarinen’s brief career, studded with a series of iconic and trendsetting projects including the General Motors Technical Center, a chapel at MIT, and the CBS Building in New York City, before his death at age 51.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*

General Information

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.