A Brief History of Eero Saarinen
Apr 29, 2013 9:45:05 AM
Eero Saarinen was born August 20th, 1910 in Kirkkonummi, Finland to Eliel and Loja Gesellius Saarinen. Eero was set up from birth to be a great artist, designer, and architect. Eero’s father Eliel Saarinen, was a well respected architect and his mother, Loja Saarinen was a weaver, photographer, sculptor, and architectural modeler, and textile designer. In 1923, Eero and his family moved to the United States and settled North of Detroit, Michigan. Artistic expression was a way of life and he grew up with a strong sense of respect and responsibility towards creative development. Eero was quoted in 1959 saying, “The purpose of architecture is to shelter and enhance man’s life on earth and to fulfill his belief in the nobility of his existence.” As early as the age of 12, Eero was creating architecture, where in 1922 he won first place in a matchstick design contest. His father co-founded the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Eero worked with his father as an apprentice architect. Eero graduated from Yale University School of Architecture in 1934. In 1936, he became an instructor of design and joined as a partner at his father’s architecture firm. After his father’s death in 1950, he became the principal partner of Saarinen & Associates. Saarinen & Associates was featured in Time magazine in 1956. Notable architectural projects are the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, Dulles International Airport Terminal, Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus, GM Technical Center, and the TWA Terminal in New York. He collaborated with Charles Eames, whom he first met at Cranbrook. Together they won first prize at the Museum of Modern Art’s Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition in 1940. Eames worked for Herman Miller and Saarinen designed for Knoll. We carry reproductions of his Tulip Dining Table, Side Table, Side Chair, Arm Chair, and the Womb Chair. In addition, we have just added 4 new Tulip Lamps. We have the Tulip Floor Lamp and Table lamp in both black and white listed under living room at very low prices. He was married twice and had 3 children, 2 from his first, and 1 from his second marriage. He passed away in 1961 while undergoing brain surgery for Cancer. He was 51 years old. His partners and Saarinen & Associates Kevin Roche and John Dinkelo finished his last 10 projects. In 2001, Roche donated Saarinen’s work to the Yale University Library.
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