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“Wonderful Grounds” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cranbrook Art Museum

Cranbrook Art Museum
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
philadelphia
Level Contributor
169 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Wonderful Grounds”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2013

Although the museum itself was closed for the holidays, we were able to walk the snow covered grounds at our leisure. What a beautiful sight they are! The gentle hills are easy to traverse and the views are set up to maximize appeal. It was fun looking at the outside of the different structures and even the non-running fountains offer a taste of whimsy on cold winter days.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank TomCost
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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82 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
220 reviews
122 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“art is the thing!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2012

What a lovely campus and museum with so many sculptures, fountains and art work throughout the grounds. The museum was changing exhibits, but there were exhibits of pen and ink drawings as well as three dimensional displays of the campus in miniature done by some former students. We were lucky enough to know a student at the art school so he showed us around the workshops. I'm sure it is a great place for students to have the freedom to create. Such a lovely place to walk and enjoy the surroundings. There is also a boarding school for boys and girls. I believe that's where Mitt Romney went to school.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank dolls111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Treasure Island, Florida
Level Contributor
65 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Always a pleasure”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2012

Really well laid out, can see everything in a few hours. Hopefully you will get lucky and go with a docent. Great items to view.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank TIWendy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterford, MI
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Not really for the kiddos”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2012

On Mother's Day we went on an outing with the children (of all people) to the Cranbrook Art Museum. We have membership at the Cranbrook Institute of Science and thought it would be a nice change of pace to try the Museum. MISTAKE!

We went when there was a "graduate students" exhibit. The front desk people gave our kids laminated cards of things to look for and told us that as long as there wasn't a sign on an exhibit specifically stating "do not touch" they were free to examine the art with their hands as well. Okay!

Once we entered the gallery spaces, however, we noticed that several workers were keeping a close on us. We carefully checked each exhibit before letting the kids near it. We came to an exhibit made of large colorful foam blocks (like you would find in a DAYCARE). There were no "do not touch" signs, so I let one of my kids feel it. Immediately, a woman stopped him and told me that none of the exhibits were to be touched and that the exhibits really weren't meant for children. So, why the cards and the instructions from the front desk workers?

We went into another exhibit where yet another woman stopped us before we even had a chance to look and she said we might enjoy being outside. Now, if our children had been noisy or disrespectful or misbehaved, I could see her point. But this wasn't their first time in an art museum and they know how to behave.

Also, there were many exhibits which I would really question as "art." One was a photograph of a naked man in a bathtub wearing an oxygen mask/respirator with a tube coming out of his mouth going into to his buttocks. Try explaining that one to the kiddos. I know we all snickered about that one. It would have been nice for the front desk folks to warn us about that one. Apparently they were working at a different museum than they were describing to us.

Bottom line: I was offended in more ways than one and we will not be back to the Cranbrook Art Museum.

On the positive side, the gardens were lovely and it was a beautiful day outside.

Visited May 2012
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3 Thank Luv2TravelHistoricMI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit
Level Contributor
59 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Out-of-the-way eclectic museum”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2012

Cranbrook has a beautiful campus - 270 wooded and landscaped acres in Bloomfield Hills (10 miles NW of Detroit). Recently, it's know as the school attended by Mitt Romney when his family was living in Bloomfield Hills. For me, it's a wonderful place to walk (about 1 mile from my house).

The school was big in the arts, especially architecture (FLW was in-residence, and Eero Saarinen taught there, too), and it shows -- the buildings each both Saarinen and Wright, especially). The museum is both architecturally interesting and has a nice collection (more of which is on display following the rework/expansion project of 2010-2011).

Especially nice is the collection of Modern and Contemporary art. There are a few dozen fabulous pieces (e.g., Frank Stella), and all of them are beautifully displayed.

Admission is modest, but free with most reciprocal major museum programs. Bloomfield Township residents also can pick up a free pass at the Bloomfield Township Library.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank Vince P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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