At Cranbrook, the nation’s only independent graduate school for architecture, art, and design, we do things a little differently. We don’t have classes. We don’t give As, Bs, Cs, Ds, or Fs. We don’t have undergraduates.
What we do have is one of the nation’s most venerated programs, based in studio practice and committed to the act of making. Students at Cranbrook chart their own course of study, working directly with their artist-in-residence (and we mean in-residence: our faculty live and work on campus). Our metals program began in the studio of Harry Bertoia and continues today under the direction of internationally renowned jeweler and metalsmith Iris Eichenberg, who formerly directed metals at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Her work, which resides in collections around the world, is known for its bold challenge to conventional notions of art and design. “I support the personal, the idiosyncratic, in my studio,” Eichenberg says. “I think strength is developed by going to a place where things are dense and concentrated, even extreme.”
The pedagogy of our program is based on the rhythms of a working artist—the intensity, the rigorous attention to craft and detail, and the commitment to getting things made.
All departments at Cranbrook are small—only seven or eight students are admitted to metalsmithing each year, ensuring close, personal interaction with your artist-in-residence and your peers. Students in our 10 departments work on a spectacular, 300-acre, National Landmark campus located about 20 miles northwest of Detroit. Thanks to Iris Eichenberg’s professional background and Detroit’s reputation as a burgeoning arts center, metalsmithing at Cranbrook is decidedly international in outlook, with students, critics, and visitors representing nations from Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
US News and World Report ranks Cranbrook Academy of Art among the top five schools in the nation. Come for a visit. We think you’ll agree it’s a place like no other.
Iris Eichenberg, artist-in-residence, graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 1994. She worked as an independent artist and part-time curator and co-organizer of art-related events. She began teaching jewelry in 1996 at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and has given numerous workshops at various art academies in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. Eichenberg became head of the Jewelry Department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 2000, a position she held until accepting an appointment as artist-in-residence and head of the metalsmithing department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in 2007.
In 2002 and 2005, Eichenberg received Incentive Grants from the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, a national foundation financed by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands. In 2000, she received the Artist Stimulation Award from the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts. In addition, Eichenberg was awarded the Herbert Hofmann Prize (Schmuckszene Munich, 1999), the Gerrit Rietveld Academy Award (1994), and residencies at the European Ceramic Work Centre in Den Bosch, the Netherlands, in 1999 and 2001.
Eichenberg’s work can be found in museums in various European countries as well as in the United States, including the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Schmuckmuseum in Pforzheim (Germany), the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain in Paris (France), the Mint Museum in Charlotte (North Carolina), and the Rotasa Foundation in Mill Valley (California). Iris Eichenberg has regularly exhibited her work since 1994. Her solo exhibitions have included venues around the world.
RECENT GRADUATES: If you recently received a degree–BA, BFA, MA, or MFA–from this university, everything you need to know to upload your graduate portfolio can be found at this link.