Photo Friday: Swedish Weavers, All in a Row

Studio Loja Saarinen weavers seated at one of the larger looms.  L to R: Elizabeth Edmark, Marie Bexell, Peggy Broberg, Gerda Nyberg.  May, 1935.  Cranbrook Archives.

Studio Loja Saarinen weavers seated at one of the larger looms. L to R: Elizabeth Edmark, Marie Bexell, Peggy Broberg, Gerda Nyberg. May, 1935. Cranbrook Archives.

Founded in 1928, Studio Loja Saarinen served as a commercial weaving studio at Cranbrook, producing rugs, curtains, table textiles, and tapestries for both the growing Cranbrook campus and outside clients.  Though it bore her name, Loja Saarinen was not the sole weaver at Studio Loja Saarinen—instead, the studio employed a staff of primarily Swedish women who immigrated to the United States during the 1920s and 30s.  At its largest size, the studio had 30 looms in use to keep up with production demands.  Here four of Studio Loja Saarinen’s Swedish weavers are posed at one of the large looms housed in the lower level of the studio.   From left, they are: Elizabeth Edmark, Marie Bexell, Peggy Broberg, and Gerda Nyberg.   Displayed before them is one of the giant rugs produced by the weavers.  Still in use, this rug is on view in Saarinen House today.

– Shoshana Resnikoff, Collections Fellow

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5 thoughts on “Photo Friday: Swedish Weavers, All in a Row

  1. I always enjoy the stories of Cranbrook gone by- Thank you providing this wonderful blog. I posted the story of the Booth family’s steamship trip to Europe in 1911 on my facebook page to share with friends whom I know would be interested.

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  2. I just came across this post searching for information about the Cranbrook Loom that my grandfather Bert Bexell designed and made. Marie Bexell was my great-grandmother. My grandfather Bert passed away this week. He will always be remembered for the passion he had for building looms and the Cranbrook Loom is his legacy. This is a great picture of his mother Marie. Thank you.

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    • I have had a Bexell Cranbrook loom since 1945, when I was in Kingswood, taught by Mrs Holm. I now need a new home for it… any suggestions? I’m in Arizona.

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    • Connie, I’m so glad that we were able to post a picture of your great grandmother! It is always wonderful to connect to the descendents of members of the Cranbrook community, and clearly your grandfather and his mother were central to this place. I apologize for not seeing your comment for months – I must have missed it! Still, thank you sharing your family’s story.

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