(ca. 1947). 164pp mixed ribbon and carbon typescript on different stocks of paper, bound in two-tone cloth and stamped in gilt. Scattered small ink corrections throughout; name (Kenneth Hunt) stamped in gilt on front endpaper (the stamping has left its imprint on the following few pages); trimmed for binding with no effect to text; covers shelf-rubbed. Item #206408
A full, single-spaced draft of Saarinen's major late book, an articulation of his aesthetic and artistic principles. The draft shows significant differences with the published text, as the book was developed, expanded, and reworded substantially. A giant of modern architecture and design, the Finnish-born Saarinen wrote this at the end of his career as director of the Cranbrook Academy as a summation of his philosophy. This appears to be an early draft that Saarinen circulated among a small group of friends for feedback for his subsequent revision prior to publication. Laid in is a small card with the names of three recipients of advance manuscripts, including "Kenneth Hunt" whose copy this was. While we have been unable to confirm with certainty the identity of Kenneth Hunt, there is one scenario that seems to fit the circumstances. At the time of the composition of this book, Saarinen was involved (along with his son Eero) in developing a master plan for the campus of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. There, a botany professor named Kenneth Hunt oversaw a 1000-acre nature preserve, and so would likely have been involved in the plans for such a campus transformation. When The Search for Form was published in 1948, it was praised in a New York Times review as the work of "a humble and conscientious intellectual workman at grips with questions which have baffled artists and philosophers for centuries. The calm but thorough common sense of his reasoning is entirely at one with his designs. It is, moreover, quite convincing, even when he is wrestling with such elusive enigmas as truth, beauty, taste, and imagination." A substantial and important manuscript of a major work by one of the masters of twentieth-century architecture and design.