Eliel Saarinen

Eliel Saarinen (1873-1950) was a Finnish architect who became famous for his art nouveau buildings in the early years of the 20th century. As a young man, Saarinen studied painting and architecture at Helsinki University. He moved to the United States in 1923, after his competition entry for the Tribune Tower in Chicago was given note. Two years later, he was asked to design the campus of Cranbrook Educational Community, intended as the American equivalent to Germany’s Bauhaus.  Saarinen taught there and became the president of the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1932. In 1904 he married Finnish sculptor, Louise (Loja) Gesellius, an accomplished artist in her own right. Among his students at Cranbrook were Ray Eames (then Ray Kaiser) and Charles Eames, influencing their subsequent furniture design.