As a member of the Kresge Arts in Detroit Advisory Council, one of our responsibilities is to select the Kresge Eminent Artist Award recipient. Choosing one artist to bestow the title of Eminent Artist is no easy task given the amazing talent in our region. However, the 2015 winner – Ruth Adler Schnee – is a most deserving awardee. An immigrant. A pioneer. An innovator. A celebrated designer.
From the Kresge Foundation’s press release:
Schnee joins six other artists who, since 2008, have received the Kresge Eminent Artist award recognition of professional achievements, contributions to metropolitan Detroit’s cultural community and dedication to Detroit and its residents. The award includes a $50,000 prize.
Schnee’s work elevated Michigan’s stature in modern design and architecture. She worked on the General Motors Technical Center in Warren (with architect Eero Saarinen in 1950-55), the World Trade Center (with Minoru Yamasaki in 1970-77) and the update of Albert Kahn’s Ford Rotunda in Dearborn, which she worked on in 1952-53. The Adler-Schnee store in Detroit – a partnership with her late husband, Edward Schnee – opened in 1948 as one of the first shops in the nation to sell modern home fabrics and furnishings to the public. She still designs custom fabrics for KnollTextiles, where she holds a 20-year contract, and Anzea Textiles, an upholstery company.
At 91, she continues to work most of the year from her studio in Southfield, a suburb of Detroit.
Congratulations Ruth Adler Schnee! Head over to the KAD blog to learn more about Schnee.