For Immediate Release
December 20, 2016
CONTACT: Della Cassia
Cranbrook’s Eero Saarinen: The subject of a new national PBS Show Airing on Detroit Public TV: Tuesday, 12/27 at 8 p.m. ET
With special DPTV-produced segments on Saarinen’s local influence—airing 12-24 through 12-27
DETROIT (December 20, 2016) –“Our architecture is too humble. It should be prouder, more aggressive, much richer and larger than we see today. I would like to do my part in expanding that richness.” The wishes and vision of Michigan-born renowned architect, Eero Saarinen, will be told in a new PBS American Master’s film, “Eero Saarinen: The Architecture Who Saw the Future,” airing on PBS stations nationwide and on Detroit Public TV (DPTV) on Tuesday, December 27 at 8 p.m.
Accompanying the film will be three DPTV-produced local segments filmed at Cranbrook on Saarinen’s influence and legacy on the venerated institution. These will air on DPTV starting December 24 and will be available online at www.dptv.org along with a special 10-minute segment featuring a roundtable discussion on the influence of Saarinen’s work to other legendary designers, as well as to the industry as a whole. Panelists are: Gregory Wittkopp, Director, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research; Leslie Edwards, Head Archivist; Andrew Blauvelt, Director of Cranbrook Art Museum; Scott Klinker, 3-D Designer-in-Residence, Cranbrook Academy of Art.
“Through a four person panel of esteemed Cranbrook academics and researchers, Detroit Public TV wanted to capture the impact that Cranbrook had on Eero Saarinen’s artistic development,” said Ed Moore, DPTV’s Director, Content and Detroit Bureau. “It’s during these critical years that Eero’s view of design and architecture are informed by this unique learning environment and directly responsible for later masterworks such as the Gateway Arch, the General Motors Technical Center and his furniture like the Womb Chair and the pedestal table and chairs.”
Eero Saarinen: The Architecture Who Saw the Future explores the life of Finnish-American modernist architectural giant Saarinen (1910-1961), whose visionary buildings include national historic landmarks such as St. Louis’ iconic Gateway Arch and the General Motors Technical Center in Michigan, as New York’s TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Yale University Ingalls Rink and modernist pedestal furniture like the Tulip Chair.
In the documentary, Saarinen’s son, director of photography and co-producer Eric Saarinen, visits the sites of his father’s work on a cathartic journey, shot in 6K with the latest in drone technology that
showcases the architect’s body of timeless work for the first time. The documentary also features rare archival interviews with Saarinen and his second wife, The New York Times art critic Aline Saarinen, as well as letters and quotations from Aline’s memoirs voiced respectively by Peter Franzén and Blythe Danner.
Immigrating at the age of 13 to Bloomfield Hills, Saarinen attended Cranbrook Academy of Art, designed by Saarinen’s dad Eliel, who taught there and became the school’s first president as well as the chief architect of the Cranbrook campus.
About Detroit Public Television
Detroit Public Television (DPTV) is the non-commercial, viewer-supported PBS-member station watched by more than 1.5 million people in Detroit and Southeast Michigan and another 1.2 million people throughout Canada. DPTV also manages WRCJ 90.9 FM, Detroit's classical and jazz radio station, in collaboration with the license-holder, the Detroit Public Schools. The radio station is located in the Detroit School of Arts. DPTV is licensed to the Detroit Educational Television Foundation and governed by a volunteer board of trustees from the local business, civic, and cultural communities.