Author(s): Jayne Merkel
For more than half a century people have marveled at the sweeping forms of the Trans World Airlines terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, lined up to enter the St. Louis Gateway Arch, and admired the mid-century modern lines of Knoll's Womb and Tulip chairs. Yet few outside the architecture profession can name the designer of these wide-ranging projects: the Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen (1910-1961). Saarinen made the cover of TIME magazine in 1956, heralded as a key practitioner of postwar modernism. He counted among his clients several of the world's most powerful corporations and educational institutions (among them General Motors, IBM, Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and pioneered the development of new materials and building technologies. Yet in the decades following his death, interest in his work waned and much of his archive became difficult to access This highly anticipated monograph is the first major publication on Eero Saarinen since the early 1960s and fills a significant gap in Saarinen scholarship. Written in an accessible, journalistic style, it will be of interest to architects and students as well as general readers interested in the significant figures of twentieth-century modernism
'Merkel's handsome volume presents the first truly comprehensive survey, and seeks to demonstrate how Saarinen could be 'mainstream and avante-garde at the same time.' (New Yorker)
Jayne Merkel is an architectural historian and critic and serves on the editorial board of Architectural Design in London. She was the editor of Oculus, the journal of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects, from 1995 to 2002. A prolific writer, she is the author of five books, and over the past 25 years has written for Art in America, Progressive Architecture, and Harvard Design Magazine, amongst many other publications. She was Architecture Critic for The Cincinnati Enquirer from 1977 to 1988, and is a former Director of the Graduate Program in Criticism at the Parsons School of Design in New York.