The Michigan Historical Museum offers two events this weekend to complement its latest exhibition, “Minds of Modernism,” which explores Michigan’s role in advancing mid-century Modernism. The exhibit includes architectural drawings, building models and representative commercial products from noted designers.
Friday, the museum hosts co-producers Eric Saarinen and Robert Zeigelman for a screening of their new film, “Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future.” Born in Finland, Eero Saarinen was one of the premiere architects in the Modernism movement and lived much of his life in southwest Michigan. Eric Saarinen, the architect’s son, and Zeigelman will discuss the film and take questions. The evening also includes a reception and a tour of “Minds of Modernism.”
Susan Bandes, author of “Mid-Michigan Modern: From Frank Lloyd Wright to Googie,” leads a tour Sunday of “Minds of Modernism.” Bandes, who teaches art history and is director of museum studies at MSU, acted as advisor/curator for the exhibit and will conduct the free curated tour. Parking is free, and Bandes’ book will be available for purchase.
In her new book, Bandes has collected photographs, art and oral histories of more than 130 modernist structures that were built in East Lansing and Lansing between 1940 and 1970. Included are homes, offices and houses of worship that you might drive by every day.
The Michigan Medical Society building near the intersection of Saginaw Street and Abbot Road in East Lansing, for example, is a classic example of modernism and was designed by Minoru Yamasaki, architect of the World Trade Center.
Another classic example of a home designed in the modernist vein is the soaring “airplane house” on Moores River Drive, designed for the aviator/entrepreneur Talbert Abrams and built to look like an airplane when viewed from above.
“Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future”
5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2
A tour through “Mid-Michigan Modern”
With author Susan Bandes
1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4
Michigan Historical Museum
702 W. Kalamazoo St., Lansing
(517) 373-3559, michigan.gov/mhc/