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Aline and Eero Saarinen papers, 1906-1977

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Series 1: Aline and Eero Saarinen Personal Papers , 1928-1977
3.7 linear feet
Boxes 1-4, 15, OV 16

Series consists of material relating to both Aline and Eero Saarinen, their relationship, their families, and other personal aspects of their lives. Most of the material found here was created and accumulated by Aline Saarinen. Also found is some material of Eero Saarinen's that was either created as part of their life together (such as photographs from various trips together) or that was later collected by Aline Saarinen as part of her own files (such as some drawings of Eero Saarinen's furniture designs).
The Aline and Eero Saarinen Personal Papers series is arranged into four subseries:
  • 1.1: Miscellaneous Personal Papers, 1928-1974
  • 1.2: Correspondence, 1936-1970
  • 1.3: Printed Material, 1947-1977
  • 1.4: Photographs, 1940s-1970
1.1: Miscellaneous Personal Papers, 1943-1974
Subseries consists primarily of material relating to personal aspects of Aline Saarinen's life, as well as some scattered papers of Eero Saarinen and a file relating to their son, Eames Saarinen.
Aline Saarinen's papers include a diary she began as a young girl and periodically added to over the years; a guest book which records the names of people who visited her during the years 1961-1971, with gaps in-between; a notebook from a class she took with [Erwin] Panofsky on Baroque art in 1936; a notebook that she kept on the alterations to the first house that she and her first husband, Joseph Louchheim, purchased in 1949 (including diary entries, correspondence with architects and interior designers, photographs, estimates, and statements); her writing on the events surrounding almost being offered the Finnish Ambassadorship by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964; invitations and other material relating to various inaugural events during the 1960s; and some personal writings and biographical material. Also found are awards and honorary degrees, including an academic hood, received by Aline Saarinen (such as honorary degrees from University of Michigan and Russell Sage College), campaign buttons, press passes, and commemorative objects.
Eero Saarinen's papers include biographical material (including a copy of his death certificate), some drawings of his furniture designs (mainly chairs), illustrated cards and certificates some of which were done with his son Eames, timelines and notes for various architectural projects, and various sketches and drawings, including sketches of Aline and himself, drawings of certain architectural projects with notes that he shared with Aline, various architectural sketches (some on the backs of placemats), and designs featuring their first initials, A and E.
Papers relating to Eames Saarinen include correspondence to his mother, school reports, and some poems and other writings.
Unless otherwise noted, the files relate to Aline Saarinen. Files are arranged alphabetically.
Description Container
Art Work, Unidentified, undated
(Not scanned)
1
1
Awards and Honorary Degrees, 1956-1967
(5 folders; see also Box 15; not scanned)
1
2-6
Awards and Honorary Degrees, Academic Hood, 1960s
(See Box 15; not scanned)
1
7
Biographical Material, 1943-1960s
1
8
Biographical Material, Eero Saarinen, 1961-1963
(Not scanned in entirety)
1
9
Campaign and Other Buttons, 1960s
1
10
Commemorative Objects, 1965, 1967
(Not scanned)
1
11
Diary, 1928-1939
(2 folders)
1
12-13
Unidentified sound recordings, undated
6 sound cylinders
Dictabelts
(2 folders; not scanned)
1
14-15
Drawings of Furniture Designs, Eero Saarinen, 1950s
1
16
Eames Saarinen, 1964-1969
1
17
Finnish Ambassadorship, 1964
1
18
Guest Book, 1961-1971
1
19
Illustrated Cards to Aline from Eero Saarinen, 1950s
1
20
Illustrated Certificates to G. Richard Davis from Eero Saarinen, 1950s
1
21
Inaugural and Other Events, 1961-1968
1
22
Miscellaneous Printed Material, 1956-1974
(2 folders; not scanned in entirety)
1
23-24
Notebook, "Panofsky's Course - Baroque", 1936
(2 folders)
2
1-2
Notebook on Joseph and Aline Louchheim's First House, Stamford, CT, 1948-1949
(3 folders)
2
3-5
Notes and Miscellany, 1950-1967
2
6
Personal Writings, Aline and Eero Saarinen, 1950s
(2 folders)
2
7-8
Press Passes, 1960s
2
9
Project Timelines and Miscellaneous Notes, Eero Saarinen, 1950s-1961
2
10
Sketches and Drawings, Eero Saarinen, 1953-1961
(2 folders; see also OV 16)
2
11-12
Sketches of North Xian Church, Eero Saarinen, 1950s
2
13
Radio Discussion of Sydney Opera House (Speakers: Eero Saarinen, H. Ingham Ashworth, and Leslie Martin), 1957 January 29
3 sound discs (lacquer)
(See Box 15; not scanned)
2
14
Oversize, Awards and Honorary Degrees, 1956-1967
15 (sol)
Oversize, Awards and Honorary Degrees, Academic Hood, 1960s
15 (sol)
Oversize sound discs from Box 2, folder 14, 1957 January 29
15 (sol)
Oversize, Sketches and Drawings, Eero Saarinen, 1953-1961
(See Box 2, F11-12)
OV 16
1.2: Correspondence, 1936-1970
Subseries consists of correspondence between Aline and Eero Saarinen, general and family correspondence received by Aline Saarinen, and some miscellaneous correspondence received by Eero Saarinen. Also found are some personal letters of Eero Saarinen detailing the demise of his marriage to his first wife (Lily Swann Saarinen) which seem to have been written as part of undergoing psychotherapy and are addressed to his psychiatrist, "Dr. B", as well as a letter ending his relationship to a woman named Sampe, which may be a draft or a copy, though it is unclear whether the letter was ever actually sent.
Correspondence between Aline and Eero Saarinen primarily dates from 1953, the year they met and married. Their correspondence documents the evolution of their relationship from time they met when Aline interviewed Eero for an article for The New York Times to Eero's divorce and their subsequent remarriage to each other. Also included are homemade birthday cards from Aline to Eero (of particular note is the one from 1953 which details the history of their romance). In addition to relationship matters, their correspondence typically concerns Aline's article on Eero, Eero's architectural projects (or as he puts it, "what goes on in my mind about work"), a forthcoming speech of his in Cleveland on which Aline assisted him, Aline's articles, Eero's divorce proceedings, their future plans, and sculpture for one of Eero's buildings. By and large, their correspondence from 1953 is undated according to month or day. Therefore, letters from that year are only arranged in rough chronological order.
Aline Saarinen's general correspondence includes letters from friends, editors, her literary agent, lawyers, architects and designers, writers, government and university departments, political figures, and television producers, concerning articles, book ideas, dedication of Saarinen buildings, patents for Saarinen furniture designs, television shows, and committee work, among other matters. Correspondents include: Meyer Schapiro, Charles Eames, Louise Mendelsohn, Wayne Andrews, Hoke Norris, Hiram Haydn, Donald S. Klopfer, Bernice Cozzens, Lincoln Kirstein, The New York Times, James Gould Cozzens, J. Irwin Miller, Dwight D. Eisenhower (?), McCall's, Henry Dreyfuss, Lyndon B. Johnson, New York State Department, Russell Sage College, U.S. Department of Interior, Lady Bird Johnson, Nelson Rockefeller, and Wolf Von Eckhardt. General correspondence is typically arranged in chronological order. More extensive correspondence from Clifford Odets (which includes some drawings by Odets) and Frank Lloyd Wright (which concerns the Guggenheim Museum) is arranged into files according to correspondent.
Eero Saarinen's miscellaneous correspondence includes copy of a letter to Huntington Hartford concerning the relationship between architecture and nature, and letters to and from S. Giedion regarding a plan for an International Exhibition of Modern Architecture, in addition to other scattered letters and the personal letters detailing his relationships with Lily and Sampe. Some or all of these letters may have been ones that Eero shared with Aline, which may be how they came to be amongst her papers.
Family correspondence is comprised mainly of letters from Aline Saarinen's first husband, Joseph Louchheim, when he was working in Liberia for two months in 1949, and from her two sons from her first marriage, Donald and Hal Louchheim. Also found are individual letters from Eero's son from his first message, Eric and from their son, Eames.
Description Container
Aline Saarinen to Eero Saarinen, 1953
(7 folders)
2
15-21
Aline Saarinen to Eero Saarinen, Birthday Card ("The Case-History of a Romance"), 1953 August 20
2
22
Aline Saarinen to Eero Saarinen, Birthday Card, 1954
2
23
Aline Saarinen to Eero Saarinen, 1961
2
24
Aline Saarinen to Eero Saarinen, Miscellaneous, undated
2
25
Eero Saarinen to Aline Saarinen, 1953
(10 folders)
2
26-35
Eero Saarinen to Aline Saarinen, 1954
2
36
Eero Saarinen to Donald and Hal Louchheim, 1953
2
37
Aline Saarinen
General Correspondence, 1936-1937
2
38
General Correspondence, 1941-1948
2
39
General Correspondence, 1953-1959
2
40
General Correspondence, 1960-1963
(See also Box 15)
2
41
General Correspondence, 1964
2
42
General Correspondence, 1965-1971
2
43
General Correspondence, undated
(2 folders)
2
44-45
General Correspondence - Odets, Clifford, 1952-1963
2
46
General Correspondence - Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1953-1958
2
47
Eero Saarinen
Letter to Sampe, circa 1952
2
48
Letters to Psychiatrist (Dr. B), 1952-1953
2
49
Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1953-1956
2
50
Family Correspondence
Louchheim, Donald, 1951-1965
2
51
Louchheim, Hal, 1950s-1962
2
52
Louchheim, Joseph, 1949-1970
2
53
Saarinen, Eames, 1970
2
54
Saarinen, Eric, undated
2
55
Oversize, Aline Saarinen - General Correspondence, 1960-1963
(See Box 2, F41)
15 (sol)
1.3: Printed Material, 1947-1977
(Not scanned)
Subseries consists primarily of clippings, in addition to other printed material such as catalogs and publications, that document aspects of the life and work of Aline and Eero Saarinen.
Description Container
Clippings on Aline Saarinen and Family, 1955-1967
2
56
Clippings on Aline Saarinen as Television Correspondent, 1962-1970
(2 folders)
2
57-58
Clippings on Aline Saarinen's Book 5000 Years of Art, 1947
3
1
Clippings on Aline Saarinen and Finnish Ambassadorship, 1964
3
2
Clippings on Aline Saarinen Receiving Honorary Degree from Russell Sage College, 1967
3
3
Clippings on Eero Saarinen, 1953-1967
3
4
Other Printed Material on Eero Saarinen, 1962-1967
3
5
Publication on Hvittrask, Finland, 1977
3
6
1.4: Photographs, 1940s-1970
Subseries consists of photographs of Aline Saarinen, Eero Saarinen, Aline and Eero Saarinen together, and various family members, as well as photographs from various trips, photographs of residences, and other photographs. Also found are slides of art and architecture that were likely used in some of Aline's lectures in addition to slides of photographs from a trip to Europe taken by Lily Swann Saarinen and her children, photographs of Sampe, Eames Saarinen, and Aline, and photographs of Hvittrask, Finland (perhaps taken by Eero during his trip with Aline and the children in 1958).
Photographs of Aline Saarinen consist of ones of her as young girl; ones of her graduating from Vassar College in 1935; ones of her as a Red Cross worker during the Second World War; ones of her as an art critic in the 1950s and as a television correspondent in the 1960s; ones of her serving as the representative of the President at the Inauguration of the Venezuelan President, Raul Leoni, in 1964; and ones of her receiving various honorary degrees.
Photographs of family members include ones of Aline's mother, father, and brother, and her sons, Donald and Hal Louchheim, and their families; ones of her son with Eero, Eames; ones of Eero with his first wife, Lily Swann Saarinen, and their children; and ones of Aline and Eero with their children, including ones from a trip to Hvittrask, Finland in 1958.
Photographs from various trips include ones of Aline's trip to Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA, and ones of a trip to Greece with her and Eero (which are of particular note because the pictures were taken by Eero and feature examples of Greek architecture). Other photographs include ones of various designs by Eero, ones of the sketches of the winning design for the Sydney Opera House, and miscellaneous and unidentified ones.
Description Container
Photographs of Aline Saarinen as a Young Girl, 1910s-1920s
3
7
Photographs of Aline Saarinen, Graduation from Vassar College, 1935
3
8
Photographs of Aline Saarinen, 1940s
(See also Box 15)
3
9
Photographs of Aline Saarinen, 1950s
(3 folders; not scanned in entirety)
3
10-12
Photographs of Aline Saarinen, 1960s
(3 folders; see also Box 15; not scanned in entirety)
3
13-15
Photographs of Aline Saarinen, Inauguration of Venezuelan President Raul Leoni, 1964
3
16
Other Photographs of Inauguration of Venezuelan President Raul Leoni, 1964
3
17
Photographs of Aline Saarinen Receiving Honorary Degrees, 1964, 1967
3
18
Photographs of Aline Saarinen and William Hewitt, Deere Company (Moline, IL), 1960s
3
19
Photographs of Aline Saarinen, 1970
3
20
Photographs of Eero Saarinen, 1950s-1961
(2 folders)
3
21-22
Photographs of Aline and Eero Saarinen, 1954-1957
3
23
Photographs of Family
The Bernstein Family, undated
3
24
Donald and Hal Louchheim, 1940s-1960s
(2 folders)
3
25-26
Eero Saarinen, Lily Swann Saarinen and Children, 1950s
3
27
Aline and Eero Saarinen and Children, mid 1950s-1960s
3
28
Aline and Eero Saarinen and Children in Hvittrask, Finland, 1958
(Not scanned in entirety)
3
29
Eames Saarinen, 1955-1965
(3 folders; see also Box 15)
3
30-32
Louchheim Grandchildren, 1963-1970
(3 folders)
3
33-35
Charles Alan, 1967, 1970
3
36
Luna L. Davis (Photographer: Berenice Abbott), undated
3
37
Photographs of Louchheim Family and House in Stamford, CT, circa 1948
3
38
Photographs from Aline Saarinen's Trip to Hearst Castle (San Simeon, CA), 1958
3
39
Photographs of Trip to Greece Taken by Eero Saarinen, 1950s
3
40
Photographs of Unidentified Party (Aline and Eero Saarinen and Children in attendance), 1950s
3
41
Photographs of Unidentified House, 1961
3
42
Photographs of House on St. Roman's Terrace, New Haven, CT, 1960s
3
43
Photographs of Eero Saarinen Designs, 1960s
3
44
Photographs of Sketches of Winning Design for Sydney Opera House, 1957
3
45
Miscellaneous and Unidentified Photographs, 1956-1963, undated
(2 folders)
3
46-47
Slides
(Not scanned)
Trip to Europe (Lily Swann Saarinen and Children), 1950s
4
1
Ray [Eames?], 1950s
4
2
Sampe, 1953
4
3
Eames Saarinen, 1955-1956
4
4
Hvittrask, Finland, 1958
4
5
Aline Saarinen, circa 1970
4
6
Art Slides, undated
(2 folders; not scanned)
4
7-8
Art Slides (lantern glass slides), undated
(2 folders; not scanned)
4
9-10
Art Slides (35mm glass slides), undated
(See slide boxes)
4
11
UNESCO Architecture (?) Slides (35mm glass slides), undated
(See slide boxes)
4
12
Architecture and Design Slides, undated
(See slide boxes)
4
13
Miscellaneous Slides, undated
(See slide boxes)
4
14
Oversize, Photographs of Aline Saarinen, 1940s
(See Box 3, F9)
15 (sol)
Oversize, Photographs of Aline Saarinen, 1960s
(See Box 3, F13-15)
15 (sol)
Oversize, Photographs of Family, Eames Saarinen, 1955-1965
(See Box 3, F30-32)
15 (sol)

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.