Posted by on October 10, 2011 in Architecture - 1 Comment

The Scarab Club – Detroit, Michigan

Scarab Club 3Scarab Club 1Very few places in Detroit present one with such a profound and palpable sense of art history as The Scarab Club (1928). Located at John R & Farnsworth Street in the heart of the city’s Cultural Center, this elegant yet understated three-story brick structure fuses Renaissance Revival and Moderne style Scarab Club 5Scarab Club 8architecture with decorative elements inspired by the Arts & Crafts Movement of the late 19th and early 20th century. Architect and club member Lancelot Sukert studied at the Universities of California and Pennsylvania and worked in the offices of Albert Kahn before establishing his own Detroit-based firm Scarab Club 9Scarab Club 10in 1921. According to the club’s website, “Sukert was chosen as the architect by a panel of fifteen member architects, that included Kahn, Wirt C. Rowland, and William ‘Buck’ Stratton.” Sukert himself described the building as “a composite of ideas contributed by many members.”

Scarab Club 28Scarab Club 15Exterior highlights include a colorful Pewabic tile scarab medallion on the south facade, and an all-copper, abstract Stephen Veresh sculpture entitled “Phoenix” on the west wall. Check out Dennis Orlowski‘s “Scarab Club Centennial, 2007” mural behind you as you climb the entryway stairs. Scarab Club 26Administrative offices and an impressive, naturally lit gallery make up the first floor. Artists’ studios fill out the third. It’s the second floor lounge, however, where the building’s most impressive interior features are found: a gorgeous mural by past Scarab Club and Players member Paul Honoré over the fireplace, but even more compelling, ceiling beams bearing the signatures of visiting artists of local, national and international renown, spanning the Scarab Club 20entire 83 year history of the building. It took I Love Detroit Michigan only ten minutes of photographing this stunning collection of over 250 autographs to come up with this handful of relevant to highly influential names:

Alex RossBalthazar Korab, Charles ReidClarence H. CarterDiego Scarab Club 21RiveraEdgar A. Guest, Elie Abel, Eliel SaarinenElmore LeonardEmerson C. BurkhartEzra WinterFranklin C. WatkinsFred M. ZederGil SpearGov. Murray D. “Pat” Van WagonerHarold Von SchmidtHobson PittmanHugh WalpoleHugo ZacchiniIsamu NoguchiJohn Dos PassosJohn SinclairJohn SloanJose De RiveraJoy Hakanson ColbyJuliana Scarab Club 18ForceLeon A. MakielskiMarcel DuchampMargaret Bourke-WhiteMarshall FredericksMichael D. HallNorman RockwellPablo “Steve” DavisTony SpinaTyree GuytonWalter Murch, Walter UferWilliam Baziotes, and William Murcko.

Scarab Club 16We highly recommend our readers click on every link to get a real grasp of just how deep The Scarab Club’s roots reach into Detroit’s art history. Click here and here to learn more about The Scarab Club’s frequent contributions to the cultural life of Detroit. ~I♥DM

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About the author

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Dale Carlson grew up along the northeastern shores of Lake Michigan, where at a young age Detroit called out to him in his dreams. In 2008, after extended stays in ten different Michigan cities, the author settled permanently in southeast Oakland County where he currently lives and works in various capacities within the local real estate industry.

1 Comment

  1. Posted October 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    […] Pewabic scarab medallion (c.1928), The Scarab Club, John R & Farnsworth Street, […]

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