When: May 3 - August 23, 2008
Where: National Building Museum. 401 F Street NW · Washington, DC
Eero Saarinen was one of the most prolific, fascinating and unorthodox masters of 20th century architecture. Famous for his simple, sweeping and arching shapes, Saarinen changed the face of domestic and industrial design in the United States by creating some of the world’s most innovative and widely recognized structures. From the 630-foot-tall, stainless steel St. Louis Gateway Arch along the Mississippi River to the swooping concrete vaults at the TWA Terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, Saarinen helped build an international image of the United States at the height of the Cold War.
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In celebration of Eero Saarinen’s remarkable achievements, the National Building Museum, in collaboration with the Museum of Finnish Architecture, Helsinki and the Finnish Cultural Institute, will present the first major retrospective of his work. Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future, will feature full-scale building models, never-before seen drawings, furniture, photographs, films, and other artifacts. By exploring the architect’s wide-ranging career from the 1930s through the early 1960s, the exhibition will be the first opportunity to fully understand Saarinen’s collective work.
Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future and the accompanying catalog will be the first public unveiling of the architect’s complete archives, the largest repository of Saarinen-related material in the world, which was donated to Yale University in 2002. Previously unknown projects, personal documents and other items have been discovered in this material and shed light on Saarinen’s complex story. In addition, the exhibition and catalogue will draw upon other rich collections from institutions such as the Cranbrook Archives in Michigan, the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and the corporate archives of Saarinen’s clients.