Photo Friday: Model Club

Gregg and Model Class

Cranbrook School’s Model Club, March 1952. From left: Faculty Advisor Richard Gregg, David Higbie, Don Young, David Morris, President Richard Gielow, Adams McHenry, Don Hart, Pete Dawkins, Dahmen Brown, and Jerry Phillips. Harvy Croze, photographer. Courtesy of Cranbrook Archives.

This week’s Photo Friday shows the Cranbrook Model Club of 1952—a well-dressed group of Cranbrook School boys and their faculty advisor, Richard Gregg, who met to further their interest and skills at model making. Models, of course, interested Cranbrook’s founder George Booth and are integral to the architectural design process, so its fitting that Cranbrook School had a Model Club.

Model making as a middle-class hobby boomed after World War II, when boys and their fathers were encouraged to take up productive and wholesome pursuits in their leisure time. The broad affordability and availability of plastic model kits meant hobbyists didn’t have to have special tools or carving skills to produce a model—anyone could assemble a kit! Looking closely at the photograph of the Model Club (you can zoom in on the photo here), I believe these are airplanes assembled from such kits.

Gregg with Students cropped.JPG

Cranbrook School art class with instructor Richard “Dick” Gregg sculpting a bust, 1952. Harvy Croze, photographer. Courtesy of Cranbrook Archives.

The model club’s advisor was Richard Gregg, a 1951 Academy of Art graduate. Born in Kalamazoo, Gregg studied sculpture at the Academy. While a student, he worked on various sets for productions by St. Dunstan’s Theater. Following his studies, he taught art at Cranbrook School for Boys during the 1951-1952 school year. After he left Cranbrook, his love of art and art education continued; Gregg went on to work in museums as a design instructor, a curator, and a director at various places across the Midwest and East Coast.

I don’t know that much about the Cranbrook Model Club, but on this hot, blue-skied Friday, I thought it was a nice moment for a photo of something as leisurely and enjoyable as model airplanes!

– Kevin Adkisson, Collections Fellow, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research

Corajoyce Rauss (1925-2015): A Cranbrook Legend

The Archives was saddened to learn this week of the passing of Corajoyce Nancy Lane, of Bloomfield Hills, who worked at Cranbrook for over five decades. Raised by parents who taught her that women didn’t, and shouldn’t, work, Corajoyce (who was headstrong even at a young age!) tried to convince her parents to let her get a job. Her first thought was airplane pilot, followed by truck driver so that she could drive across the country! Instead, at the age of 20, without her parents’ permission, she responded to an ad in the Birmingham Eccentric for a photographer’s assistant at the Cranbrook Foundation. Corajoyce was offered the job by staff photographer Harvey Croze, and finally received consent from her parents. The job only lasted two months, which she followed with a job working for Margaret Auger, then headmistress of Kingswood School. In 1948, Corajoyce married Robert Rauss (they honeymooned at a dude ranch in Colorado) and two years later, left Cranbrook to become a stay-at-home mom to her daughter.

Corajoyce Rauss, Nov 1947.

Corajoyce Rauss, Nov 1947. Harvey Croze, photographer.

In 1961, Corajoyce returned to Cranbrook, this time securing a job as Henry Scripps Booth’s personal secretary. As she and Henry became lifelong friends, she was given more responsibility and became the manager of Henry’s personal estate. During her tenure at Cranbrook, Corajoyce met Carl Milles, Zoltan Sepeshy and Eliel Saarinen among others. George and Ellen Booth used to drop by Kingswood School, often unannounced, and Corajoyce also met visitors including Isaac Stern, Leonard Bernstein, and Princess Christina of Sweden.

Arthur Witleff and Corajoyce Rauss, Jan 1962.

Arthur Wittliff and Corajoyce Rauss, Jan 1962. Harvey Croze, photographer.

Soon after Henry’s death in 1988, Corajoyce began work at the Cranbrook Archives as the part-time bookkeeper. She volunteered additional time and took on the task of organizing, with the help of a core of volunteers, the Booth family photographs, creating photo albums that are housed in the Archives today. She worked tirelessly on compiling The Cranbrook Booth Family of America genealogy which required copious amounts of correspondence with various Booth family members. Her hard work and dedication earned her Cranbrook’s President’s Award for Excellence in 1990. Corajoyce remained a fixture at Cranbrook Archives until her retirement in 2007. She was once quoted as saying that she “lived a Cinderella life.” While Cranbrook has lost a dedicated employee, her love of Cranbrook and the work she accomplished here lives on in the Archives.

Leslie S. Edwards, Head Archivist

Photo Friday: Wartime Conservation, Kingswood-Style

Kingswood students Blenda Isbey, Irene Bard, and Nollie Campbell collect waste fat after their Home Economics class at Kingswood School, 1944. Harvey Croze, Cranbrook Archives.

During World War II, students at the Cranbrook and Kingswood Schools became increasingly involved in homefront activities. Here, Kingswood students Blenda Isbey, Irene Bard, and Nollie Campbell collect waste fat after they’ve finished their Home Economics class. Fat could be used to make soap, in great demand because of wartime rations, but was also consolidated for use in explosives.

Poster advocating the re-use of waste fats in explosives. Henry Koerner, Printed by the Office of War Information, 1943. National Archives.

Poster advocating the re-use of waste fats in explosives. Henry Koerner, Printed by the Office of War Information, 1943. National Archives.

Shoshana Resnikoff, Collections Fellow

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