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Born in Finland\, Eero Saarinen (1 910 – 1961) is recognized today as one of America’s most influential archit ects of the 20th Century. The exhibition at the Architecture and Design Mus eum will highlight his short but brilliant career beginning with the Smiths onian Gallery of Art Competition in 1939 and culminating with Dulles Airpor t in 1962 and highlighting his influence on design in mid-Century America. 

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Saarinen is recognized today as one of the America ’s most influential architects of the 20th Century. He has built numerous c orporate\, educational\, cultural public and private buildings with such re cognizable icons as the St. Louis Gateway Arch\, the TWA terminal at JFK\, and Dulles Airport.

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This exhibition is a tribute to Saarinen’s short and brilliant career which was bookended with two iconic buildings: the Smithsonian Gallery of Art\, a museum of modern art on the M all which remained unbuilt and the nation’s first jet airport\, Dulles Inte rnational Airport which was completed one year after his death. 

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The much-publicized national competition of 1939 catapulted S aarinen into the architectural limelight at the age of 29\, marking a trium ph for the modernist camp.  Opposition to the cutting edge modernist vocabu lary was strong in the pre- World War II era and even though it would influ ence museums built throughout the world for decades to come\, the Smithsoni an Gallery of Art remained an unbuilt icon. Lost for 50 years\, the discove ry of the drawings twenty years ago and their secure place at the Smithsoni an Institution confirms that architecture even when unbuilt can be influent ial\, provocative and groundbreaking. 
 

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Shedding light on Saarinen’s se cret professional life

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Saarinen’s associat ion with Washington continued throughout the war years when he volunteered for the OSS (Office of Strategic Services)\, the precursor to the CIA (Cent ral Intelligence Agency). Recognized for “his outstanding capacity” for ori ginal design work in any field\, Eero quickly excelled in his service to th e OSS to became the chief of the Presentation Division responsible for all exhibits work.

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The exhibition at A+D Architecture a nd Design Museum>\;Los Angeles is unique in shedding light on this little known chapter of Eero Saarinen’s secret professional life. While still in his 30’s Eero established himself as one of the most creative product desig ners with recognizable furniture broke technological and aesthetic boundari es with such icons as the tulip chair and the womb chair.

DTEND:20130228 DTSTAMP:20141126T184954 DTSTART:20121005 GEO:34.0627232;-118.3605188 LOCATION:A + D Museum\,6032 Wilshire Blvd. \nLos Angeles\, CA 90036 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:EERO SAARINEN\, Eero Saarinen UID:228655 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20121005T210000 DTSTAMP:20141126T184954 DTSTART:20121005T180000 GEO:34.0627232;-118.3605188 LOCATION:A + D Museum\,6032 Wilshire Blvd. \nLos Angeles\, CA 90036 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:EERO SAARINEN\, Eero Saarinen UID:228656 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR