Public Tours May - October
Friday and Saturday: 3pm
Sunday: 1pm & 3pm
Tours are limited to 12 guests. For more information, please visit here.
Photo by James Haefner
Melvin Maxwell and Sara Stein Smith House Tours
School teachers Sara Stein and Melvyn Maxwell Smith, undeterred by their modest salaries and guided by a shared love of architecture, met Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin in 1946 and commissioned a custom home. The Smith House in Bloomfield Hills is an excellent example of Wright’s Usonian ideal which aimed to build quality houses for the American middle class. The lovingly restored home, which Wright called “My Little Gem” during a 1951 visit, features an L-shaped floor plan and horizontal, cantilevered roof planes. This tour offers a unique view of this special home, its landscape and the story of a couple whose vision and determination allowed them to achieve their dream.
Tours of Smith House are scheduled May – October on one Friday and one Sunday of each month.
Tour availablity for 2015 is as follows:
|Friday, May 15||Sold Out||2 Spots Left||Available|
|Friday, June 5||Sold Out||Available||Available|
|Sunday, June 14||Sold Out||Sold Out||Sold Out|
|Friday, July 17||Available||Available||Available|
|Sunday, July 26||Available||Sold Out||Available|
|Sunday, August 9||Available||Available||Available|
|Friday, August 21||Available||Available||Available|
|Sunday, September 20||One Spot Left||Two Spots Left||Available|
|Friday, September 25||Available||Available||Available|
|Friday, October 9||Available||Available||Available|
|Sunday, October 18||Available||Available||Available|
Photography+ Tours are the first tour of the day from 12:00noon to 1:30pm. These tours are $55/per person, and photography is allowed inside the home. This is longer than our standard tour and has fewer visitors for a more intimate experience. Tours are limited to 15 guests. Please note that no tripods and no flash photography are permitted.
Public Tours are from 2:00-3:00pm and 3:30-4:30pm and are $35/per person. These tours are one hour long, and only allow exterior photography. Tours are limited to 18 guests.
For the safety and comfort of all visitors, children younger than eight-years-old, including infants and toddlers, are not permitted on this tour. Due to the historical status and intimate nature of the House, many rooms and passageways are very narrow and therefore are not wheelchair accessible.
Only small wallets and handheld cameras are permitted on the tours. Please leave all backpacks, purses, camera bags, camera equipment and other cumbersome items in vehicles. This policy was created for the security and protection of Smith House and its collection of fine and decorative art.
All tours are walking tours, guests must be able to walk and stand throughout most of the tour. There are no places to sit down in the house itself. There are no public restroom facilities at the house itself, please use the facilities at the Cranbrook Art Museum before beginning your tour. Tours take place rain or shine. To protect the historic integrity of the home, you will be asked to remove your shoes and wear booties that will be provided.
If you would like to make a reservation, please call 248-645-3323.
All tours of Smith House depart from the front desk of Cranbrook Art Museum. If you have a confirmed reservation, please arrive at least 30 minutes in advance of your tour time to check in. We will take a shuttle to the home promptly at the start of your tour time. There are no refunds or exchanges.
Collections Wing Tours
1pm every Friday
Our Collections Wing tours are back! Come see the 6,000+ items in Cranbrook’s extensive collection during our Collections Wing tour. See work by Eames, Knoll, Saarinen and many others in our state-of-the-art storage facility. Tours will be offered every Friday at 1pm, are limited to 15 people and depart from the front desk of the Art Museum. Admission to the tour is $2 in addition to Museum admission. There is no charge for ArtMembers. Call 248-645-3320 for reservations.
Private Collections Wing Tours of can be arranged with at least three weeks advance notice. Private Tour Fees: $10 ArtMembers; $15 Adults and Seniors; and $10 full-time students with ID and children. There is a minimum Private Tour group fee of $100. To inquire about the availability of a Private Tour, please call 248-645-3319.
The Cranbrook Vision: Architecture, Landscape and Sculpture Campus Walking Tour
Private tours of our campus can be arranged with advance notice. Please contact Kim Larsen at 248-645-3319 to make reservations.
In keeping with Cranbrook’s Arts & Crafts origins, the tour touches on artistic elements including historical plantings, stunning vistas, and intricate brickwork on building elevations. Preservation issues are also addressed. Select interiors will be explored, most notably the original Cranbrook School for Boys Dining Hall where visitors are immersed in one of Eliel Saarinen’s great “total works of art.”
Self-Guided Outdoor Sculpture Tours
Available During Museum Hours
Ever wonder who designed the large red sculpture on the Museum grounds? Or what inspired the signature Orpheus Fountain? Take a self-guided outdoor sculpture tour, highlighting 12 historic and contemporary favorites. Maps are free with regular Museum admission and are available at the Front Desk.
Delve a little deeper and try our self-guided outdoor sculpture treasure hunt, designed for adults and children to find up to 18 sculptures on the grounds. Discover fun facts about the artists and investigate related works. Sign-out a set of “outdoor sculpture cards” at the Museum Front Desk and begin your exploration. Cards require a $20 deposit, which is fully refunded when the cards are returned to the Museum Front Desk.