Cranbrook Academy of Art

Published: 30.04.2020
CAA Campus in Spring, Photo by PD Rearick.
CAA Campus in Spring, Photo by PD Rearick

© By the author. Read Copyright.

The pedagogy of our program is based on the rhythms of a working artist - the intensity, the rigorous attention to craft and detail, and the commitment to getting things made.

All departments at Cranbrook are small - only seven or eight students are admitted to metalsmithing each year, ensuring close, personal interaction with your artist-in-residence and your peers. Students in our 10 departments work on a spectacular, 300-acre, National Landmark campus located about 20 miles northwest of Detroit. Thanks to Iris Eichenberg’s professional background and Detroit’s reputation as a burgeoning arts center, metalsmithing at Cranbrook is decidedly international in outlook, with students, critics, and visitors representing nations from Europe, the Americas, and Asia.

At Cranbrook, the nation’s only independent graduate school for architecture, art, and design, we do things a little differently. We don’t have classes. We don’t give As, Bs, Cs, Ds, or Fs. We don’t have undergraduates. What we do have is one of the nation’s most venerated programs, based in studio practice and committed to the act of making. Students at Cranbrook chart their own course of study, working directly with their artist-in-residence (and we mean in-residence: our faculty live and work on campus). Our metals program began in the studio of Harry Bertoia and continues today under the direction of internationally renowned jeweler and metalsmith Iris Eichenberg, who formerly directed metals at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Her work, which resides in collections around the world, is known for its bold challenge to conventional notions of art and design. “I support the personal, the idiosyncratic, in my studio,” Eichenberg says. “I think strength is developed by going to a place where things are dense and concentrated, even extreme.

 Professional Practice program:
At the Academy, all of our work is professional practice. While you’ll spend two years in an intense community of artists and designers working together, Cranbrook isn’t a break from professional life. Rather, it’s a testing ground to build the foundation for the life you want after graduate school. True, you get to chart your own course here, but we expect that our graduates will continue to do this after they leave the Academy. So, every critique, every dinner with a visiting artist, every cocktail party with collectors is professional preparation. At the Academy, work and life are truly integrated.
Still, you may need help learning the things you don’t yet know. The Professional Practice program at the Academy is open to all students and is designed to offer skills and knowledge for your work at Cranbrook and in the years after graduation.  The program offers a range of workshops and discussions, including introductions to equipment and technology, seminars related to finding jobs, applying for residencies, and even local tours and guides of available resources. The programs are developed and implemented by our staff, alumni and visitors. And while we offer a set of fixed sessions scheduled throughout the year, the program also responds to current student need with pop-up sessions when an interest arises. Attendance at any of these sessions is optional; we invite you to join what is helpful to you.

Critical Studies program:
Our Critical Studies program is the central piece of our academic program. Each semester, we bring a visiting Critical Studies Fellow to be in residence at the Academy. Selected for their perspectives on contemporary theory and culture studies, the visiting Fellows present public lectures, conduct student discussion groups and serve as an active presence in studio critiques and reviews. The visiting fellows are chosen each year to reflect the most current intellectual discourse within contemporary architecture, art, and design.

Lecture Series:
Our Lecture Series reflects Cranbrook as a living system. Our ecology is dynamic and doesn’t follow a distinct path or linear course, and change can come rapidly or seeded slowly. Our permeable pedagogy means we can to be responsive to what is happening in the fields of contemporary art, design, and architecture. This year, our visitors consider the consequences of globalization on creative practice and social engagement – from issues of cultural homogenization to the politicized body to neo-liberalism – and question how pressure for global cultures and multiple identities fuels the communication of ideas.

Cranbrook Art Museum opened in its current Eliel Saarinen-designed building in 1942. Today, it presents original exhibitions and educational programming on modern and contemporary architecture, art, crafts, and design. In 2011, the Museum underwent a $22 million restoration and expansion, creating a state-of-the-art Collections Wing that makes its entire 6,000+ collection visible—and accessible—to students, scholars, and visitors.
Cranbrook Art Museum is an educational institution that provides direct experience with modern and contemporary art, architecture and design, and promotes an understanding of their relevance and contribution to society. As a partner of Cranbrook Academy of Art, Cranbrook Art Museum is a window to the Academy and the Academy’s window to the world.

Events      View / hide events

Exhibition  29 Feb 2020 - 09 Mar 2020  Surface Levels / Cranbrook.
Exhibition  13 Apr 2019 - 12 May 2019  Cranbrook Academy of Art. Degree Show 2019.
Meeting  01 Feb 2019 - 02 Feb 2019  On Mentorship: Cranbrook Academy of Art Craft Symposium.
Exhibition  19 Aug 2018 - 31 Oct 2018  Marzee International Graduate Show 2018.
Exhibition  22 Apr 2018 - 13 May 2018  Cranbrook Academy of Art. Degree Show 2018.
Exhibition  26 Jan 2018 - 02 Feb 2018  A Line of Beauty: Cranbrook House Inhabitation.
Exhibition  23 Apr 2017 - 14 May 2017  Cranbrook Academy of Art. Graduation degree Show 2017.
The Degree Exhibition showcases pieces that are the culmination of two years of studio work from a diverse group of more than 60 graduates as they launch their careers.
Exhibition  23 Apr 2017 - 14 May 2017  Cranbrook Academy of Art. Degree Show 2017.
Exhibition  16 Apr 2016 - 15 May 2016  Cranbrook Academy of Art. Graduation Degree Show 2016.
Exhibition  23 Nov 2014 - 25 Jan 2015  Bend by Iris Eichenberg.
Exhibition  21 Apr 2012 - 13 May 2012  2012 Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Exhibition  20 Feb 2009 - 06 Apr 2009  Cranbrook Department of metalsmithing February 2009- News.
Metalsmithing Life in the Studio.
Metalsmithing Life in the Studio

© By the author. Read Copyright.
Metalsmithing Life in the Studio.
Metalsmithing Life in the Studio

© By the author. Read Copyright.