Future Exhibitions

Michigan Modern: Design That Shaped America
May 18 – August 24, 2014

When Michigan’s industry and design intertwined, Michigan became an epicenter of modern design, with visionaries statewide turning from the simple generation of products to design that rippled throughout the country. Detroit’s automobile manufacturers styled automobiles synonymous with the American dream. The state’s furniture designers revolutionized the look of the American office and home. Michigan architects Albert Kahn, Eero Saarinen, and Minoru Yamasaki defined an era. Michigan’s industry, prosperity, and educational institutions attracted the design talent that formed the foundation for modern American design. This exhibition celebrates Michigan’s outstanding contributions to Modern design, and highlights the people who made it happen.

This exhibition was organized by the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office in association with Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by MPdL Studio of Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Eames Chairs. Photograph by Balthazar Korab, Courtesy of the Herman Miller archives

Michigan Modern Symposium
June 19 – 21, 2014
Kendall College of Art & Design
Registration opens March 3.
Early bird registration: March 3 to April 15 $225.
After April 15, registration is $250.
Limited student registration is $175.

Held in partnership with Kendall College of Art and Design, the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the symposium will explore Michigan’s contribution to modern design and architecture. At the opening event, the keynote speaker will be designer Todd Oldham, whose critically acclaimed book Alexander Girard explores the career of the Herman Miller textile designer.

Other speakers include Mira Nakashima, daughter of furniture designer George Nakashima; Donald Albrecht of the National Building Museum on industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes; and Marilyn Moss who will speak on fabric artist Bill Moss. A highlight will be an interview with sculptor and playground equipment designer Jim Miller Melburg. Tours will include the Herman Miller Furniture Company design and manufacturing facilities in Grand Rapids and Zeeland, the Meyer May House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and Marcel Breuer’s St. Francis de Sales church in Muskegon. Registration includes a reception at the Grand Rapids Art Museum and access to the exhibition.

For more information please visit michiganmodern.org