The collection is arranged into two series: Series 1: Aline and Eero Saarinen Personal Papers, 1928-1977 (Boxes 1-4, 15, OV 16; 3.7 linear feet) Series 2: Aline Saarinen Professional Papers, 1906-1969 (Boxes 4-15, OV 16, FC 17-18; 10 linear feet)
Access Note / Rights:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Use of material not digitized requires an appointment.
The Aline and Eero Saarinen papers measure approximately 14.2 linear feet and date from 1906 to 1977. The bulk of the collection consists of Aline Saarinen's papers which document her relationship with her husband Eero Saarinen and other aspects of their personal lives, as well as Aline's work as an art and architectural critic, author, and television correspondent. Papers include research files for published and planned books (in which can be found scattered original letters of Stanford White, John Quinn and Edward Root) and other projects, NBC correspondent files, writings, committee files, correspondence, photographs, printed material, and miscellaneous personal papers.
Aline and Eero Saarinen papers, 1906-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The papers of Aline B. (Aline Bernstein) and Eero Saarinen in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2006, and total 17399 images.
Material not scanned includes the NBC correspondent files (due to restrictions on the material), and typically duplicates, negatives, slides, and printed material easily accessible elsewhere. For publications found in the research and other project files, only relevant portions are scanned.
The sound recording of the discussion of the Sydney Opera House design has been digitized, and some of the motion picture films have been reformatted to video for research use. Audiovisual material with duplicate access copies are available in the Archives of American Art readings rooms.
Location of Originals:
The originals of the microfilmed correspondence of Richard Grant White and Stanford White found in Series 2.3.4 are located in the Huntington Art Library.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by Terra Foundation for American Art
NBC TV scripts or film prepared for television: Authorization to publish, quote or reproduce requires written permission from NBC Studios. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Also found in the Archives are: the Museum of Modern Art exhibition correspondence concerning Eero Saarinen, 1958-1959; the Lily Swann Saarinen papers, 1924-1974; an oral history interview with Lily Swann Saarinen, 1979-1981; and an oral history interview on Aline Saarinen with Charles Alan, 1973 February 17.
Other related material includes: Eero Saarinen Collection, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library. Two exhibition catalogs and various clippings that were donated as part of the collection were transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum Library in 1981.
Aline Bernstein Saarinen was born on March 25, 1914 in New York City. She attended Vassar College, where she took art courses and became interested in journalism, and graduated with a B.A. in 1935. She went on to receive her M.A. in the history of architecture from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University in 1941. She married Joseph H. Louchheim in 1935, and they had two sons, Donald and Harry (or Hal). They divorced in 1951.
Aline joined the staff of Art News Magazine in 1944 and served as managing editor from 1946 to 1948. She edited and provided commentary for the book, 5000 Years of Art in Western Civilization , which was published in 1946. She served as associate art editor and critic at The New York Times from 1948 to 1953 and then as associate art critic from 1954 to 1959. She received awards for her newspaper work, including the International Award for Best Foreign Criticism at the Venice Biennale in 1951, the Frank Jewett Mather Award for best newspaper art criticism in 1953, and the American Federation of Arts Award for best newspaper criticism in 1956.
In 1953, Aline interviewed the architect Eero Saarinen for an article. Eero was born in 1910 in Kirkkonummi, Finland, and received his B.F.A. in Architecture from Yale University in 1934. He began work as an architect in his father Eliel Saarinen's firm and went on to start his own firm, Eero Saarinen and Associates. Among his best-known works are the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, the Trans World Air Lines Terminal Building at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, and Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia.
Aline and Eero became romantically involved shortly after they met and were married in December 1953. The following year, they had a son, Eames (named after Eero's friend, the designer and architect Charles Eames). After their marriage, Aline relocated to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where she continued to work as associate art critic for The New York Times and where she served as Director of Information Service in the office of Eero Saarinen and Associates (from 1954 to 1963).
In 1957, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship to work on a book about major American art collectors, The Proud Possessors , which was published by Random House in 1958. Thereafter, she began work on a biography of the architect, Stanford White, also for Random House; this work continued for several years, but the book was never completed. Over the years, she wrote numerous freelance articles on art, architecture, socio-cultural history, travel, and theater for magazines such as Atlantic Monthly , Vogue , Saturday Review of Literature , Reader's Digest , and Cosmopolitan .
After Eero's sudden death in 1961, Aline edited the book, Eero Saarinen on His Work (1962). She then embarked upon a new career in television, appearing on shows such as "Today" and "Sunday" where she reported on manners, morals, culture, and the arts, and eventually becoming, in 1964, an NBC News correspondent for such shows as "The Huntley-Brinkley Report" and "The Frank McGee Report" in addition to the shows on which she was already appearing. In 1971, she was appointed chief of the NBC News Paris Bureau, becoming the first woman to hold such a position in television.
In the 1960s, Aline served on various arts-related committees, including the Design Advisory Committee of the Federal Aviation Administration, the Fine Arts Commission, and the New York State Council of the Arts. She received honorary degrees from the University of Michigan in 1964 and Russell Sage College in 1967.
Aline Saarinen died from a brain tumor on July 13, 1972.
This biographical notes draws from the one on Aline Bernstein Saarinen by Seymour Brody in Jewish Heroes and Heroines of America: 150 True Stories of American Jewish Heroism , and from the one on Eero Saarinen in the Guide to the Eero Saarinen Collection at Yale University Library.
The Aline and Eero Saarinen papers were donated in 1973 by Charles Alan, Aline Saarinen's brother and executor of her estate, and microfilmed. In 1966 five photographs of Eliel Saarinen's home in Helsinki, Finland were donated by Florence Davis and were subsequently integrated into the collection. The NBC material was donated in 1974 by NBC Studios via Charles Alan. Additional material, which had originally been donated to the Parrish Museum by Aline Saarinen, was donated to the Archives in 1991 by the Museum.
The papers of Aline B. (Aline Bernstein) and Eero Saarinen in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2006. The bulk of the papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 17,399 images. Material not scanned includes the NBC correspondent files (due to restrictions on the material), duplicates, negatives, slides, and printed material easily accessible elsewhere. For publications found in the research and other project files, only relevant portions were digitized.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001