Kevin Adkisson, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research
Triton Pools. Bronze tritons and fishes by Swedish sculptor Carl Milles lead toward the Cranbrook Academy of Art Library and Museum, completed in 1942. Photography by James Haefner, Courtesy Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
Cranbrook Art Museum and Library. Stairs lead past a Chinese lion from the Wei Dynestry (386-557) at Cranbrook Academy of Art Library and Museum, completed in 1942 by architect Eliel Saarinen. Photography by James Haefner, Courtesy Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
Textiles, furniture, lighting, and architecture are a unified whole at Saarinen House, designed in collaboration between Eliel Saarinen, Loja Saarinen, and the craftsmen and women of Cranbrook Arts and Crafts Studios between 1928 and 1930. Photography by James Haefner, Courtesy Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
Auditorium of Kingswood School for Girls (now Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School), with ceiling designed by Eero Saarinen and curtain by Pipsan Saarinen Swanson. Completed in 1931. Photography by James Haefner, Courtesy Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
Dining Hall entrance to Cranbrook School for Boys (now Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School), designed by Eliel Saarinen and completed in 1928. Photography by James Haefner, Courtesy Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
Between 1918 and 1942, Cranbrook’s founders, philanthropists and newspaper publishers George and Ellen Booth, transformed their personal estate into a center of learning. Establishing an elementary school, preparatory schools for girls and boys, a graduate Academy of Art, art museum, science institute, and Episcopal church, the Booth’s vision was expansive. Inspired by the English Arts and Crafts Movement, Cranbrook’s buildings and grounds demonstrate a quality of craftsmanship and materials unrivaled in America.
To realize the Cranbrook project, architect Eliel Saarinen and designer Loja Saarinen, along with their children, Pipsan and Eero, collaborated to create a campus that is a total work of art. The Saarinens designed everything: buildings and fountains, textiles and furniture, silverware and graphics, and many of the family’s designs were executed in workshops on Cranbrook’s campus.
Curator Kevin Adkisson works on preservation, interpretation, and programming across the many buildings and treasures of Cranbrook. Since arriving as a Collections Fellow in 2016, Kevin has welcomed thousands of guests to Cranbrook’s National Historic Landmark campus, both in person and virtually. Through tours, lectures, and online programming, Kevin makes history come alive with a friendly, humorous nature, and deep passion for art and architecture.
Raised in Marietta, Georgia, Kevin earned his BA in Architecture from Yale, where he worked for four years at the Yale University Art Gallery’s Furniture Study. Kevin received his MA from the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, with a thesis examining the role of postmodernism in Jon Jerde’s shopping mall architecture.
Before coming to Cranbrook, Kevin worked for Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA) in New York as a research and writing associate and at Kent Bloomer Studio in New Haven, Connecticut, on the design and fabrication of architectural ornament.