Eero Saarinen at A+D Architecture and Design Museum, Los Angeles (2012-13)

Eero Saarinen: A Reputation for Innovation

A+D Architecture and Design Museum, Los Angeles
5 October 2012 – 3 January 2013

Press release text by A+D Museum

A+D Architecture and Design Museum > Los Angeles (A+D Museum) is pleased to announce Eero Saarinen: A Reputation for Innovation, curated by Mina Marefat, PhD, on view October 5th, 2012 through January 3rd, 2013. Presented by Asa Abbloy and Matt Construction.

Born in Finland, Eero Saarinen (1910 – 1961) is recognized today as one of America’s most influential architects of the 20th Century. The exhibition at A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles will highlight his short but brilliant career bookended with two iconic buildings: the unbuilt Smithsonian Gallery of Art which was to be Washington, DC’s first museum of modern art and Dulles International Airport which was designed as the nation’s first jet airport. He built numerous corporate, educational, cultural, public and private buildings along with such recognizable icons as the St. Louis Gateway Arch and the TWA terminal at JFK. The exhibition will present his contribution to California Case Study houses and shed light on his influence on design in mid-Century America.

The exhibition at A+D Architecture and Design Museum > Los Angeles is unique in shedding light on the little known chapter of Eero Saarinen’s secret professional life during the WWII when he served in the OSS, the precursor of the CIA. His wartime experience influenced and helped Eero Saarinen establish himself as one of the most creative designers with products that broke technological and aesthetic boundaries including the Tulip chair and the Womb chair, both still in production by Knoll.

The exhibition is organized to grow as it travels to highlight regional relevance. A new module prepared for and seen for the first time at A+D features Eero Saarinen’s residential design in California, the Case Study House #9. Part of the experimental post war housing spearheaded by the Arts and Architecture Magazine, Saarinen designed the house together with Charles Eames in 1945 and when it was constructed in 1949, the founder and editor John Entenza lived in the house. The exhibition shows sketches and drawings never before exhibited together with a physical model and a digital model that underscore Saarinen’s perception not just of form and aesthetics but also of new ideas for mass housing during the post-war boom.