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Maija Grotell papers, 1923-1973

Grotell, Maija, 1899-1973

Ceramicist, Sculptor


Collection Information

Size: 2 Linear feet, (on 2 microfilm reels)

Summary: Biographical materials, correspondence, awards, photographs, and printed materials relating to the career of the noted ceramist and teacher who devoted the last quarter century of her life to the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Correspondence consists chiefly of letters received from museums, colleagues (including Charles Eames), friends and former students. Other materials include biographical sketches, resumes, exhibition catalogs and announcements, clippings, scrapbook fragments, a file relating to students and colleagues, a register of funeral visitors, numerous personal and family photographs and five photo albums of Grotell and her work.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ceramist and educator. Born 1899. Died 1973. After several years as a textile designer in her native Finland, Grotell immigrated to the United States in 1927. For a short time she studied with Charles Fergus Binns and from 1938 to 1966 she headed the ceramics department at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. During this period, the height of her career, she became one of the leaders in the development of ceramics as a medium of artistic expression. In addition, her research on glazes for Eero Saarinen made possible the widespread architectural use of colored glazed bricks.


Order and arrangement is that of the George Arents Research Library for Special Collections, Syracuse University.

Related Materials

Slides of Grotell's work located at the George Arents Research Library for Special Collections, Syracuse University.

Language Note

Three letters are in Finnish.

Location of Originals

  • Originals in George Arents Research Library for Special Collections, Syracuse University.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels 4278-4279 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

How to Cite This Collection

Maija Grotell papers, 1923-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.