Cranbrook Educational Academy in Bloomfield Hills Names Acting Director of Cranbrook Academy of Art


Acting director of Cranbrook Academy of Art John Berry

Photo courtesy of Cranbrook Academy of Art

Cranbrook Educational Academy in Bloomfield Hills, in concurrence with the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum Board of Governors, announced that John Berry has been named the acting director of Cranbrook Academy of Art.

In April, current director Christopher Scoates announced that he would be leaving the academy in June to accept the position of director of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. Scoates has served as director of Cranbrook Academy of Art since August 2014.

Berry, a 1968 graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art’s design program, will hold the position while a national search begins for a new permanent director, which is expected to begin in the fall. Berry’s first day as the acting director of the Academy of Art will be June 18.

Berry brings more than 45 years of professional design involvement with global manufacturers, international architectural and design firms and foundations to Cranbrook. He comes to Cranbrook from Grand Valley State University, where he was director of the Design Thinking Initiative and of the school’s new Design Thinking Academy, which aims to bring the experience of design thinking to all undergraduate students at the university.

“John has remained involved in the Cranbrook Academy of Art community since his days here as a student,” says Dominic DiMarco, president of Cranbrook Educational Community. “He has served on the Academy’s National Advisory Council and worked with our students and Artists-in-Residence on a variety of projects over the years. We are grateful that he will be returning to campus to help with our transition.”

Berry was the founder and the first executive director of Design West Michigan, promoting design as an economic building block for the region. He also founded the Society of Experimental Graphic Designers and created and led the Interiors, Graphics and Signage Division of Smith, Hinchman and Grylls (now the Smith Group), where his projects included work with NASA, John Deere, Owens Corning Fiberglass, and Caterpillar.

Berry wrote “Herman Miller: The Purpose of Design,” which was the basis for a traveling exhibition organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art and the Henry Ford Museum.

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