Dispatch from the Archives: Documenting Liggett

Part of the job of an archivist is to network with colleagues and provide guidance when neighboring organizations or institutions are looking to establish a new archive.  As luck would have it, two weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting the University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods to look at their archives, and work with the two stellar Sara(h)s: Sara Day Brewer and Sarah Gaines.  Both women—also current parents at the school—are working to preserve the heritage of the school.

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Liggett School ephemera noting architect Albert Kahn’s entrance to the school, 1942. The Liggett School Collection, Courtesy University Liggett School Archives.

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Photo Friday: Folk Dancing

Harry Bertoia is served food by a costumed man at the Cranbrook Academy of Art folk dancing party. December, 1940. Cranbrook Archives.

Harry Bertoia is served food by a costumed man at the Cranbrook Academy of Art folk dancing party. December, 1940. Cranbrook Archives.

Cranbrook Academy of Art students may come to Michigan for their MFAs, but they seem to become masters of throwing great parties during their time here as well. One such shindig was the “Folk Dancing Party,” held in 1940 and shown here. Harry Bertoia, sculptor and furniture designer, sits in a suit while a costumed man serves him food. Lederhosen and hors d’oeuvres – a unique combination for a unique evening.

Shoshana Resnikoff, Collections Fellow

Art in the Time of War: Cranbrook’s Monuments Men

Monuments Men, opening today in theaters, chronicles the efforts of men and women in the US military to protect and preserve Europe’s artistic and cultural patrimony during World War II. Directed by George Clooney, the film has brought to national attention the work of these non-traditional soldiers, arts and cultural professionals who recognized that while the world was tangled in a struggle that engulfed countries and cost thousands of lives, the art and artifacts prized for centuries by those communities were equally at risk.

With the renewed attention to the work of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Section (MFAA)—nicknamed the “Monuments Men”—has come the realization at museums across the country that many of their early directors and curators were active members of the MFAA during World War II.  At Cranbrook we’ve uncovered the stories of two Monuments Men who played a role in our own history.

Robert S. Davis at Cranbrook, 1942. Cranbrook Archives.

Richard S. Davis at Cranbrook, 1942. Cranbrook Archives.

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